Year started: 2007
Major(s): Jazz studies
There is a low murmur in the dimly lit Chris’s Jazz Café on Friday evenings. Patrons begin to settle in for the weekly Sunset Jazz Sessions until they are awakened by the sudden blare of a saxophone: Erronious Krunk has taken the stage.
The jazz and funk band, formed a little more than a year ago, is made up entirely of Temple music students. All jazz studies majors, the band consists of guitarist Frank Velardo, Rob Parks on bass guitar, drummer Alex Maio, Tal Shtuhl on saxophone and vocalist Samantha Rise.
Erronious Krunk began when Velardo and Parks met during a transfer student orientation in 2007.
Parks was coming to Temple after spending time in the army and playing in the Army Band. Velardo was transferring from the University of Pittsburgh, and they met then-freshman Shtuhl soon after.
Rise recently joined the group, but the members knew about her for awhile, Velardo said.
After joining, she began adding lyrics to Erronious Krunk’s previously written songs and is now part of the writing process for new material.
The uniquely spelled “erronious” was an idea the group had while out to dinner one night. It’s actually a play on the name of the famous jazz musician, Thelonious Monk.
“We came up with some pretty serious names,” Velardo said, “but thought this one was lighter.”
Erronious Krunk has a small but growing fan base not only in the Temple community, but also in the Philadelphia jazz scene.
“People have started recognizing us on campus,” Rise said. “They’re like, ‘you’re in the band right?’”
On stage, the band is surrounded by pictures of jazz musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
Velardo is definitely the energized leader of the group. He connects with his guitar and is so in-tune with the music that he and Parks can move in sync with each other without making eye contact.
Shtuhl can also match up with him on the saxophone. Playing with so much power, it is hard to see when he takes a breath.
Rise’s vocals slide in easily with each song and bring the group together nicely.
Frances McInerney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.