Danielle Ponder & The Tomorrow People. will graciously return to The Station to pair up with R&B/Soul/Jazz powerhouse RC & The Gritz (Erykah Badu’s Band) and local up & coming act Lost Wax for a night of incredible music!!
There will also be an incredible All Star Jam after RC & The Gritz play, more details TBA.
9pm show – 8pm doors
RC & The Gritz
With a well-deserved nomination for “Best Funk/R&B Band” for this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards, The Gritz Band is more of an eclectic super-group than your average hip-hop band. Known by some as Erykah Badu’s band, the group is made up of a diverse mix of musicians from across Texas: RC “Rceeezy” Williams, keyboards; Cleon Edwards, percussion; Braylon “Brother B” Lacy, bass; Claudia Melton, vocals; and Jah Born, MPC (drum machine).
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, RC Williams is the musical director of The Gritz Band. Brought up in a family of strong musicians, RC was introduced to every music genre at a young age. While attending Arts Magnet School in Dallas, he committed himself to learning jazz and synthesizer combinations, while advancing to playing keyboards and the organ for Grammy Award-winning gospel group, God’s Property. RC has performed alongside great musical talents like Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, The Roots, Pharell, Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli, Kirk Franklin, Musiq, Bilah, N’Dambi, Floetry, The Game, Soulive, and many more. RC was nominated for three Grammy Awards for his production and writing on Erykah Badu’s 2003 album, World Wide Underground.
Claudia Melton is the vocalist for nationally praised Dallas-based hip-hop/soul group, The Gritz. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas to a family of vital influencers of South Texas music, Claudia began playing violin at the age of four, piano at eight, and saxophone at 11. Heavily influenced by jazz, her father, Claude Melton, was a former President of the Texas Jazz Festival. Claudia perfected her interests and musical talents with advanced jazz studies at the University of North Texas, where she earned a B.A. degree in vocal performance. Claudia has sung alongside a plethora of talented artists, including Grammy Award-winner Norah Jones, Boys II Men, Erykah Badu, Emily King, Dave Hollister, RL of Next, Anthony David, N’Dambi, Case, Choklate, Wayna, Jaguar Wright, Carl Thomas, Rahsaan Patterson, Liv Warfield, and more. In 2008, Claudia was selected by the International House of Blues Foundation as a master teacher and narrator to implement the Blues School House curriculum for 5th-12th grade students in Dallas public schools. Claudia is riding on the crest of new international acclaim for her latest work, One Hour, a track that pairs her unique vocal melodies with the style of Dallas hip-hop sensation Big J of Clever Monkeys and the production of Irish jazz hip-hop performer G Frequency. Claudia’s current project is her first solo album, which will highlight her skillful vocal talent, influenced by jazz, soul, and some of the hippest music today. You can catch her next performance at the Texas Jazz Festival on October 17th in Corpus Christi.
Drummer of The Gritz Band is Cleon Edwards. A small-town guy, Cleon was born in Ferris, Texas. At the young age of two, he began playing drums alongside his father at their church. With the heavy positive influence of his church, Cleon grew and thrived with his drumming abilities and was soon given opportunities to play with influential musicians such as Bobby Sparks, Elbert Taylor, Jr., Robert Sput Searight, Shaun Martin, Daniel Jones, and many others. Over the years, Cleon has performed with numerous artists, including Talib Kweli, Snarky Puppy, Candy West, Geno Young, Myron Butler and Levi, Tim Clifton, Purpose, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, N’Dambi, Freddie Jones, Terrence Mackey and Nu Restoration, Jaguar Wright, and Rahsaan Patterson. He is currently “keeping the pocket strong” for RC and The Gritz Band along with the legendary Erykah Badu, and is currently working on his new album, entitled Musik’s Mind.
Another native Dallasite, Braylon Lacy is the band’s bassist. He has collaborated with such musical talents as Marcus Miller, Waymond Tisdale, and Layla Hathaway.
Jah Born, the band’s MPC player, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Dallas. Violin, cello, and bass were all instruments Jah picked up at the early age of nine. Raised by a father who was a pioneer of the art of DJing, at the age of 12 Jah was given his first set of turntables and a mixer, a gift from his father, who encouraged his son to become a disc jockey. By the time Jah let his music career flourish, he was collaborating with Erykah Badu and began making music with The Gritz Band. Jah currently plays shows with his other band, Cannabanoids.
With a group like this, Dallas should count its blessings. When it comes to The Gritz, hip-hop never sounded so good.