Rainforest Band is a collaboration between guitarist Vernon ‘Ice’ Black, bassist Tony Saunders and keyboardist Sylvester Burks. The inspiration for the group came from the original Rainforest Band formed by Merl Saunders (Tony’s dad), featuring Jerry Garcia. The 1990 project Blues From the Rainforest – a Musical Suite was created out of Merl and Jerry’s need to spread the word about the beauty of the rainforest, as well as the message of preservation. With influences of world music, new age and traditional blues, Saunders and company crafted tunes that took the listener on a spiritual and musical journey that was close to their hearts.
On Peace to the Planet, Black, Saunders and Burks have created 12 original compositions in the Smooth Jazz genre that evoke a relaxed, romantic and funky vibe. Included are Caribbean Sunset which transports you to the beach, and SIZ with its Crusaders/New Orleans feel featuring Billboard #1 charting artist Jeff Ryan on saxophone. Other special guests include Gail Jhonson from The Norman Brown Band on keyboards and percussionist Marquinho Brazil.
Today, in the spirit of what Merl and Jerry created, Rainforest Band’s Peace to the Planet takes the mission to a new level through Contemporary Jazz. With the same goal of spreading the message of preservation for one of the world’s most delicate and endangered regions, Rainforest Band is back with a new sound for a new generation.
The time is now, but the message is the same – we all need to do our part to save the planet.
Listen to Peace to the Planet on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 7/4).