Tower of Power. Earth, Wind and Fire. Chicago.
Just give it a little bit. The 10-piece Manteca band – with the standard five member rock core and seldom-found horn section – has already made a big splash in the Bay Area thanks to the funky delivery and unique style that earned them the top spot at the 51st annual Hayward Battle of the Bands.
First place. Spinal Tap grew their following by playing to “11” – and if you dial that back just one you’ve got the full range of sound that the South County kids brought to the stage at Chabot College over the weekend.
Two trumpeters? Three saxophone players? A bilingual singer? It’s the perfect combination for Santana’s “Corazon Espinoda” – in native tongue – played just a stone’s throw from where the iconic jam band and its iconic guitarist got its start. And if you ask “Band Mom” Diane Higby it was the perfect time and place for such a performance.
“They have a sound that you haven’t heard for some time,” Higby said. “It’s kind of a rock/jazz/funk sound and that’s really what they used to propel them up for the win. To have four local bands make the Final 12 for an event like that is amazing, and to win it – with that kind of his history – was amazing.
“The judges looked at them like, ‘I can’t believe you just did that.’ It was pretty awesome.”
For the last six months, Time Frame – Andrea Martinez (vocals), Olivia Higby (keyboards/vocals), Allison Boyd (bass), Clayton Johnson (guitar), Will Hager (drums), Jordan Moral (sax), Warren Weichmann (sax), Chucky Garcia (trumpet), Alex Melena (trumpet) and Pete Martinez – have taken what was a pie-in-the-sky concept and turned into something real.
According to Higby, it was GK Music owner Gordon Kennedy that came up with the idea to put the basic rock band together with a horn section, and the search for five brass players capable of complementing their style took them to high schools throughout the area.
Reaching big, she said, set the tone.
“It was all about them searching for the style of music that they all had, and they were able to find it with one another,” she said. “The most amazing thing for me is to see passion in young people for music.
“It was great for them to be able to stand up there together and get that award, but it was all about the music for them. They’re passionate about it – they love playing, and you can just hear that when come out on stage. That’s what makes it so special.”