The Carolina Chocolate Drops have added two new musicians to the band: human beatboxer Adam Matta and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins. The two join the group as founding member Justin Robinson departs to take up new challenges. The Chocolate Drops’ winter/spring tour began earlier this week with a performance at Lincoln Center’s prestigious American Songbook series and continues through April 14.
The Grammy–nominated Carolina Chocolate Drops have added two new musicians to the band: human beatboxer Adam Matta and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins. The two join the group as founding member Justin Robinson departs to take up new challenges.
“When Justin, Dom, and I started playing together we had no idea where it would all lead ... We just knew that playing with [mentor, 92-year-old black Piedmont string musician] Joe Thompson was a privilege and an honor and we were thrilled to be spreading his music to different audiences out there in the world,” said Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens. “It’s been an adventurous and at times unexpected journey, but I’m extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish together in the last six years. We will certainly miss seeing and playing with Justin, and Dom and I wish him well in the next chapter of his life. All three of us are confident that the spirit of the Carolina Chocolate Drops will continue with Hubby and Adam, and the welcome remains for Justin whenever he should come a-visiting!”
“It has been a great pleasure to work with Justin and to learn more about Southern music and culture from being around him. I wish him all of the best,” agreed band mate Dom Flemons. “With that being said, it will be a great pleasure to begin to work with Hubby Jenkins and Adam Matta. I’ve known Hubby for several years through his connection to the New York roots music scene, while I met Adam during our collaboration with the Luminescent Orchestrii. Folks can still expect great music from our group the same way a jazz band can change personnel without sacrificing the quality or the talent on stage.”
“The Carolina Chocolate Drops have been playing together and touring the world for more than five years,” said Robinson. “During those years, we have experienced great successes, heartbreaks, trials and triumphs. It is, however, time for me to take a separate road and though it is bittersweet, it is the best choice. While I won’t be touring with the band full-time, I may show up on stage once in a while. I’d like to thank all of the people who have helped us on this incredible journey, the fans who’ve supported us since the very beginning and, of course, Rhiannon and Dom.”
Hubby Jenkins is a New York City multi-instrumental musician and songwriter, known for his authentic and soulful interpretations of traditional American music. He specializes in early blues, old time, ballads, and ragtime. Jenkins developed his style and repertoire from busking in New York subways and many cities around the US. He has performed at many NY venues including The Jalopy, Mercury Lounge, and Joe’s Pub as well as at the Shakori Hills Festival and the fifth annual Congressional Blues Festival. He also performed and participated at the second Black Banjo Gathering.
Adam Matta is a beatboxer and vocal performance artist from New York City. He has performed with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall and House of Music in Moscow, Russia, and he headlined the 2009 UK Human Beatbox Convention. His beatboxing has been featured on PBS, Showtime, WNYE, and NPR, and his music was on The L Word, Season II: Sessions (Tommy Boy), and in the documentary Planet B-Boy. Matta has been artist-in-residence at Cornell University, Here Arts Center, Digital Performance Institute, and League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots.
Nonesuch released its second record from the Carolina Chocolate Drops—a four-song EP—on January 25; the band’s first Nonesuch release, the critically acclaimed Genuine Negro Jig, was nominated for a Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy. This new EP is a collaboration with the New York City–based Romanian gypsy punk band Luminescent Orchestrii; it was co-produced by the Lumiis sound engineer, Joseph “Bass” DeJarnette, with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Luminescent Orchestrii.
The Chocolate Drops’ winter/spring tour began earlier this week with a performance at Lincoln Center’s prestigious American Songbook series and continues through April 14. For more information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.