Escaper – Fusion From Brooklyn

For the band Escaper, the first thing you see on their website is “The literal definition of Escaper is ‘One who escapes confinement’.”  This is a very apt mantra for this Brooklyn-based five-piece fusion band. Blending elements of funk, jazz, jam and modern rock, they are definitely pushing boundaries and defying categorization.

Escaper at Rockwood

Escaper released their debut album Skeleton Key in 2017. They have just released their newest album, Edge Detection, and they will be touring heavily to support it.

Escaper creates lush sonic landscapes through a blend of intricate guitar, keys, drums, saxophone and bass. They have deservedly been named by Relix Magazine as one of their ‘Five Artists You Should Know About.’

Band members include Will Hanza (guitar, vocals), Andrew Nesbitt (drums), Jay Giacomazzo (bass), Adam Ahuja (Keyboards), and Johnny Butler (saxophone).

Will Hanza has played in numerous bands and has been featured in Guitar World Magazine. The lead guitarist and vocalist has played multiple festivals and iconic venues including Catskill Chill Music Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, SXSW, NAMM, CMJ, Brooklyn Bowl, World Cafe Live and many others. He now also plays mandolin with The Breakneck Boys.

Escaper, photo courtesy of Mixtape Media

Andrew Nesbitt, also referred to as ‘Nez’ by his bandmates, is an accomplished drummer in the scene. Like most other members of the group, Nez also plays in other groups such as Black Bear, The Morning Sea, Meghann Wright, and The Jacks of Kings County. Although drums/percussion is his first love, he is also proficient at guitar, harmonica, and vocals.

Jay Giacomazzo is a talented bassist and composer. He’s been known for his work with Black Atlas, Darkhorse, and Kalen & The Sky Thieves before joining his bandmates in Escaper.

Adam Ahuja is usually performing his original music at venues such as The Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC with his other band, The Flowdown. Ahuja is a national-touring keyboardist who has played with Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Adam has contributed as a studio musician to recordings such as Meatloaf’s Hang Cool Teddybear and has collaborated under Musical Director Dennis ‘Doc’ Williams of The O’Jays.

Johnny Butler has graced the stage with his saxophone at numerous high-profile festivals such as a Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Bear Creek, Gathering of the Vibes, Telluride Jazz, and Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. His other accomplishments include recording with Donald Fagen and Warren Haynes at a Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm’s Studio. Johnny has played with Gov’t Mule at the Beacon Theater. He also sat in with La La Brooks of Phil Spector’s Crystals, The Skeletons Big Band, The Avett Brothers, Dr. John, Fitz and the Tantrums, Counting Crows, moe., Soulive, Sharon Jones and Dap Kings, Trombone Shorty, and the Funky Meters. His most memorable moments are when he worked with Randy Jackson at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles opening up for Stevie Wonder and helping to write and record tenor and baritone saxophone parts on Beyonce’s album 4.

Escaper Edge Detection, courtesy of Mixtape Media

Upcoming Escaper tour dates:

May 4th & 5th – Funkstronaut Productions Present – Blast Off! Scranton, PA
May 11th-13th – Mountain Sky Presents: Grateful for Spring 6th Season Opener Jermyn, PA
May 25th- Elements Lakewood Camping Festival North Eastern, PA
June 7th – Disc Jam Music Festival – Stephentown, NY
August 2nd-4th – 13th Annual Bears Picnic Family Reunion Bain, PA


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