Kelvin Underwood's Space Challenger


Performing in the 2014 Green Show Wednesday, October 1.

This is their first season in the OSF Green Show.

Pop meets Hip-Hop meets Jazz in the lyrical "Space Challenger".

KELVIN UNDERWOOD: Taiko and percussion artist Kelvin Underwood began his professional music career with pioneering Taiko ensemble Za Ondekoza from 1994-1998.  He left the ensemble to study music and percussion at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA from 1999-2003.  Once his studies at Berklee were complete he moved to California and began working with the highly acclaimed Taiko group On Ensemble and created his own Taiko project “Meidoko” (may-doh-koh).  Meidoko is a slight departure from any conventions found in the Taiko world. The group explores the common thread of their highly energetic style of drumming, Jazz, Alternative Rock and the music of the Brazilian fight/dance Capoeira.

Kelvin has worked extensively as a Taiko workshop leader, drum set performer and instructor, performed percussion in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Death and the King's Horseman, Ruined, Henry V, and Paradise Lost with composer and conductor Eric Whitacre. He has recently collaborated with Ugandan vocalist and kalimba artist Samite, Ashland, Oregon's Dancing People Company and some of Southern Oregon’s finest musicians. Currently, Kelvin further explores his talents as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist in his most recent project “Space Challenger”. The classic Pop song structure, Hip-Hop rhythm and lyricism, Jazz harmonies and introspective lyrical content are the primary focus in this setting.

STEVE DAVIDSON: Steve Davidson is one of the most versatile and creative saxophonists to come from the Rogue Valley. Steve has a Bachelor's in Saxophone Performance from the University of Oregon and a Master's in Saxophone Performance Pedagogy from Arizona State University.  Steve's performances with jazz greats include Peter Erskine, John Faddis, T.S. Monk, Mel Martin, and Frank Vignola, Steve currently lives in Ashland, where he teaches Jazz Performance at Southern Oregon University and performs regularly with his band The Steve Davidson Group.

TRISTAN GUTNER: A native of Boston, Tristan Gutner began playing the double bass at age 21. He has immersed himself in jazz, hip hop, Indian classical music, and folk musics from around the world. During his musical journey Tristan has had the good fortune to play with many master musicians, most notably legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp. He cites music as a main catalyst in expanding his consciousness and illuminating the interconnectedness of all things.

Space Challenger on Community: Space Challenger presents music and a live performance that is suitable for a very wide audience. All of the things we love about popular forms of music are explored in this setting. All lyrical content is appropriate for all ages, and those of the Alternative Rock, Hip-Hop and R&B listening demographic. Those who come to be moved by Kelvin Underwood's accessible lyrical content, and who love to dance are encouraged to attend any Space Challenger performance.