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Providence, Rhode Island, United States | SELF

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | SELF
Band World Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Tevellus CD Blue Star rocks out with blend of eastern and western instruments"

Tevellus released their new CD Blue Star within recent weeks and the celebratory CD Release Party in Rhode Island went over big. It is hard to define exactly what genre Tevellus is, but they are good. Wild funk beats and exotic foreign music races through all of the mostly instrumental 16 tracks on Blue Star. Opening title track “Blue Star” sounds like it could be from a chase scene soundtrack for a foreign action movie. It is non stop. Rocking guitars and drums play alongside electric sitar and middle eastern percussion instruments.

Sitar notes ring out on track two: “Senniajah(Beautiful Dancer).” The tune soon turns into an intense sitar rhythm coupled with the intense drumming that would accompany a gypsy veil dancer. The rhythm is certainly persistent and hypnotic. You’ll picture that gypsy girl doing her veil dance on stage at a rock concert.

The band Tevellus is guitarist/sitar player Derrick Cordeiro. Cordeiro also writes much of the songs. Drummer Glenn Alexander plays electronic and drum set drums as well as trumpet and several percussion instruments. Zachary Paquette plays bass guitar, saxophone, flute, and percussion. Multi-instrumentalist Glen Schneider plays tabla, sitar, cello, and several percussion instruments. Mike Cordeiro plays keyboards, Belladonna(one name only) plays doumbek, chimes, castanets, shakers, vibra slaps and several other percussion pieces. A band member named Ms. Fury is credited for dance, zils, and fury.

As you can gather by all the percussion instruments, Tevellus plays each of their compositions with a lot of rhythm. Track four, “Funk For Ghang” is a powerful mix of sounds that would make people dance to it if everybody could dance as fast as this song goes. “Palace Of Light” receives firm sitar strumming to push it along and the sitar playing above the drums suggests it must have taken some time to marry these distinct music forms. Any serious music fans would enjoy hearing this CD just to check out how well Tevellus sling their axes and how well they’ve made middle eastern melodies rock out.

“Sphere” is a prog rock piece that just happens to use sitar and some exotic percussion instruments instead of western rock lead guitar. Again, you can still picture their belly dancer doing her circular movements and gyrations. In other portions of the song I can picture James Bond fighting off an enemy in some foreign land. Eastern and western string instruments weave into their special Tevellus blend then move forward, the music rushing like a river toward some mysterious destination.

“Glowing Sun” has a curious rhythmic underpinning. The electric bass guitar notes consistently carry the weight of the song. Yet, there is some element of speed in the percussion that rides over the bass instead of locking in with it. Then, a spiraling sitar melodic phrase runs around the polyrhythm, almost like a mischievous child who refuses to stay tethered to parental authority. The bass grows in stature in this song and becomes the pulse, and in a way replaces the drum set as the timekeeper. Each listen to this CD would likely conjure many new associations each time. There is a lot going on in each track.

“Middle Earth Drums” is the work of brilliant tribal madmen. Drums and percussion become their own melody instruments in this blend of traditional western rock drumming and exotic percussion. “Third Eye Candy” features saxophone playing exotic middle eastern, possibly Turkish, melodies, melodies that make a spiraling sound with increased intensity. Jazz fans might like to take a listen to this sax to follow its musical conversation with the multitude of percussion notes. The percussion patterns are played at a dizzying, hypnotic pace, and I expect to see a snake charmer cajole a long green slithery creature to rise up out of a weaved basket. There is definitely something special going on with that saxophone. It is like a siren call to all in the room, motivating all to some kind of funky action.

“3 Wishes” comes closest to modern dance music with a swaying electronic keyboard sound. The saxophone starts rocking out near the end too. Married to the electric sitar, “3 Wishes” takes on the dimension of strange new delights that Tevellus pedals to its listeners. The title “Timeless Traveler” suggests a wayward wondering sound, and Tevellus does not disappoint. Doumbek provides the beat in place of drum set bass drum. The melody over it, though, dances around in a flight of fancy.

“Miraculous Ways” starts with the gentlest of string plucking, and each string instrument note rings with deep meaning. Electric rhythm guitar chimes in to provide western sounding support, and sustained synthesizer washy sounds make you wonder why no one has ever come up with this blend of western and eastern instrumentation before. It might not have been done before in such an authentic manner, with hard work resulting in meaningful explorations into what these instruments could truly achieve t - Bill Copeland

"In the groove-Tevellus bring middle east to little Rhody"

Tevellus recently released a self-titled album on Sign 11 records. Providence natives Glenn Alexander and Derrick Cordeiro wrote and arranged most of the music and play more than a half-dozen instruments. The CD just hit the streets,but the material was written,recorded and mixed between 2005 and 2009 and includes 3 live tracks-recorded @ Tazza and Prov. Black Rep.Co. I mention this mainly because it's unusual that a project recorded in different locations at different times can sound so cohesive,no easy feat. There are also 11 guest artists on the project, most contributing bass or vocal touches,but make no mistake...this project is driven by the talents of Alexander and Cordeiro. How could I describe the Tevellus sound if someone was to ask me what the CD was like? After trying to do it better than them, I could'nt...which is a good thing.They know who they are. Their self-description on CD Baby:"Someone once described the Tevellus sound as Egypt in the year 2185. A space age gypsy caravan. A blend of the ancient and the futuristic. A hybrid of middle eastern belly dance music,hip hop,raga-roll,electronica,film and dance." Could'nt have said it better myself.In fact,I didn't. Particularly intriguing was the mention of dance on an audio CD. what Tevellus' new disc comes down to for me is that an audio cd cannot do them justice. As fabulous as the disc is, I'd much rather see them perform live. My guess is that the dancers referred to on the cd would add to the experience in no small way. The music is smart,well arranged and exremely well played. However,simply listening instead of experiencing a genre that lends itself to live performance is only half the trip. - Motif Magazine July 2009 by Russell Gusetti


Tevellus- 16 tracks,74 minutes. - 2009 Blue Star - 16 tracks, 76 minutes - 2011



More than your average group, the performance experience becomes a blend of the ancient and futuristic.Tevellus has been constructing a fusion of styles including Middle Eastern, Indian, Funk, Jam, and Jazz - blending up drum Layers from all traditions into a construct of unique, fiery music. Accompanied by the dance of the captivating Ms Fury ,Tevellus takes the audience on a journey of exploration into soundscapes of the worlds cultures and brings them into new spirit. Originally formed in 2005 as an acoustic guitar and electronic percussion duo, Tevellus has grown to a full-size troupe, including baglama saz, tabla, sitar, drums,electric guitar,bass,cello,keyboard, various percussion and guest reed and string players. The Tevellus debut was released in 2009, "Blue Star" the bands second album releases spring 2011-both on the bands own Sign 11 label.