LaFrae Sci & S H U N G I T E – Folk Fusion (arr. by LaFrae Sci)

Musicians clear the way for new adventures in sound.
Jazz Folk Fusion blast – emphatic, innovative and enjoyable.

Under Groove Diplomacy umbrella, LaFrae Sci launched a new band in Krasnoyarsk/Siberia called SHUNGITE. (pronounced shun-geet)

“I knew I wanted to build a band that was different and filled with energy. I wanted every song to stand out and be crammed with joy. I was the first jazz teacher to teach in this part of Siberia where outside of the Philharmonic orchestra, there are no other playing opportunities for young people,” says Sci who is very proud of the evolution of her students who are now professional level musicians.

SHUNGITE is an offshoot from the 7-year Youth Big Band collaboration between LaFrae Sci / Groove Diplomacy and the Ivanov Radkevich College of Arts in Krasnoyarsk / Siberia. Over the last 6 years, LaFrae has taught jazz improvisation, theory, and written and arranged 3 major jazz orchestral presentations with the students including The Master and Margarita Meet Jazz, Time Traveler Suite, and ENERGY. The members of Shungite are graduates from LaFrae’s program.

The name of the band comes from the name of the rock shungite that is known for its healing and purifying qualities. Folk traditions heal us, and bring us together while honoring our past, living in the present, and reaching for the future.

LaFrae Sci and SHUNGITE play a blend of African American and Siberian folk, jazz, Afro beat, blues with a mix of Siberian throat singing, and instruments – accordion, domra, balalaika – and electronica. They call it electro jazz folk fusion – a new sound in world music. Siberian Sound!

LaFrae says: “I am African American. African American folk music is the blues. The Blues is the mother of Rock. My Mother is Nigerian, and my Father is Afro-Cuban. Shungite is a unity of my culture and Siberian Sound as our presentations combine Blues, Rock, Nigerian rhythms, Afro-Cuban rhythms, with Siberian folk songs and instrumentation in a modern, electronic interpretation with jazz improvisation. A most diverse combination of folk traditions that also includes Ableton Live and moog synthesizer sounds marrying acoustic, analog and digital musical possibilities creating a sound we call “electro jazz folk fusion” where the groove is king”.

Currently the band has just finished a CD, and they are organizing an international tour.