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KAS

A Biography

[ KASMOLOGY ]

 

     

     KAS, Producer, Songwriter, and Bandleader is the founder of Popp Records, POPP INCORPORATED, Solar Sudanese Music Publishing, and co-founder of the BLACKAPALOOZA Music Tour.

     Known as the 'Godfather of Urban Alternative R&B Music', for over twenty years KAS has been a driving force on the local and national music scene. Starting with ONYX in 1978, (ONYX was Detroit’s first reggae band and one of the first all American reggae bands with a major record release.) Later to be known as, ONXYZ: Primal Electric Band by their many fans. ONXYZ were pioneers by combining elements of funk, rock and jazz with reggae, ONXYZ has always maintained spiritual, social and political messages in their music, and one of the first reggae bands that featured women musicians prominently, as well as, singers. ONXYZ represented Detroit on the national music scene with their sound, pioneered, and exposed their unique sound to masses by playing to crossover audiences to in order to broaden its appeal. ONXYZ shared the stage with the Parliament-Funkadelics, Brides of Funkenstein, Was Not Was, Ohio Players, One-Way, Oliver Lake, Straight Ahead, Defunkt, Bad Brains, SWV, Alicia Meyers, Dramatics, World Music: Sonny Okosuns, Shaba Fadela, Miriam Makeba, Fatala, Reggae: The Wailers, Black Uhuru, Lucky Dube, Steel Pulse, Shaba Ranks, Jimmy Cliff, Judy Mowatt, Culture, Inner Circle, Ekke Mouse, LeRoy Sibbles, the late Dennis Brown, Jah Malla, Tipe Irie at countless African festivals throughout the country. ONXYZ was one of the few bands on an independent record label to receive airplay through the country. Their record, “Dread Wave” was a national hit. KAS produced 4 Compact Disc recordings and 2 singles for ONXYZ all released by the POPP and Solar Sudanese Records. “Rock and Jam”, a 45 single, 1980; “Dreadwave”, 12 inch single, 1981; “Primal Electric”, 1988; “Womb Music”, 1985; “Right Now”, 1992; “You Got Soul”, 1999; and to be released in 2008, “The Best of ONXYZ”, a compilation of past, unreleased, and remixed song material over the last thirty years.

     In 1981, KAS along with Jeannette McGruder of P-Funk started CHERUBIM, a heavy metal band. KAS pioneered the Black Rock scene in Detroit in the early 80’s along with the groups, Tracy Science and the Mechanics led the way in breaking down barriers in the all-white rock scene in Detroit Metro Area, eventually gaining the respect of club owners and white audiences. CHERUBIM played with George Clinton, P-Funk All-Stars during the Atomic Dog Tour, James Blood Ulmer, Bad Brains, Detroit’s African World Festival, and toured Japan. CHERUBIM has produced an unreleased CD, titled, “Light and Darkness”. Members of CHERUBIM included, Mike Banks, Paul Randolph, Bobby East, Jeanette McGruder, Jamie Wagner, Chris Dunbar, Jaribu Shahid, and Kevin Carter, to name a few.

