The Way Up
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The Way Up

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Rock Jazz

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"Alex Sill and the Way Up Band are a tight group that has a modern way of joining rock and jazz. They have an irresistible energy as well as being fine musicians, one and all." -Barbara Brighton, producer (Young Artist Jazz Series)

"Recently I attended a concert at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood featuring the band, “The Way Up” featuring Alex Sill on guitar. Full disclosure... I had the privilege of teaching music to every member of the band through my music program, “Join the Band”. The band members include Alex Sill guitar, Bobby Victor keyboards, Daniel Zuker bass, Caliber Cleveland drums and Zoe Jackson vocals.
I watched these young musicians grow up in our studio from the age of thirteen until their entrance into college. The one thing you can’t teach is dedication and passion: That “fire in the belly” which makes you get up each morning to pursue your dreams and goals. If ever there were a perfect match of young musicians possessing this “fire”, that match is “The Way Up”.
Performing an invigorating set of standards and original jazz music, these young musicians have raised the bar for young performers everywhere. Alex’s guitar prowess has progressed from Rhoads to Vai to Metheny. His articulate playing displays all shades of his influences. Alex is just as comfortable shredding through a jazz-rock solo as he is crafting the nuance of a ballad.
Bobby Victor on keyboards is a young musician to watch out for. He has a very keen ear and is always ready to explore the music for just the right part. I have watched Bobby in many ensembles and I was always impressed with how immersed in the music he was. No matter the style or level, he “hears” the music and doesn’t take it for granted.
Daniel Zuker on bass guitar is the sonic anchor of the band. Over the years we have seen him develop from a straight ahead eight-note rock bass player to a sophisticated jazz bassist. He structures his lines to support the songs and soloist throughout the performance. His walking lines swing and create the “feel” for the band.
Caliber Cleveland on drums is the rhythmic soul of the band. He is always listening to his band mates and creating a great rhythm palette for them to play over. Caliber is just as comfortable playing rock, latin and jazz grooves. The combination of his rhythm grooves and Daniel’s bass creates a great soundscape for any soloist or singer.
Zoe Jackson on vocals brings a smooth, soulful voice to the band. 'The Way Up' creates just the right dynamic for Zoe’s voice to glide over. She has innate sensibilities toward interpreting melodies and her tone creates a warm feel for the band.
As a band they are a well-rehearsed and professional group of young musicians to keep an “ear” on. As a group they play well beyond their years, and will surely be bringing us great music to listen to for years to come. They are... on 'The Way Up!'"
John Mizenko
Program Director and owner of the Join the Band Music School - Various Sources


Congratulations to our 6 String Theory Guitar Winners!!!

Grand Prize Winner Karl Marino!!! from Laval, Quebec Canada! (classical category)

5 runner ups:

1st Runner Up: Jamie Dupuis from California, USA (country)
2nd Runner Up: Alex Sill from California, USA (rock )
3rd Runner Up: Rami Halperin from Washingtion, USA (blues)
4th Runner Up: Yoav Eshed from Ramat Hasharon, Israel (jazz)
5th Runner Up: Jon Finley from Minnesota, USA (acoustic )

More info on the festival and competition: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/this_week/article_9bcdc842-dc26-11e1-a88d-0019bb2963f4.html

sixstringtheory.com - Lee Ritenour/Six String Theory Contest


"Smooth Groove? CHECK Great melody? CHECK Progressive influences? CHECK Great vocals? CHECK Obviously supertalented musicians? CHECK Anxious to hear more than the free downloaded song I just found? CHECK Band lives in Los Angeles where I might be able to see them perform? CHECK Intention of buying a CD if I find it is available for sale? CHECK Intention of turning on as many people to this band as humanly possible? CHECK
Peace, Darren from Los Angeles CHECK CHECK CHECK!!!!!"-Darren Bennion, Los Angeles, Ca

"Nice sound, such a sweet groove! Love it!" -Susanne Ciufo, Camarillo, Ca
- The Way Up Official Facebook Page


