The Smiling Islanders
Bringing to the stage potent, dynamic musicianship and naturally danceable energy in a funky mix of rock-related genres, Charlottesville, Va.’s Smiling Islanders formed in August 2014 as the collective brainchild of four students sharing a passion for live performance. Led by frontman David Gray, the group quickly gained momentum in the local music scene and recorded their first EP, Candelabra, in October 2014. Released in April 2015, the record offers six heavily funk- and classic rock-influenced tracks. The band continues to perform extensively in the Charlottesville area and beyond.
Kendall Street Company
Kendall Street Company was founded in the early months of 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Louis Smith and saxophonist Andrew Drehoff. The duo had been playing together for some time in the greater Virginia Beach area, joined by a rotation of talented musicians who performed behind Smith as the Louis Smith Band. After moving to Charlottesville, Va., in late 2012 to attend the University of Virginia, the pair began putting together a group of student musicians, adding Brian Roy on bass/vocals and Ryan Wood on drums/percussion in early 2013 and Price Gillock on keyboards and Bucky Henry on auxiliary percussion later that year.
The band performs regularly in Virginia and throughout the East Coast, maintaining a central presence in the Charlottesville area, which includes live radio performances on WTJU 91.1 and WNRN 91.9 and a debut EP recorded at Blue Sprocket Sound in Harrisonburg, Va. While Kendall Street Company's music is influenced by a variety of musicians and styles, the group has been described as psychedelic, alternative, jammy, rock, indie and ska.
Seven-piece reggae band Positive Collective began as a fortunate encounter in Charlottesville, Va.'s Walnut Creek Park between founding members Greg Ward and Chris Leva (guitar and vocals). Needing subs for a gig, they recruited Gabe Gavin (bass), and the Collective began to take shape, eventually joined by Paul Rosner (drums), Nathan Hawk (sax and vocals), Shallel (keyboard) and Jim Gagnon (percussion and supporting instruments). The band prides itself on performing both classic reggae hits and originals, bringing uplifting messages of peace, harmony and diversity to its music.