Dyno Jamz began when 7 musicians (Clarke Reid, Saba Samakar, Nick Simmons, Brennan Carter, Ray Larse, Colin Pulkrabek, Walker Adamson) with jazz training and a passion for hip hop came together for a jam session in early 2008. The result was a groove to be reckoned with, and before long the crew acquired a talented emcee (Turtle Toes Aka Turtle T) and scored a few gigs. As full-time students at the University Of Washington, the members of Dyno Jamz aren’t necessarily trying to make it big if you hear us and think “damn, I like the sound of that” then we have accomplished our sole mission. Their debut self titled album features appearances from Andrew “LMF” Savoie, Ray Dalton, DJ Rise, Dice, 5 Flat, Chima (Chieftain), David Balatero, J. Beecher, and Jared Douglas.
Dyno Jamz defies classification. Described as hip-hop for lack of a better term, they are a mash-up of jazz and funky beats and rhymes, which makes for a unique and dynamic musical experience. Pulkrabek gathered friends he had performed with while in jazz band at Roosevelt High School, as well as people he met while playing in other bands. Dyno Jamz eventually grew to include Pulkrabek, senior Walker Adamson on trombone, Larsen and sophomore Brennan Carter on trumpets, junior Clarke Reid on keys, freshman Nick Simmons on bass and junior Saba Samakar on drums. In time they were joined by emcee Zac Millan, a.k.a. Turtle Toes, but not without some struggles.
With the addition of freestyle rap lyrics by Millan, they had the final piece to get the group off the ground. Originally a breakdancer, Millan turned to writing rhymes after having hip surgery a couple of years ago. He began jamming with the group a few months after they came together and this turned out to be the right fit. “I don’t know how he does it,” Adamson said. “His vocabulary is immense. He’s fun to listen to too.He’s got a lot of words rattling around up in there. That’s one of the things I liked about Zac when we first started playing with him.” While some of the group was familiar with hip-hop when they started playing together, others had to adjust to a new style.
“I didn’t really like [hip-hop], until we started playing it,” Carter said. “Getting a different perspective, a different sound … made it a lot better.” The adjustment has been pretty easy however, not only because of how fun the music is but also because of the jazz background many of the members have. The group has been able to draw connections between their usual jazz style and the hip-hop-influenced tunes they play. “We’re familiar with how it feels to create music on the fly, to have that connection with the other people that you are playing with,” Adamson said. “It’s different [though]; … it’s danceable; there’s a rapper; it’s exciting and engaging.”
The biggest difficulty for the group has been their sheer numbers. Most of the group is composed of full-time students, so finding time to practice is a constant struggle and keeping rehearsals workable given the group’s democratic nature is also an issue. In addition to simply going over what music they already have once a week, practices are often spent writing new material. All of the group’s songs are original, and most are the result of collaborations between members. Although most of the group admits the group writing can be slow, it ultimately serves a purpose. “Even Zac, the emcee who doesn’t have a musical background per se, is involved in the musical process. It can make for kind of long and drawn-out rehearsals sometimes when everyone wants to throw ideas out there, but it’s definitely worth it because everyone feels like they’ve contributed something to the final thought,” Adamson said.
But while the members of Dyno Jamz want to take the top spot with its industry-launching potential, most of them hold the same outlook as Pulkrabek: that things are already going well and can only get better. “I just love that I do something that allows people to have a good time,” Pulkrabek said. “Dyno Jamz has so much potential. We’ve got the musicianship on lock, the business side of it; already I’ve seen the band grow so much. I’m just excited for the future really.” (Excerpts courtesy of Haylee Morse-Miller).
Dyno Jamz – Dyno Jamz (Digital Or Hard Copy Purchase)
3. Another Way Ft Dice & Five Flat
4. Just Me And You
5. Lost Dawn Ft Chieftain
8. Universal Love
9. Lunar Ops
10. Kingdom Come Ft Ray Dalton
Dyno Jamz – Footprints
Dyno Jamz Ft Dice & Five Flat – Another Way
Dyno Jamz – Convicted
Dyno Jamz – Universal Love
Dyno Jamz – Lunar Ops
Dyno Jamz Ft Ray Dalton – Kingdom Come