Federator N°1 is a big family.
Our Core Personnel:
- Jonathan Gramling (Vocals)
- Lilla D’Mone (Vocals)
- Ryan Edwards (Drum Kit)
- Bob Pilkington (Trombone)
- Dillon Zahner (Guitar)
- Andy Dow (Bass)
- Harjinder Singh (Guitar)
- Matt Jenson (Keys)
- Jason Torrey (Bari Sax)
- Jeff Claassen (Trumpet)
- Richard Dye (Tenor Sax)
- Ernesto Diaz (Percussion)
- Erich Ludwig (Shaker/Clave/etc + Management)
- Clarissa Monét (Dancer)
Some of the other projects of these folks can be found on our Family page
Other fantastic folks who have joined us on stage include:
- Kenny Kozol (Percussion)
- Sean Skeete (drum kit)
- Mark Hamilton (Trombone)
- Michael Hurwitz (keys)
- Kelley B (Trumpet)
- Matt Joseph (Trumpet)
- Dokun Oke (Guitar)
- Ernesto Diaz (Percussion)
- Yaure Muniz (Trumpet)
- Matt Langley (Saxaphone)
- Dave Harris (Trombone)
- Stan Strickland (Tenor Sax)
- Wesley Maples (Tenor Sax)
We’ve shared the stage with some fabulous artists & groups like:
- Oumou Sangare (Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
- Freshlyground (Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
- Toubab Krewe (Middle East Club, Cambridge, MA)
- Groundation (Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
- The Barr Brothers (Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
- Zili Misik (Church of Boston)
- Full Tang (Church of Boston, Lizard Lounge)
- Uhuru Afrika (multiple locations)
- Zongo Junction (Middle East, Cambridge, MA)
- Ghost Owl (Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA)
- Berklee’s Bob Marley Ensemble (Johnny D’s)
- Foundation Movement (multiple locations around Boston, MA)
- Hi Fi Monk (multiple locations around Boston, MA)
- we’ve also performed solo at private functions around New Hampshire and Massachusetts…
BIOS of the CORE of the band:
Bob Pilkington (Trombone): Bob is a performer, composer, and arranger who has appeared with Dave Holland, Bob Brookmeyer, the Brecker Brothers, Jimmy Guiffre, Dave Holland, Paul Horn, Dave Liebman, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, and others. He has recorded with Bob Moses, JCA featuring Julius Hemphill and Sam Rivers, and Aardvark Jazz Orchestra.
Erich Ludwig (Hand Percussion): Erich grew up playing piano & french horn. He developed a passion for dance & percussion during college, lived in Mali & Guinea to study both the percussion and dance, and has been playing for dance classes since 1998. Erich handles management and booking for the band, and is on twitter @soungalo
Jonathan Gramling (Vocals): Born in Philadelphia, Jonathan has always had a passion for music with soul. A singer since the age of 3, music has allowed him to explore the world. As co-founder of critically acclaimed Afropolitan band Soulfège, he has performed on four continents in a variety of languages and genres. His deep interest in discovering the roots of soul music around the world has led to collaborations with many artists, notably Grammy-winning Dancehall Superstar Bounty Killer; UK based, Super-Producer Tippa Irie and many others. When not performing with Federator or Soulfège, he can be found singing with the reggae massive Hot Like Fire, or engaged in one of many writing and recording projects.
Lilla D’Mone (Vocals): Lilla is a graduate of Berklee School of Music, and worked with and shared the stage with Mos Def, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ciara, Kenny G, Boyz II Men, Pussycat Dolls, Wu-Tang, Bill Summers of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Kermit Ruffins, and Talib Kweli. She’s played all over the world from Kingston Jamaica, to Beijing China. As a performer, she has the ability to connect with any audience and communicate music’s deepest emotions. Lilla is on twitter@lilladmone
Matt Jenson (Keys): Although blues and jazz were Matt’s first musical loves, the call to Afro-Cuban styles has always occupied a strong current in his musical demeanor. Matt has played in various Latin bands in the Boston area (including Cincoson, Manguito, Grupo Fantasia and others) and leads his own Latin sextet, Combo Sabroso. Matt had the opportunity to study with his Latin piano idol, Mr. Eddie Palmieri as a part of the Salsa Meets Jazz seminar at Goddard College (VT) during the summer of 2001.
Bob Marley was a simmering musical vibration in Matt’s early years, but it wasn’t until later that he became OBSESSED! His latest reggae explorations can be found in his latest musical endeavor, Rebel Tumbao.
In the Fall of 2001 Matt joined the faculty at Berklee College of Music in the piano department, teaching studio piano and a Latin piano lab. Matt’s calling to Marley presented him with an amazing opportunity to help further the legacy of that musical visionary which resulted in his creating a performance studies class entitled, “The Music and Life of Bob Marley” which has become a smash-hit at the college and at other locations in the US where he teaches it.
Bringing it to afrobeat brings Matt’s journey one step further.
Ryan Edwards (Drum Kit): Ryan Edwards is a career musician for dancers. From a beginning in big band jazz, to an extensive study in West African music and dance, he has been on the path to make people dance since he began in music. For 10 years led annual adventure-travel missions to Guinea, West Africa to a school he founded and built called Illymanya.
Currently interested in interdisciplinary art and performance work, he continues to explore music, installations and design for dance including modern and ballet.
Ryan is a New Music America Grant Recipient and travels extensively to perform and compose music for dance. He holds a performance degree from Berklee College of Music with a minor in Africana Studies.
He has been featured on many recordings as a composer, arranger, soloist, percussionist and drumset player. Ryan is most proud to be a father of two beautiful children, Jafiah and Maya. He loves to sail, play soccer and cook good food.