Since 1996, The Blur Division has emerged as a strikingly resourceful and multi-faceted group of musicians merely by virtue of their willingness to disregard style or genre in their individual and collective pursuit of creative experimentation. The group has steadily gained prominence in the music community, recording their independently released CD, playing a wide variety of gigs, opening for such internationally prestigious jazz acts as Christian McBride and Larry Coryell, receiving regional radio play and national television exposure, and eliciting unanimous praise from the critics. Based on the strength of their live performances, the band’s energetic and positive spirit has particularly allowed them to indulge their naturally exploratory approach to music making, and likewise communicate effectively with each other and the audience.
James Bennett, the band’s bassist, has been playing and studying the bass since the age of sixteen. He was initially drawn to jazz because it presented a multitude of ways to further explore his instrument rhythmically, harmonically, and tonally. While formally educated, he has strived to keep in mind the origin and essence of jazz, which has always been more involved with feelings and innovation than any reliance on an overly reverential approach. The Blur Division has proved the perfect outlet to allow James to compose and perform music that has the potential to affect everyone in a meaningful way. This has helped to keep the never ending struggle to balance work, family, and music while keeping it all enjoyable.
Chris Cuvier – pianist, keyboardist, and composer – began his formal training which involved traditional classical repertoire, at the age of eight. Upon his exposure to jazz in his junior year of high school, his dedication to exploiting the full tonal and expressive range of the piano was immediately awakened. Having thoroughly immersed himself in the rich history of jazz piano and American popular song, after being inducted into The Blur Division and recognizing the limitless forum for personal expression and experimentation which it presented, his intense interest in composition was also sparked. To this day he has continued to investigate the boundaries of his own imagination and of the sonic palettes available by combining acoustic and synthesized instruments.
Chris Howard began his study of drumming at the age of seven under the tutelage of several influential mentors. After years of devoting himself to mastering the fundamentals of his instrument, his already enthusiastic commitment to music was further stimulated upon his introduction to jazz and the legion of legendary players, past and present, who have established such a commanding legacy in that genre. His developing interest in musics from around the world has been the inspiration for his fusing the drumset with various percussion instruments and effects, yielding an informed yet unpredictable rhythmic framework. Chris has also received endorsements from Evans Drumheads, GMS Drum Company, Paiste Cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.
Although the influences evident in the music of The Blur Division are wide reaching and diverse, their surface characteristics remain secondary to the most significant thread which ties it all together: the band members’ mind set of inclusiveness which has enabled them to reconcile their own natural impulses with the vast wealth of information and technologies now instantly available to them. The band’s ultimate goal has been to make stimulating discoveries concerning their own individual approach to the world of sound, and in the process make their own singular contribution toward bridging the already narrowing gaps between the disparate segments of the global community. And of course, to enlighten and uplift their listeners while doing so.