Bobby Harris masterminded the formation of the Dazz Band in the late 70s when he combined two Cleveland funk outfits, Bell Telefunk and the Kinsman Grill house band. The result was an eight-piece line-up, with Harris, Pierre DeMudd and Skip Martin III handling horns and vocals, and Eric Fearman (guitar), Kevin Frederick (keyboards), Kenny Pettus (percussion), Michael Wiley (bass) and Isaac Wiley (drums) providing the instrumental support.
Coining the word "Dazz" as a contraction of "danceable jazz," Harris initially named the band Kinsman Dazz, under which moniker they registered two minor US hits in 1978 and 1979. The following year, they signed to Motown Records, where their irresistible blend of dance rhythms and commercial melodies established them as one of the label's hottest acts of the '80s.
Their early albums were firmly in the jazz-funk style pioneered by Earth Wind & Fire and George Benson. They graduated towards a harder, less melodic funk sound, enjoying a US Top 10 hit with "Let It Whip" in 1982, which won them a Grammy award for the best performance by an R&B Vocal Duo or Group.
Notable British success followed with the tougher, sparse rhythm of "Let It All Blow." "Jukebox" marked a transition towards a more rock-orientated sound which brought them continued success in the specialist black music charts, though crossover recognition among pop fans proved more elusive. The band suffered two personnel changes in 1985, when Marlon McClain and Keith Harrison replaced Eric Fearman and Kevin Frederick.
Musical trends may change, one hit wonders may come and go, but if you're looking for the real thing, look no further. The Dazz Band is back in Action! Groove merchants, funk masters and whenever needed – smooth soul men vocals of silk. The group serves up a tasty menu of new, hip-hop music stamped indelibly with that instantly recognizable sound. Originally formed in 1974 by the groups leader and producer Bobby Harris, a decade followed, filled with gold records, Grammys and recognizable hits.
In 1982, "Let It Whip" became a Top 5 Pop Hit, becoming an international smash and earning the group a 1982 Grammy for best R&B performance by a duo art group. More hits followed including "On The One For Fun," "Cheek To Cheek," "Party Right Here" and yet another R&B pop monster – "Joystick." Meanwhile, as a group touring band, the Dazz Band had few equals.
The group tours with such artists as Cameo, Kool & The Gang, The Commodoroes, The GAP Band, Roger Zapp, Earth Wind & Fire, and many many more.
Overseas the band drew critical acclaim and standing room only crowds selling out at such prestigious venues as London's Hammersmith Odeon, where the enthusiastic audience literally stayed on its feet for the group's entire performance. The group had a few change-ups in membership, but never lost its touch, its style, its grace and its magnificent sound known by millions of people as the Dazz Band.
As a reminder to those who may have forgotten, while at the same time introducing today's new audience to their unique blend of funkin' R&B. The Dazz Band presents a slammin' mix of musical jams designed, quite naturally to dazzle the world!...so watch out! The spell has been cast and once you hear the sounds and see the shows, it's guaranteed that the rhythm in your hearts and souls will not allow your body to stop its movement for one second. Let It Whip!
NOTE: Ronnie Laws is unable to perform at Tonite's Show with Dazz Band.