A movie premiere benefiting a paws cause, fans of films and Fidos are invited to attend the red carpet screening of Smitty on March 22, 2012.
A family-friendly flick starring Academy Award winners Mira Sorvino and Louis Gossett, Jr., two-time Oscar-nominated actor Peter Fonda, Jason London, Booboo Stewart from the Twilight franchise and newcomer Brandon Tyler Russell, Smitty tells the tale of a friendship which forms between a boy who has lost his way in life and a dog who has lost his first family due to economic hardship, but gets a new lease on life when he’s adopted from a shelter.
A happening with heart, the big screen premiere– which will include a concert with “The Way Up,” special guest appearances, a silent auction and pet adoptions– will raise funds for Shelter Hope Pet Shop. Staffed and managed by Bark Avenue Foundation, the Thousand Oaks, California pop-up pet shop features adorable adoptables from area shelters and rescues.
Admission: General admission tickets are available for $15, while VIP Event tickets are $50.
When: March 22, 2012 (red carpet event at 4 p.m.; movie screen at 6 p.m.)
Where: Regency Theatre at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks, California - dogtipper.com


Music has always been a passion for 18-year-old high school student Alex Sill. So when it came time to complete his senior project, he always knew that music would somehow be involved. What he never imagined was that this senior project would end up helping dogs in need.

Alex’s family has long-been involved in animal rescue. His aunt, Kim Sill, is the founder of the D Cups Saving Tea Cups animal advocacy group and has also worked closely with a variety of rescue and advocacy organizations, including the Millan Foundation. It was Kim’s work in the rescue world that first inspired Alex to get involved by composing a song for an awareness video about pet overpopulation (check out the video here).

Alex Sill and The Way Up Band, Photo by Bettina Gilois
This song then led to the eventual idea of a benefit concert in support of animal rescue and care. “After visiting two high kill shelters with me, he decided to write music and have a concert to raise money for the local spay clinic in Simi Valley,” said Kim.

More than 100 people attended the March 10 “Music for Life” benefit concert at the West Studios in Simi Valley, Calif. The set list included three original songs written and co-written by Alex and his band mates from “The Way Up” band and several cover songs. The benefit raised $5, 125, all of which went to support the efforts of the Valley Vet Non-Profit Clinic in Simi Valley. “Valley Vet is a group my aunt works closely with and also located close to my school in Simi Valley CA,” said Alex. “What they do to help ameliorate pet overpopulation is great.”

Now with his first benefit concert under his belt, Alex hopes to continue to create awareness and social change with his music. He will continue to study music in college and plans to make a career out of his passion. “I hope that I can always continue to play and write music while helping to save innocent lives of animals, and advocate social stewardship in communities at the same time,” he said. - Cesar's Way (Cesar Millan Foundation)


Santa Susana High School senior Alex Sill is channeling his passion for music into a cause close to his family’s heart.

Music for Life, a benefit concert set for 6:30 p.m. March 10 at 118 West Studios in Simi Valley, is the culmination of Sill’s senior project, which examines how music can be a powerful tool in moving people to action.

In this case, the 18-year-old guitarist is hoping to raise awareness about the overpopulation and high kill rate at animal shelters across the state.

“ A few months ago I had a few ideas floating around in my head about what I wanted to do for my senior project, and I knew it would involve music,” said Sill, who’s played guitar since he was 12. “I thought it would be important to be involved from a social aspect as well so it wasn’t just me writing music, because I do that all the time.”

Inspiration struck when he spoke to his aunt, Kim Sill, an animal activist who’s worked with several rescue groups, including the Bark Avenue Foundation, and with “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan.

“We came up with the idea that I would write music that she would use in her awareness videos,” Sill said.

Taking that idea a step further, Sill decided to host a benefit concert, with the funds to be used locally. All the proceeds will go to Valley Veterinary Clinic, a nonprofit spay and neuter clinic at 1659 E. Los Angeles Ave.

The clinic’s mission is to significantly reduce the overpopulation problems and high euthanasia rates of cats and dogs by providing low-cost spaying and neutering programs.


Valley Vet also helps injured homeless animals and works to educate the public on the importance of controlling the overpopulation of animals.

Although his family has two rescue dogs— Maltese mixes Louis and Gaucho—Sill said he didn’t really understand how big the problem of overpopulation is until speaking with his aunt and seeing it firsthand during a visit to the San Bernardino Animal Shelter, which has a very high kill rate.

“For me, it’s too big for my mind to comprehend how many animals are killed. The conditions at that shelter in particular were pretty squalid,” he said. “ You just walk down these aisles and aisles and aisles of dogs, and they are probably going to be killed in a matter of days, if not that day.

