Sweet Emma Band’s eclectic blend of jazz, blues, folk gospel and soul, delivers “hot stuff for ears on the edge that want some real (and tasty) meat on their musical bones.” - Chris Spector, The Midwest Record
What began as a group of strangers brought together to create new music continues to blossom and develop into a melting pot of artists who’s energy and bond oozes from their collaborative song style and interpretation. Hailing from around the world, this international team has wowed audiences throughout Europe with their joyful re-imaginings of old folk tunes, soul stirring original songs and high energy stage performance.
Like the band’s namesake, New Orleans jazz pianist Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the group is made up of horns, vocals, groove and keys – swapping out piano for the unforgettable sound of the Hammond organ. Featuring Chanda Rule, the soul-jazz singer from Chicago's South side, who pianist Kirk Lightsey calls "the most amazing, elegant, mesmerizing, and altogether greatest singer I've seen in the last 30 or 40 years," and Hammond organist and groove man Jan Korinek, Sweet Emma band goes to the very roots of soul, mixing Southern work songs, spirituals, traditional songs from Africa and NU GROOVES. Rule, influenced by “old-school” gospel music from her grandparent’s store-front church, and the earthen grooves of Korinek’s Hammond organ make a contemporary progressive rock crossover meets Harlem gospel vibe which is the core of the band’s sound.
The group’s debut album, Hold On, a mix of soulfully arranged American work songs, blues and gospel favorites was labeled “compelling and distinctive” by London Jazz News and “a fun ride of creative jazz” by The Jazz Word. Blues Blast Magazine wrote: “Expressive vocals, cool arrangements and beautiful musicianship make this an extraordinary album….She [Chanda Rule] and her band are the real deal!”
With their latest music compilation, Every Sing Moment, (available Spring 2023) Sweet Emma steps fully into original music composition – showcasing compelling lyrics that speak the heart’s language, lush and grooving horn lines and organ stylings that make you move.
Through their lyrics, melodies, performances and presence, Sweet Emma Band aims to share their joy of music, and believes that the power of song and melody spreads love that can change the world.
Sweet Emma Band:
Chanda Rule, vocals; Jan Korinek, Hammond B3; Osian Roberts, saxophone; Hermon Mehari, trumpet; Paul Zauner, trombone; Mickylee, guitar; and Oliver Lipensky, drums.
Chanda Rule’s (USA) genre-defying voice has graced musical projects that include collaborations with Kirk Lightsey and sax powerhouse Donny McCaslin. She has also performed as an opening act for Kamasi Washington, India Arie, and Regina Belle and The Whispers. Hammond organist Jan Korinek (CZ) has been spreading joy for the last 25 years, performing with his projects and international artists, such as George Freeman, Chick Willis, Sharon Lewis, Chris Cain and many others. Trombonist, producer and music lover Paul Zauner (AT) never gives less than everything he has each time he takes the stage. He has performed and recorded with many jazz and blues greats, such as Gregory Porter, Dwight Trible, Jean Toussaint, Kirk Lightsey and others. Award-winning trumpeter and composer Hermon Mehari (USA) mesmerizes audiences internationally with his outstanding melodies and has performed with many great musicians such as Aaron Parks, Joe Sanders, Hubert Laws, and Randy Brecker. Coming from Wales, saxophonist Osian Roberts, who has been performing around the world for more than a quarter of a century, is essential for the Sweet Emma Band with his tasteful bluesy-bebop solos. Guitarist and film composer Mickylee, recently collaborated with John Stowell and Ulf Bandgren and is known as on of the top Jazz/Fusion guitar players in Europe. Soulful drummer Oliver Lipenský (CZ) is the newest member, and heartbeat of the Sweet Emma Family.