     In 1982, KAS created and produced the group, ATON, featuring Mike “Kidd Fundadelic” Hampton, along with other members of P-Funk and ONXYZ. KAS has always maintained a lasting musical relationship with P-Funk, and many members have played live and recorded with KAS various bands, ONXYZ, CHERUBIM, ATON, and VIRGINITY. A Double CD recording is schedule to be release soon featuring KAS and members of P-Funk based on the music created from 1980 to 1990. In 1985 KAS created the funk-rock group VIRGINITY that included P-Funk’s Michael “Clip” Payne, DeWayne “Blackbird” McKnight, and vocalist, Anita Jason. A VIRGINITY single record release, titled, “Body Rock” was released nationally on the Sutra Record label, along with a music video released nationally which was produced by Detroit’s TV personality, Ron Scott. VIRGINITY also released two EP recording on the POPP imprint label, titled, “Virginity” and “Fashion Dance”. In 1991 KAS co-directed and produced the band, EARTH ISLAND ORCHESTRA”. Their self-titled CD reached Number 7 on the World Music Charts and won the “Motor City Music Award” in the World Beat Music Category for the year 1992. In 1995, KAS started a solo project playing jazz, smooth jazz, Alternative R&B, and acid-jazz and release a CD album, titled, “Return to Rainbow Bridge” on Ichiban Records/Popp. The KAS SERENITY band was a synthesis of twenty years of musical sound combining contemporary jazz, Ambient, R & B and Electronic Groove. KAS SERENITY band featured national musical recording and performers: vocalist Kim Berry, along with; saxophonist, Yataka Handa, from Japan; saxophonist, Faruq Z. Bey; New York guitarist, Kelvyn Bell, known for his guitar work with Kelvynator, DeFunkt, and as band leader with the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, and Techno/Drum and Bass producer, GETER MOST (Funk Lab, Detroit). KAS SERENITY, the band blends R & B soul beats into what is today called Rhythm & Ambient or Acid Jazz. The group has opened shows for hip-hop artist, Missy Elliott; the R&B girl group, Total; Morris Day and The Time; Little Milton; Dionne Warwick, The Delfonics, Gory Glover, Rachid, Foday Musa Sosu, and others. They have performed throughout the USA, including, the African World Festival (Milwaukee), African World Festival (Detroit), African Festival (Lexington, KY), and African-American Festival of the Arts (Chicago); and the African Street Festival (Nashville).
  

     Their hit instrumental tune, “7 Mile Road” and the stunning remake of the Dramatics song, “In the Rain” has been played on numerous radio stations including, WDET (Detroit), 105.9 (Detroit), VJAZZ 98.7 (Detroit), WGPR 107.5 (Detroit), and four tracks from their CD was used on the sound track for the film, MOVING TARGET (Distributed by Maverick Productions) and currently available nationally. In the year, 2000 KAS created the Organic Electric Jazz Ambient group, SOUL RHYTHM. The band’s recent music project is a new CD album titled, Between 2 Seas (Popp) that is produced and mixed by KAS and Caleb Grayson, that is currently enjoying airplay on radio stations in Detroit. Soul Rhythm has developed a huge underground following reflecting a cross segment of fans and music loyalists by doing a Techno-Jazz Music Series at Club Xhedos and Hunter House. The band did a smashing performance at Detroit’s “Taste Fest” and at the Cutting Room in New York City opening for Greg Tate’s band Burnt Sugar. The band has opened for Grammy Award winner, Michael Rose at the Chicago Reggae Fest.


     KAS and POPP have produced and promoted many concerts nationally and locally in the last thirty years. On the local scene, he promoted shows with Ishmael Ahmad, and independently at Majestic Theatre, St. Andrews Hall and Alvins. Nationally, KAS co-produced the annual Alternative R&B/Rock/Reggae/Neo-Soul music festival, known as BLACKAPALOOZA’s SummerJam on Tour, with such artists, as Michael Rose, Amel Larrieux, Jelly’s Pierced Tattoo, Faith, and Koffee, along with his own bands. The BLACKAPALOOZA Music Tour has been mentioned in such publications as VIBE, BILLBOARD and BLACK RADIO EXCLUSIVE.

     KAS's musically rich heritage began at the Cass Technical High School Music Department (Detroit, MI) with teachers the late Harold McKinney and Marcus Belgrave, and fellow students, such as, Greg Philinganes, Kevin Toney, Ralph Armstrong and Marian Hayden. KAS continued his musical studies with jazz/theory instructor and saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey and Charles Boles, and the late Ali Mohammed. KAS formerly played keyboards for a number of years with OC Roberts Reggae Band, and Donny Sterling and the Sterling Silver Starship Band (a P-Funk spin-off group). In 1999, KAS produced a single on techno diva, MIYON, titled, “Don’t Cry” (POPP). KAS was an early member of the BLACK ROCK COALITION and the REGGAE AMBASSADORS WORLDWIDE.In 2008, KAS will release a new CD album on the POPPMusic.net, titled, “GHETTO GROVE” which contains 16 tracks of street jazz rhythms, funk, hip -hop, trip-hop, techno, acid, and smooth jazz. KAS calls this music simply, ‘street jazz’
.

