Uptown feat. Erich Cawalla & Jenifer Kinder
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Uptown feat. Erich Cawalla & Jenifer Kinder

Shillington, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Shillington, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Funk


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



"Review from The Urban Music Scene - The Uptown Band - Waiting for Her"

The promising 2010 debut "Waiting For Her", from Philly area based collective known as The Uptown Band, blends a fine concoction of Jazz, Funk, Rock & Pop. Consisting of band leader Erich Cawalla on Lead Vocals and Saxophone, Co-Lead vocalist/Percussionist Jenifer Kinder, Mike Schwartz on Guitar/Vocals, Musical Director Dave Fenwick on Keyboards/Vocals, Lamont Bates on Bass/Vocals. Omer Godinet on Drums/Vocals and last, but certainly not least, Robin Church on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, this band is one to be looked out for in the coming months and beyond.

Opening selection, "You Treated Me Good", is Blue Eyed Soul at it's finest ! It's finger snapping groove, coupled with the fine vocals of Erich and Jenifer, is a funky little head bopping track. Strong melody, great band performance, and a tasty sax solo ! A strong introduction to an above average disc.

"I'm Breathless", is a mellow mid tempo number featuring Jenifer on lead vocals and background vocals. Nice melody, feel good lyrics of how one would appreciate their HOPEFUL significant other.

Album title track, "Waiting For Her", is an instrumental track that features Erich on saxophone. A toe tapping groove, played in a soul shuffled feel, along with the multiple dubbed sax parts, have the makings of a Smooth Jazz radio add. It'll remind one of a Rippingtons track, but hey, that's OK ! We all know how great The Rippingtons are, so they're in good company.

On their version of Eddie Holman 1970 R&B classic, "Hey There Lonely Girl", it features Erich flexing his impressive 3 1/2 octave lead vocal falsetto. The band arrangement is fairly consistent with the original and performed magnificently.

"That's All", a 1953 Nat King Cole standard, features Erich singing in his natural tenor voice and acoustic piano courtesy of album producer Marty Mellinger. Late night smoke filled jazz club with a lone spotlight on Erich is what you should be imagining as you're listening to it. Very nice !

A track the band covered that DEFINITELY raised my eyebrows is the Shirley Murdock R&B Quiet Storm nugget, "As We Lay".... Wow ! Who knew ?!?! ... But don't let what I just said mislead you, ... THEY PULLED IT OFF !!!! Sounds damn good ! The late Roger Troutman, and hopefully Shirley herself would be proud. Jenifer performed those vocals within her range and the acoustic piano of Marty Mellinger blended very well together.

My favorite cut on this CD and one that I'll have in heavy rotation in my iPod is the David Fenwick penned track "Anthem" ! It's exactly what the title states, an "ANTHEM" ! Think Dave Grusin's "Hill Steet Blues" without it sounding like too much Dave Grusin's "Hill Street Blues". Great acoustic performance from David, shaker & triangle stylings, and a great support performance from the band overall made this a joy to listen to.

Other noteworthy tracks on this disc, "Come Back To Me", "Way Too Good For You", "Since I Don't Have You", "Fall Down" and "I Can't Get Started", are fine indications this band will be around for years to come ! The music industry need more bands like this. Check them out in concert when they play in your town, as "The Uptown Band" defines the term "road dogs".

Happy Listening ! - The Urban Music Scene - Randy Mahon

"Review from Smooth Jazz Therapy - The Uptown Band - Waiting for Her"

With the vocals of Erich Cawalla and Jenifer Kinder at its heart the Philadelphia based Uptown Band is one of the northeast’s most versatile live acts. Now, courtesy of the new CD ‘Waiting For Her’, this tight seven piece collective is about to step out and take its musical ambitions to a whole different audience.

This hugely eclectic mix opens with the first cut slated for radio; the soul tinged ‘You Treated Me Good’ where although the contribution of Cawalla on sax and vocals is significant, the power of The Uptown Band as an ensemble is equally evident. Elsewhere an authentic cover of Eddie Holman’s seminal ‘Hey There Lonely Girl’ is tailor made for the high falsetto to which Cawalla can effortlessly shift while with the timeless ‘That’s All’ he take a nostalgic look back to the fifties and a musical age when romance was still king. The band digs even deeper for the Billie Holiday classic ‘I Cant Get Started’ for which Cawalla on sax is first-rate but such is the variety that ‘Waiting For Her’ provides, the band is quickly back to the present for the R & B flavoured ‘Way Too Good For You’ where hot vocals from Kinder complement another excellent horn arrangement.

The liltingly mid tempo ‘Since I Don’t Have You’ has a warm ‘feel good’ vibe which provides a cool platform for the guitar of Mike Schwartz. Later, when the band slip into instrumental mode the result is the feisty brass enriched title track and the groove remains horn driven for the up tempo ‘Fall Down’ that, in the end, is all about the energy that Cawalla’s fervent vocal delivers.

Percussive and spicy ‘Come Back To Me’ features more nice vocals from Kinder and she is again at the center of everything for the tender yet heartfelt ‘As We Lay’ which includes outstanding piano from the album’s producer Marty Mellinger. Kinder stays in vocal control with a nice interpretation of the Scott Verret composition, the pop tinged ‘I’m Breathless’ but in the final analysis a true Smooth Jazz Therapy favourite is ‘Anthem’ where David Fenwick on piano is magical. In every respect this is a tune in search of a movie score.

