Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Local band Desmond Jones kicks off countrywide tour

January 20, 2016
<p>Saxophonist and vocalist George Falk sings during a performance with the band Desmond Jones on Oct. 2, 2015, at The Loft, 414 East Michigan Ave., in Lansing. Desmond Jones is a local band that is currently on tour in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.</p>

Saxophonist and vocalist George Falk sings during a performance with the band Desmond Jones on Oct. 2, 2015, at The Loft, 414 East Michigan Ave., in Lansing. Desmond Jones is a local band that is currently on tour in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

Photo by Alice Kole | The State News

Starting next month however, the five-person band is hoping to achieve popularity on a larger scale.

Desmond Jones, a band formed mostly by recent MSU alumni, is accustomed to playing local shows in Lansing and the surrounding area, but are now taking their distinctive rock-jazz-funk style out west. The band has shows lined up in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

“We’re expecting it to be a ton of fun. I think that’s the number one thing,” drummer and vocalist John Nowak said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to play for a lot of new people and get our name out there, because Colorado is really important in the scene that most of the bands that we’re affiliated with play in.”

The band’s individualizing lineup includes all five members as vocalists, three guitarists, a bassist, two drummers and a saxophonist.

“My favorite part about this band is that we never don’t try something because of a certain style or anything like that,” guitarist and vocalist Isaac Berkowitz said. “So, like, if someone has a rock song, a prog song, a country song or something like that, we’re always going to play it because it’s music and we like to do it. We’re not going to try to say, ‘we’re a jam band’ or ‘we’re a country band’ or anything like that.”

After the tour, Desmond Jones has some ideas for future projects.

“We’ve been working on a lot of songs,” Berkowitz said. “I think we’ve got something, like, eight or nine songs ready to go that we haven’t performed yet, so we’re just getting those nice and ready to take out of the oven.”

Nowak said the band hopes to play at local and regional festivals this summer.

Before the band goes on tour, residents in the Lansing area can see them perform live at Mac’s Bar on Jan. 30, along with special guests Earphorik and Speak Easy.

Earphorik is from Indiana, and they’re a really, really tight rock, prog, jam band. ... They’re just a really well practiced, really tight band, and they bring a really good energy to the show,” Nowak said. “Speak Easy is a group of MSU students and alumni, and they’re some kids from the jazz program at MSU. ... I think they’re really going to seize this opportunity to bring their fans out and showcase what they’ve got going on.”

Chris Bota, guitarist and vocalist, said the band is proud to come out of MSU and be among the other talented artists from the Lansing area.

“It’s nice, now that we’re starting to get some attention to help other bands that are from MSU,” Bota said. “I think we’ll always say that when we go on, that we’re Spartans.”

Desmond Jones’ most recent studio release, “Thick Cuts,” is available now from multiple sources, including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and the band’s website. Video recordings of all their live shows are available on the band’s online archive.

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