Boasting “Connect, collaborate, create music” as its mantra, Bandaloo is a new national model for exploring music through community that will launch in New Orleans the last weekend in March.
“Beyond the city’s deep pools of eager, diverse musical talents, New Orleans is an obvious choice to begin Bandaloo’s high-minded concept. Music and community are intimately linked here, from the past drumming of Congo Square religious ceremonies to present-day street parades.”
“If I was setting Bandaloo up,” says Nate Donmoyer, a former New Orleans resident and Passion Pit drummer, “I would select New Orleans to do it. It’s the perfect city—the diversity in types of music and it also being such a fertile bed for a meeting of the minds. Plus, there’s all these unique New Orleans subgenres like bounce, zydeco, and then there’s rap, rock, funk and everything all between.”
“Donmoyer hopes to encourage such musical cross-pollination when he comes back to town to serve as a hired “music expert” to facilitate Bandaloo. The effort is supported in part by Venture for America, the same nationwide young entrepreneur initiative that helped launch the career of Donmoyer’s friend Colin Grussing, creator of the New Orleans-based RootSuit, makers of day-glo spandex body-suits that can net as much as $400 on eBay.” Donmoyer no longer drums with indie/electronica icons Passion Pit, but he spoke to OffBeat from Dallas, where he moved from New Orleans with his fiancé and balances life as a musician and IT professional. He was thrilled, he says, to become part of Bandaloo, a concept he buys into whole-heartedly, describing it as “a failure-free environment for musicians to experiment with new types of music and experiment with other artists.”
“What I can offer is my experiences in various genres and levels in the music industry,” Donmoyer explains of his role. “So I’ve done performing on the road with a band and I’ve done putting stuff together in the studio with new players. So I can provide some perspective as [Bandaloo musicians] bounce ideas off each other and help structure any rehearsal or composition.”
Bandaloo begins on Friday, March 27, when musicians gather at Siberia and are meshed into new groups that will compose music on Saturday, before performing their work at Gasa Gasa on Sunday, March 28. The Gasa Gasa shows will act as a contest with the winning group earning comp studio time at the Music Shed. Participation for musicians is $25; for fans, $10.
“My hope is that people will see the benefit of all of us making music across all the subgenres and scenes around New Orleans,” Donmoyer says. “From the kid cranking techno in a dorm room, to a pro playing horns on Frenchmen, to someone writing rhymes in their notebook at school. That entire spectrum has value and to enable people to explore it is the whole goal of the project.”
Visit Bandaloo’s helpful, easy-on-the-eyes website at thebandaloo.com.