A NEW BRAND OF SKA.
In 2012, this unprecedented project both in size and pedigree got international attention well before anyone outside its inner circle heard even a single note. The ska world knew something magical was brewing on the west coast of the U.S.: an amalgamation of forces this music had never seen before, forming the world’s premier ska supergroup.
The ska orchestra was also augmented by internationally acclaimed jazz artists to round out the group setting a new bar soaring new heights within the genre. This project offered and continues to offer listeners of jazz, world music, Latin, and Jamaican music everything they are looking for- organic, danceable, & exciting music. WST is grounded in all of the styles they incorporate into their music: the rhythm section is of the highest caliber in replicating the original Jamaican roots sound as well as Latin rhythms while the horn players are top level, seasoned jazz “beasts” as they are called in the scene.
Fast forward to today, three years after they made their first public announcement to record an album commemorating 25 years of West Coast ska and 50 years of Jamaican ska, they have announced the recording of their new album. Their sophomore release brings out a rougher and tougher side to this group. It digs deeper into more obscure and heavier cuts from the golden era of ska- the early 1960’s.
With musicians like Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Danny Janklow, Adam Schroeder, Michael Stever, Sean Billings and others from LA’s elite big bands: The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Bob Mintzer Big Band, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra this group is unquestionably legitimized from the jazz side. The rhythm section comprised of world renowned musicians like Joey Altruda, Korey “Kingston” Horn (Aggrolites), Scott Abels (Jimmy Cliff, Hepcat), Brian Dixon (Aggrolites), Fredo Ortiz (Yeska, Beastie Boys) give WST Ska Orchestra it’s flawless “old school” traditional Jamaican roots sound.
Another defining element in this second recording is the variety of well-known vocalists from the ska world featured on it. Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Vic Ruggiero (The Slackers), Chris Murray, Colin Giles, The Expanders, Greg Lee and Alex Désert (Hepcat) all play a central role in the sound of this album.
This is an exciting time for this unique and groundbreaking orchestra who have performed on national television, enjoying international radio airplay, headlining jazz festivals, playing Opera houses, and performing huge outdoor concert series. WST’s upcoming album is sure to make waves on all continents. Stay tuned.