Official Biography

(courtesy of The Rooftop)

The ROOFTOP is an all-star band fronted by some of the biggest names on the NYC Soul scene. With a focus on songwriting, the sound is a unique blend of modern soul, jazz, blues, gospel, and acoustic world music. The songs feature intelligent lyrics about life, with melodies floating above stylized chords and rhythms. The end result is a fresh sound with raw grit that defies expectations. It’s not that synthetic soul sound from the corporate music world, it’s REAL.

The group was originally born out of artist collectives like The Lobby and Westside Rhyme (not to mention a couple of jam session parties thrown on various rooftops). Crowds of NYC hipsters would come to hear cutting edge original music and spoken word. With no rules to bound the performances, guitarist/composer CVH (Christian Ver Halen) saw this as a perfect setting to work with some of his favorite vocalists, MCs, poets, and musicians.

After several shows a ROOFTOP performance was finally recorded for the world to hear. The result is the CD titled ‘A Live Shot’. It features a literal "who’s who" of the NYC Indie-Soul scene. The band members all lead their own projects and they each bring something unique to the music. They have all recorded and/or toured with some of the biggest names in the world: soul legends Stevie Wonder & Roberta Flack, hip-hop artists Common & Talib Kweli, jazz greats Wynton Marsalis & Cassandra Wilson, and African superstar Angelique Kidjo are just a few.

The CD ‘A Live Shot’ is a benefit for Music Rising, which is part of the Grammy Awards’ Musicares program. This non-profit organization brings aid to musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. Pick it up, save a life.

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