On New Year’s Eve 2017, soul/funk/groove band J-Calvin band came together and played their first live show for a Durango audience. Since then, the band has released an album, headlined the iAM Music Fest, played a showcase set at the Telluride Jazz Fest, and played more than 150 shows while touring the Western United States.
In January, the band released its first conceptual music video – their first in which the visuals are not just the band playing, that is. Titled “Don’t Stop Me,” the video pairs one of several singles J-Calvin recorded last summer with shots of seven works being created by Seattle-based artist Chris Mighton (who also edited the video together). The result is a smooth, jazz-laced mixture of subtle spontaneity and haunting vocals.
“A lot of people feel like things are holding them back in life,” said Jesse Ogle, who wrote the song. “The idea of the song is that really it’s us holding us back. ... To move forward, I have to basically make that possible from within.”
Ogle is the leader of the band and its bassist. He says the song is notable from a vocal standpoint, as it represents the transition between the band’s former vocalist, Sarah Pumpian, and its new one, Gracie Jessop, who carries the background vocals in the song.
Fans of J-Calvin will be happy to know that the band has started a Patreon and will release exclusive music to subscribers.
As independent artists touring Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, J-Calvin’s mission is not to just build fans bases around the Southwest but also build relationships with other independent artists, Ogle said. The goal is to create a community that will result in artists coming to Durango, and Durango artists being brought to other towns.
When the band isn’t playing or one the road, all five members are instructors at Durango’s iAM Music Institute, teaching kids and adults their various instruments.
For more information, videos, and live tour dates for J-Calvin, visit jcalvinmusic.com.