Galactic at Hollywood ArtsPark: "A New Orleans Throw Down"

A group of college kids with a passion for jammin' and a desire to funk -- that's how NOLA's funkmeisters Galactic got their start in the music biz nearly two decades ago.

"We were all, myself, Rob [Mercurio, bassist], Jeff [Raines, guitarist], and Stanton [Moore, drummer], in school in New Orleans around the same time," recalls keyboardist Rich Vogel. (Harps and horns player Ben Ellman joined later.) "We were all kinda in the clubs checking out music and learning about the local music scene."

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, "home of the funk," Vogel jokes, the keys player moved to the Big Easy to study history and music at Layola University. A "historically informed funk musician" at heart, he fell head over heels in love with the sounds of the city.

"I used to hear them [Rob, Jeff, and the rest of the jam crew] play at house parties and dirty little bar gigs. At one point, I struck up a conversation and said, 'Hey, I think you need a keyboard player,' and they said something like, 'Do you think it should be you?' I said, 'Yes, definitely!' They said, 'Come over.' 

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Laurie Charles
Contact: Laurie Charles