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The origins of Waterseed begin in New Orleans, the birthplace of multi-instrumentalists Lou Hill and J Sharp, the architects of Water Seed’s cool, elemental sound. Preternaturally aware of their paths fairly early, Hill began playing the alto sax in fourth grade while Sharp was developing his piano chops over the three-notes of “Hot Crossed Buns” at the tender age of five. Both learned as children to respect their crafts through studious dedication, rigorous practice schedules, and trying their hand at several different instruments before landing on their primary tools of musical expression, the percussion for Hill and the keys for Sharp, each finding their home. Sharp reared in a home of classical music, engaged in demanding training while nursing concerto circuit dreams. Hill was immersed in the radio R&B and funk of the day and the jazz culture of his storied surroundings. Both formally trained in esteemed music programs, Sharp through the famed NOCCA, the Jazz and Heritage School at Southern University and Dillard University, Hill at the venerated Xavier University. Enter Pasadena bred flautist, Cinese. Inspired by the legendary Bobbi Humphrey, the orchestral-trained Cinese switched to jazz after a 10-year business and school-led hiatus with music. Answering a Craigslist ad for Water Seed, Cinese learned her classical meets jazz foundation found nice complements with Hill and Sharp’s, rounding out their sound. Now, with a 5 piece band that eventually included bass player Marius Tilton and lead vocalist Ryan Johnson, the concept albums soon followed. Their self-released, experimental 2006 EP debut, Two Words, uncovered an avant-garde Water Seed sound, developed enough notice to garner the band an audience & brief attention from Sony Music.
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