‘Waiting For Her’ is an accomplished collection that ably transports the band’s undisputed live prowess to the recording studio. Worth checking out. - Smooth Jazz Therapy - Denis Poole

"Review from JazzWeekly.com - The Uptown Band - Waiting for Her"

Lead by Erich Cawalla and Jenifer Kinder, The Uptown Band is a Philly-based group that sounds like it was made for hire at parties. They’ve got a real “live” sound, and punch out both pop standards and originals that want you to get on the dance floor. Cawalla’s tenor is meaty with extra fat, as on his featured chestnut “I Can’t Get Started” while the whole band gets the joint jumpin on the title track. Cawalla
delivers an updated take of the doo wop classic “Hey There Lonely Girl”, while the reggae-tinged “Since I Don’t Have You” is quite a delight. The originals like “Fall Down” and “Come Back To Me” are contemporary pop fare, and service the desire to grab your partner quite well. Sort of an East Coast take of LA’s Big Daddy Voodoo band, and there’s nothing wrong with that. - JazzWeekly.com - George W. Harris

"Review from Pop Journalism Canada - The Uptown Band - Waiting for Her"

The Uptown Band featuring Erich Cawalla and Jenifer Kinder exploded on the Pennsylvania jazz scene with their energetic live shows that have captivated audiences in the region (do yourself a favour and search for The Uptown Band on YouTube for a wealth of live gigs). Fortunately, The Uptown’s have turned all those hours of wild gigging into a collage of sounds where hard-driving funk meets blue-eyed soul with patchworks of modern pop thrown in for good measure. The opening track, “You Treated Me Good,” gets the ball rolling with a head-bopping funk groove that leads to the slow-burning ballad “I’m Breathless” in which Kinder really shows off her awesome vocal range. From here, the album gets a bit weird – on “Hey There Lonely Girl,” Cawalla goes full out Bee Gees with his impressive falsetto. It’s one of those moments which listeners will either absolutely love or loathe. After this display, Kinder comes in with the pop-salsa “Come Back To Me,” which sounds like a forgotten mid-80’s Madonna track. Besides those two bruises, The Uptown Band still manage to knock this debut out of the park with solid covers of The Skyliners’ “Since I Don’t Have You” and Nat King Cole’s “That’s All”. - Pop Journalism Canada - Jason Gladu


December 2010 --- "Merry Christmas Baby" (Single) --- Received radio airplay on close to 100 stations nationwide including adds on 3 Clear Channel stations in Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

February 2010 --- debut CD "Waiting for Her" (Independent) --- Currently receiving terrestrial radio airplay throughout the world and on Satellite/Internet stations such as DMX Radio, AOL Radio, and Pandora.

2004, Jenifer's debut CD "Show Me More"
(Waterfall 440)




PUBLICITY: Tom Estey Publicity and Promotion
(508) 451-5246

RADIO: Adam Leibovitz - ASL Music Media and Promotion
(949) 448-9444

BOOKINGS: Erich Cawalla
(610) 781-8312

The Uptown Band featuring Erich Cawalla and Jenifer Kinder is one of the country's most versatile live bands. In an age where many of the songs on radio possess a similiar beat, The Uptown Band's sound proves quite unique. With an Adult Contemporary mix of Jazz, Funk, Rock, and Pop, this group does not miss both at their live shows and as recording artists. The Uptown Band is based out of the Philadelphia area and travels nationwide for performances at festivals, concerts, clubs, and private events.

Tracks from the band's debut CD "Waiting for Her" are receiving significant radio airplay throughout the world. The band has been featured twice on NBC's "All Night With Joey Reynolds" in New York and will be appearing on the NBC 10 Show in Philadelphia this spring. Along with internationally-acclaimed publicist Tom Estey and radio promoter Adam Leibovitz, they are poised to chart a song in the coming year.

Erich Cawalla combines a hard-working attitude with a very rare talent. As a BMI affiliated songwriter, he has been professionally entertaining audiences since 1998 and is proficient on lead vocals, saxophone, flute, and clarinet. Although he possesses a degree in Accounting, his love for music was evident long before he became a full-time musician in 2003. He has appeared as a sideman with Marie Osmond and The Skyliners. Erich spends countless hours each day "behind the scenes" booking shows, marketing, advertising, hiring musicians, and promoting the band in every way possible.

Jenifer Kinder is quite simply a vocal phenom. She has been singing since the age of 5. She began studying voice at age 8 with David Rutt and became heavily involved with the Reading (PA) Civic Opera and Genesius Theatre, landing leading roles in “Annie,” “The Music Man,” and “Peter Pan.” At age 14, she began working with producer Scott Verret and recorded jingles, commercials and theme songs for Easter Seals and The United Way. In combining her incredible vocal talent with her songwriting skills, Kinder has become one of the most sought-after female vocalists in the Northeast. In 2004 she released her original debut CD entitled “Show Me More,” which is available at www.waterfall440.com.

Besides being partners on stage, Erich and Jenifer are also real-life partners and in June 2010, surprised a crowd of 1,000 people by marrying on stage at a hometown show in Shillington, PA.

Atlantic City Beach Fest - Atlantic City NJ
Berks Jazz Fest - Reading PA
Bethlehem Musikfest - Bethlehem PA
Gerald Veasley's Jazz Base - Reading PA
Hershey Theatre - Hershey PA
Kipona Festival - Harrisburg PA
Luhrs Performing Arts Center (Opening Act for Jeff Dunham) - Shippensburg PA
Nugget Live Music Night - Reno NV
Punxsutawney Groundhog Festival - Punxsutawney PA
Reading City Park Band Shell Concert Series - Reading PA
Resorts Casino - Atlantic City NJ
Springettsbury Township Concert Series – York PA
Wildwood Convention Center - Wildwood NJ