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Columbus-based jazz band Radarhill aims to inspire audiences with twist on the genre

Columbus-based jazz band Radarhill aims to inspire audiences with twist on the genre

Originally published in The Post.

Radarhill, a jazz quintet out of Columbus, wants to use its music to inspire audiences to open their minds to new genres.

Columbus-based jazz quintet coins its name, along with its album, from a historical trail not far from The Ridges.

Radarhill hopes to intrigue and inspire audiences with its eclectic style of jazz on the Casa Nueva stage Thursday night.

Radarhill initially began after founder Jordan Reed (saxophone), who was attending Ohio State University at the time, connected with friends and Ohio University alumni Caleb Miller (keyboard), Eli Chambers (bass) and Troy Kunkler (percussion).

“The group started as a quartet,” Nick Simko, the trumpet for the band, said. “I moved back to Athens and joined up in the fall of 2014.”

The band describes its genre as “indie jazz” and appeals to the members in different ways.

Simko said Radarhill draws a lot of inspiration from Kneebody, a band that uses the same instrumentation and set up.

“It’s based on present composition and present improvising, and that has always been something I’ve liked a lot,” Miller said.

The band aims to create music that appeals to everyone while also intriguing those who may not listen to genres such as jazz.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between the conservatory and the local dive,” Simko said. “We’re all music students, so we speak that language, but a lot of the average listeners might not know or really care about the complexities that are put into these compositions.”

Miller said the formation of the band was immediately able to happen in Athens, and no matter where the group played, they felt welcomed.

The band’s first album, The Yields, was recorded at The Ridges Auditorium in the summer of 2014.

“They recorded that album up at The Ridges as a quartet,” Simko said. “I actually recorded with Steve Van Dyne (a producer) in his home studio, and then he added that onto the tracks.”

The musicians hope to create an atmosphere that will help audiences better appreciate new styles of music.

“I would like the audience to take away … more of an appreciation for new, original music,” Simko said. “Hopefully it broadens their horizons on what they listen to, and maybe it’ll inspire them to check out some new music.”

By inspiring audiences, Radarhill also wants people to take away what they want from its live performance.

“I firmly believe in letting the audience put their own feelings into what they hear and take their own experiences out of it,” Chambers said.

 

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