The 808 Band

  • Oakland, CA, USA
Solo/ Duo Funk Hip-Hop Reggae Soul

"Hip Hop Reggae Soul Funk"

THE 808 Providing a quality hip hop band in the tradition of the great reggae backing bands, The 808 Band features drummer Gabriel "Big G" McDowell, keyboardist Daniel Savio, and bassist Toho Saunders. Most recently, the group launched a collaboration with positive rapper/beatbox master, Radioactive (formerly of Spearhead) to create ACTIV808. The name "808" comes from the legendary Roland TR808 drum machine, used in countless Hip Hop songs through out history. Drummer Gabriel "Big G" McDowell plays a custom drum kit built by the African American Drum Company, designed to sonically mimic the famed Roland TR808 Drum machine. With a special technique, Big G is able to create this sound 100% natural, playing "the world's only acoustic 808 drum." From it's genesis in Oakland, CA, during the prolific era for independent music of the mid 1990's, The 808 Band has played on the cutting edge of groove music, specializing in hip-hop, reggae and soul. It all started with Big G performing on drums with The Living Legends Crew, consisting of Mystik Journeymen, MURS, The Grouch, Eligh, Bicasso, Arata and Asop. The 808 Band soon expanded to the trio of Big G on drums, Jeremy Mage on Keyboards and DJ Raw B on the tables. From there, the duo of J-Mage and Big G put in work in the bay as house band at La Pena's legendary Collective Soul series, backing such artists as: Zion I, Planet Asia, Goapele, Destiny Wolf, Aya De Leon, and recording with Pep Love, The Grouch, Deuce Eclipse, Bicasso and Maya Azucena.

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