“It’s hard for me to grasp, but it’s really sad.”

Footage from that trip will be shown at the concert. The video will be set to music—an instrumental piece written and performed by Sill for the project.

“I didn’t know how serious an issue it was, how many animals were dying each year in California,” Sill said. “I just saw writing music as a nice medium to tell people what’s going on at the shelters in California.”

Lonnie Sill, who’s been in the music producing and publishing business for 30 years, said he’s proud of his son.

“It’s amazing. He’s driven by his music, and part of his senior project was the power of music . . . and being able to use that in an impactful way that drives people, motivates them—kind of a call to action, that’s what Alex is calling it,” said his father, director of the film and TV division for FirstCom Music.

The concert will include six songs in total, both original and cover tunes, including “Free” by Marcus Miller and “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder. Alex Sill’s band, The Way Up, will perform, and three jazz choir members from Santa Su will join the band to sing the final song, an arrangement of “The Way Up” by Pat Metheny.

The original music from the concert will soon be available online, Sill said, and those proceeds will go toward various animal rescue organizations.

Sill said he hopes concertgoers will walk away with a new sense of how harsh the conditions are for animals in shelters and the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

But he also hopes the music will stir in listeners a personal desire to get involved and make a difference.

“Music is one of the best mediums you can use to get a point across to people. It can - Acorn Newspaper Simi Valley


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Los Angeles based "The Way Up" is a visionary rock fusion band with an evocative sense of melody and harmony. Members Alex Sill (guitar), Bobby Victor (keyboards), Daniel Zuker (bass), Caliber Cleveland (drums), and Zoe Jackson (vocals), came together to create a fresh, innovative sound that merges the electric power of rock, a jazz sensibility, and dazzling musicianship far beyond their years.

Formed in 2010, "The Way Up" presents its own unique interpretations of well known rock/fusion classics, contemporary jazz songs, as well as powerful original material that demonstrates their unique sensibility. Their sound combines the wild intelligence of a Steely Dan, the guitar antics of artists like Guthrie Govan and Kurt Rosenwinkel, the catchy rock-stylings of a Jeff Beck or Led Zeppelin, and also draws inspiration from the Pat Metheny Group among other influences.

"The Way Up" has performed throughout Los Angeles at such venues as "The Catalina Jazz Club," "The Roxy", "The Whiskey", and "Harper's" alongside some legendary musicians including keyboardist/composer Steve Porcaro (Toto, Michael Jackson). Band guitarist Alex Sill was recently featured as one of the top three finalists in Lee Ritenour's International Six String Theory Guitar Competition, where he performed with legends such as drummer Sonny Emory (Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan, Lee Ritenour) and Melvin Lee Davis (Chaka Khan, Lee Ritenour, George Duke). The Way Up have also performed at fund raisers such as "Music Cares" and “Music For Life”, which raised over $5000 toward animal rescue, as well as special occasions such as the recent film premiere of the movie "Smitty" where "The Way Up" performed at the red carpet event.

Their debut EP includes original pieces such as "Leaving Appalachia," in which Jaco Pastorius-like bass lines are answered by catchy and heavy rock licks infused with jazz harmony, topped off by groovy vocal lines and some tasteful guitar solo work. "The Dan Clan," a tip of the hat to Steely Dan, is a groovy up tempo piece filled with clever lyrics that tell the tale of a Steely Dan cult leader and a tight, foot tapping solo section that features rock solid drum beats and screaming improv work from Sill on guitar and Victor on piano. "The Spacey Song (Purpose)" brings a larger sense of orchestration into a band setting through a vast array of instrumentation and dynamics, made memorable by haunting melodies, recurring themes, sparkling vocal harmonies, and lush harmonic layers, showing The Way Up at their best compositionally. "Running From The Monster," is a funky instrumental piece featuring more guitar and keys chops along with jazz harmonies and a sinister groove provided by the drums, bass, and rhythm guitars. And "Dyno Swine Mania," a unique, catchy in your face hard rock fusion instrumental contains some Steve Vai/Guthrie Govan inspired guitar work and sweet Rhodes lines.

Members of “The Way Up” have a long history together, playing together for over five years. Three members now attend CalArts, and one studies at CSUN Northridge, while the singer is still in high school.