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Chameleon Project plays Vermont this weekend! & in the paper!

The Chameleon

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[color:blue]Thanks to quick musical maneuvering the Chameleon Project will be playing two shows in Vermont with guest drummer Brad Park.

July 31

Vermont Roots Reggae Fest.

Brigham Farm , Grand Isle County, Vt.


line-up and details for the weekend @ www.vermontrootsreggaefestival.org


Ethnic Street Fest.

Rutland Vermont



Info www.rutlanddowntown.com/ethnic.html

The Rutland Herald even wrote a nice story about us...

By Jennifer Bill Staff Writer - Published: July 30, 2009

Toronto has long been touted as one of the most ethnic cities in the world, where more than 140 languages and dialects are spoken. This multicultural city — Canada's largest – paves the way for much cultural expression, and breeds musicians influenced by a melting pot of diverse backgrounds.

Toronto band The Chameleon Project is a precise example of how a group of artists who have developed their musical chops within this culturally rich playground can pull influence from several different genres, toss the sounds into its own melting pot, and cook up a stew of musically diverse proportions.

The Chameleon Project, which produces a concoction of jazz, dub reggae, drum 'n' bass, electronica and other lively beats, is set to provide the soundscape to Rutland's annual two-day Ethnic Festival and Sidewalk Sales, playing two sets of music Saturday starting at 7 p.m. The trio will be coming south from a gig the night before at the three-day Vermont Roots Reggae Festival in Grand Isle County.

"We work with a really rich palette," said guitarist Josh Laing, on the line from Toronto this week. "Like a chameleon, we do straight jazz shows, straight techno, straight reggae, but when we come to Vermont, we will be heavy on the reggae for the Roots Reggae Fest, and for the Ethnic Fest, we will play more of a dancey set, disco-ey, techno, drum 'n' bass fused with dub reggae, with vocal samples to add that element.

"It's a real 'you never know what's gonna happen next' kind of band."

Laing started The Chameleon Project in 2002 as a workshop while he was in the jazz program at Toronto's York University. It became a band in 2003 with a revolving lineup. Laing embraced drum 'n' bass, experimental Jamaican dub reggae, and of course jazz, the latter of which became the perpetual underlying concept lacing through The Chameleon Project's music, which he describes as heavy on improvisational concepts, sleek in transition and rich in tonal color.

The Chameleon Project, comprised of Laing on guitar, real-time sampling and effects, bassist Snappy Homefry and drummer Brad Park, pays much attention to textural detail, ambient effects, and a song's layers.

"We don't just play (a song) from beginning to end, but think about how it is shaped, does it build, does it have a release, is it shaped into something. We're certainly thinking in three dimensions," he said. "(Our music is) textural and spacey, kinda pastoral at times."

In describing the band's vision, Laing speaks to the success of bands within the jam genre that have long enjoyed a devoted fan base, which follows a band from show to show and analyzes the variations of jamming within their songs.

"That's how the Grateful Dead or Phish maintain their interest — they build to a peak and then that peaks hits, and then you are on a ride up to another peak.

"Tension and release is kinda the backbone to live music."

Laing uses an expansive pedal board that enables him to mess around with delays, filters, looping and a host of other effects to play with layers, reverse them, start them, stop them or keep adding on to deepen the song, which he does all on the fly.

"We travel with a lot of effects. Half the time my guitar doesn't sound like a guitar. No pre-set loops, it's all real-time," Laing said. "It's a lot to navigate but we've refined it down to a comfortable dichotomy.

"We jump around and do different styles but there's always a constant theme, which I guess is our sound. Everyone has their sound. We have a real large sound for three people."

The Chameleon Project has put out three albums, including its most recent, the Snappy Homefry-produced "… if it takes all night" in 2008, which Laing said is more representative of the band's sound today.

He said the band has a lot to offer Rutland's Ethnic Festival in terms of music representing diversity.

"As a Canadian band I think that we offer something unique from the very fact that we are not from that country (the United States). Toronto has such a diversity … in the '90s, Toronto was a mecca to drum 'n' bass and jungle (music) — it's very ingrained in us, and along with our jazz background, it creates a unique fingerprint. Plus very few are mixing that with a touch of reggae and jazz harmony.

"Our background and geography forces us to be different and that's something fresh."

The concert's sound system and lighting rig will be provided by Rutland-based sound engineer Neal Jordan.

For more information, check out chameleonproject.com.

Rutland Herald

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