by Kalyn Oyer
Jonathan Scales started playing the steel pan at college when his friends convinced him to join the Appalachian State steel band. Fortunately for everyone else, it was love at first ping.
Since then, the steel pan player and the leader of the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra has won over the jam band world with his brand of smooth tropical jazz. Scales and company have also gotten the chance to play with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones’ Victor Wooten and Howard Levy. Come on, we know you’re jealous.
“It was a dream come true working with Victor,” Scales says. “Listening to Béla Fleck & the Flecktones religiously was a huge part of my development as a musician, so it’s really unbelievable to have one of my role models work with us. And of course, it was an honor to work with the world’s greatest harmonica player, Howard Levy.”
The Fourchestra breaks the mold with their innovative improv style, mixing contemporary grooves with that old-school rhythmic flavor. Scales explains, “We are a steel pan-fronted jazz-fusion power trio on a wild ride through rhythm, harmony, and melody, if I had to sum it up in one sentence, but I’d rather you get the first impression at the live show. See you there.”
The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra plays at the Pour House June 4 at 9 p.m.