The New Sunday Toast
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The New Sunday Toast

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Band Rock Soul


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



"Students Toast Their First Recording"

Students Toast Their First Recording
February 29, 2008

They were sophomores with the dream of becoming songwriters. After taking an independent study course in the Tulane music department, they are the band The New Sunday Toast with one recording of original music and another on the way.

Members of the band The New Sunday Toast, from left, Thomas Eskew, Rachel Brotman and Sam Pasquesi, have been making music together since they took a songwriting course as Tulane sophomores. (Photo by Bud Ries)

Sam Pasquesi, Thomas Eskew and Rachel Brotman had been playing together for a couple of months when they sought out John Dobry of the music department faculty for an independent study course.
They asked Dobry if it would be possible for him to be "a mirror for our music," says Brotman, pianist and vocalist with the group. Dobry, a visiting assistant professor, agreed to provide support and guidance, regularly critiquing and giving feedback to the group as they composed their music. When the course concluded, the band had written nine songs and performed them in a packed recital hall in Dixon Hall.

When asked about the band's name, Pasquesi and Eskew chuckle. While the group was in Pasquesi's hometown of Chicago recording last summer, it dawned on them that the band needed a name. All foodies, the band members were munching toast and reading a recipe in the Sunday morning paper for a "new Sunday roast." They came up with The New Sunday Toast.
The CD entitled "Prog. Garaj. Jaz." showcases the trio along with drummer Aaron Parks, a student at the University of Texas–Austin. Studio art major Bud Ries drew the album's artwork and English major Evan Hanczor wrote liner notes defining the band's philosophy that focuses on consciousness and creativity.

The recording is getting some airtime on WTUL radio and the band is slated to open for Vampire Weekend on March 11 at a Tulane University Campus Programming concert from 4 to 6 p.m. in Pocket Park outside the Lavin-Bernick Center.
The New Sunday Toast sound is eclectic, mixing influences from progressive rock, jazz, R & B, funk, bluegrass and Latin music. Much of the recording is instrumental, punctuated by Brotman's bluesy vocals.

"I was raised on a Joni Mitchell diet by my mom," says Brotman, whose hometown is New York. "I listened to her subconsciously before I even knew I was listening. So singing comes naturally to me. I tried to pick up her vocal lines, phrasing — it's poetic."

Brotman works harder at playing piano, which she began at the age of 7. The music major has always dreamed of composing film scores.
Houston native Eskew, who plays bass, is a cognitive studies major with a minor in music, and Paquesi, who plays guitar, is an English and creative writing major. As for their career plans after graduating with the class of 2009, that remains to be seen. What seems certain is the members of The New Sunday Toast will boldly pursue their goals, whatever they are.

Fran Simon - Tulane University New Wave

"Easy Like A Sunday Morning"

Easy Like A Sunday Morning
February 29, 2008

The Arcade recently sat down with the members of The New Sunday Toast, a progressive jazz quartet in which three Tulane students play. Pianist and singer Rachel Brotman, guitarist Sam Pasquesi and bassist Thomas Eskew are juniors at Tulane, and they recently released their debut album, Prog. Garaj. Jaz. We discussed everything from the birth of the band, the recording process, their musical influences and their future plans.

Arcade: When did you guys form your band?

Sam: The band started when we were freshmen in March 2006, when Thomas and I lived in Wall. In September 2006 we met Rachel and that's when it started coming together.

Arcade: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?

Rachel: Well I'd say collectively, John Scofield.

Sam: We each have our own particular tastes, and we cover a lot of ground that way. We all listen to a lot of the same stuff. Erykah Badu is like, the greatest influence in Rachel's life, and now we've all become fans of her.

Rachel: The Bad Plus- they're a band we collectively aspire to be. The three of us, that's where we're at.

Sam: We were saying last night if we could take Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Bad Plus that would be exactly where we want to be.

Thomas: Astral Project is also one of our biggest influences as a group.

Rachel: We go out and see them together as a family.

Arcade: Sam, do you have any particular guitar influences?

Sam: Again, John Scofield and Jimi Hendrix. A lot of the time I just try and take my guitar sound and try to play along with whatever the rest of the band is doing. Also, Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits.

Arcade: How has New Orleans treated you, and how receptive is the community to your music?

Thomas: Well for one, we all came here because we knew it would be a place where we could play music. And so that has worked out, and then we found a lot of support in the school.

Sam: The music department is huge for us, and just being in New Orleans and having so many musical influences around.

Rachel: I think people are interested in up and coming local music that's not just from the Batiste or Marsalis families.

Sam: In a town like this that's so focused on it's heritage, we always consider our music apart from everything we see in New Orleans, but we still feel like we're a part of the city too.

Arcade: What do you think you've gotten out of coming to New Orleans?

Rachel: In the music department, we get to do a lot of studying with local musicians, which is huge for us. They do not tell you what you want to hear, but honest feedback is really important.

Thomas: The music department is serious. They put you in with veterans of the New Orleans music scene that have been doing this for decades.

Arcade: You very recently released your first full-length album. What were your thoughts on the recording process?

Rachel: It was just about the most fun I've ever had in my entire life.

Thomas: It was a really intense process. We played for five days straight, strictly business.

Sam: We did 10-hour days for five days, having done three or four days of rehearsal before that. It went really well, and it was really well rehearsed so we went into the studio and just nailed it. We did nine tracks on the first day. We mixed seven of the nine tracks ourselves, just the four of us in the band. We went into this multi-million dollar studio and just had the time of our lives. We didn't know what was going to happen, but we knew it was going to work out.

Arcade: Explain the title of your CD, Prog. Garaj. Jaz.:

Thomas: It stands for progressive garage jazz. I think we were making a Myspace page once, and we had, like, three choices and that's where Prog. Garaj. Jaz came from, just being limited to that.

Rachel: We've kind of grown into the idea of progressive garage jazz. We've all studied jazz academically, but the idea has grown from there.

Sam: We like to keep it dirty a little bit, that's where the garage comes in. Give the people what they need, not what they want.

Arcade: Have you had any collaborations with local artists?

Thomas: Not musicians exactly, but we had our friend Bud (Ries) do the artwork for our CD and our friend Eric (Hanczor) did the liner notes.

Rachel: It's kind of a multi-media collection. Bud and Evan come to our rehearsals a lot. All of this coming together, it's not just the music. It's the collaborative process.

Thomas: We see ourselves as a collective of arts and culture, sort of an interdisciplinary trying to build a community.

Arcade: Tell us about your drummer.

Thomas- Aaron Parks goes to University of Texas at Austin, and he is a very active musician, semi-professional, and I've known him since I was 14 or so. We needed a serious drummer to come in and lay down the tracks for the album, and he was the first person I thought of. He came up to Chicago with us fo - Hullabaloo - Tulane University


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...