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KAS SERENITY

Rhythm, Ambient, R&B, & Electronic Music

    

     Producer, songwriter and bandleader KAS has recently gone solo with his new group, KAS SERENITY. This band is a synthesis of twenty years of musical sound combining contemporary jazz, Ambient, R & B and Electronic Groove. KAS SERENITY band features national musical recording and performers: vocalist MIYON TRAYMANE, along with; alto saxophonist, FARUQ Z. BEY; Detroit guitarist, RON SMITH, best known for his work with Enemy Squad, P-Funk, and ON-XYZ; and pianist and Techno/Drum and Bass producer, GETER MOST (Funk Lab, Detroit). SERENITY has one of the most dynamic sounds heard today. It is a show not to be missed. Live the band blends R & B soul beats into what is today called Rhythm & Ambient or Acid Jazz. The group has opened shows for hip-hop artist, Missy Elliott; the R&B girl group, Total; Morris Day and The Time; Little Milton; Dionne Warwick, The Delfonics, and others. They have performed throughout the USA, including, the African World Festival (Milwaukee), and African-American Festival of the Arts (Chicago); and the African Street Festival (Nashville). Their music has been played on numerous radio stations including, WDET (Detroit), 105.9 (Detroit), and VJAZZ 98.7 (Detroit). Their hit instrumental tune, “7 Mile Road” was played on WGRP (Detroit) and used on the sound track for the film, MOVING TARGET (Distributed by Maverick Productions) and currently available nationally.

     KAS begin his musical career with the band "ONYX" in 1978, and produced many of their hit recordings. KAS has played and/or studied with many of the great musical talents of Detroit, Michigan--George Clinton, David McMurray of "Was Not Was," David Miles, and Tanni Tabal. KAS's musically rich heritage began at the Cass Technical High School Music Department (Detroit, MI) with teachers Harold McKinney and Marcus Belgrave, and fellow students, such as, Greg Philingame, Kevin Toney, Ralph Armstrong and Marian Hayden. KAS continued his musical studies with jazz/theory instructor and saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey and Charles Boles, and the late Ali Mohammed.

     As a member and keyboardist with ON-XYZ, KAS produced their many record releases, including, YOU GOT SOUL, CD, (2000); Right Now, CD (1993); Primal Electric, EP, (1988); Womb Music, EP, (1985); and Dread Wave, 12 Inch (1981) [all on Popp Records]; as well as, Rock and Jam, 45 Single, (1980, Solar Sudanese Records). ON-XYZ is a band known widely for its characteristic "sledgehammer sound" (hard-driving bass guitar and drums) with about 70% dance rhythms and messages of social and political change and spiritual upliftment. ON-XYZ continued on through 1999, with four spin-off groups forming as a result of KAS's single-handed persistence in establishing the reggae scene in Detroit; the groups are: "Jonab," "Akoben," and the "Makka Rhythm Tribe". In 1985, KAS produced the R & B soloist, "VIRGINITY," and released, VIRGINITY, EP, (1985, Popp Records), Fashion Dance, EP, (1988, Popp Records), and Body Rock, 12 Inch, (1986, Sutra Records).

    
     From 1982 to 2001, KAS also produced the heavy metal band, "Cherubim", which toured with George Clinton's "Parliament and the Funkadelics" and KAS also did a solo tour of Japan. Their records included, Cherubim, Rock and Roll and Light and Darkness, LP, (1983, Unreleased). In the world music category, KAS also co-produced and co-directs the "Earth Island Orchestra" in live concert performances and for the band's recent record release, titled, Earth Island Orchestra, (CD, 1991). The Orchestra is a 13-member group including some of the top ranked musicians from the Metro Detroit area, representing the traditions and sounds of countries from Asia, North Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. One of his most recent music project is a new CD album titled, Between 2 Seas (POPP) which he produced and mixed and also performed keyboards
.

KAS SERENITY
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KAS SERENITY "LIVE" AT EARTH DAY - NEWARK NJ


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