Isaac Hadden Organ Trio back to Virginia music festival scene again – Martinsville Bulletin

Just after the release of their new album “The Glue,” Isaac Hadden Organ Trio is coming to share new music in Stuart this weekend at Front Porch Fest.

For Isaac Hadden, band leader and band name originator, the musical journey started from a very young age.

“I’ve just been emersed in music for my whole life,” Hadden said. Though his parents didn’t play instruments they were huge music fans, he added, which left to him growing up surrounded by music at different events.

The natural progression for him after that, he said, was to start “fooling around with instruments” like the banjo and ukelele while he was just 3 years old. He began playing guitar when he was only 5 years old.

From then on he took lessons to hone his musical craft and even still takes them to this day. In middle school he began playing different music gigs with local bands around where he grew up in Blacksburg.

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The gig that got his band, Isaac Hadden Project, started was a show at 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke where they opened for Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, he said.

“After that we were grateful to just have a lot of great opportunities to play at festival in the region like FloydFest, Rooster Walk, Front Porch [Fest],” Hadden said.

The Isaac Hadden Organ Trio originated through an Isaach Hadden Project gig around two years ago where Hadden met organ and key player Bill Stevens.

“I was playing similar organ trio style gigs around Asheville and really wanted to take a band out in that format and also push the limits of what you can do with a trio,” Hadden said.

Which led to the creation of the Isaac Hadden Organ Trio, made up of Hadden, Stevens and drummer Iajhi Hampden.

“We just got together at Bill’s [Stevens’] studio and tried to play together and it went really well. There was some instant synergy going on and we felt like we’d found a sound that we hadn’t really encountered too much of before,” he said.

“The rest is kind of history,” Hadden added.

The trio have now been touring steadily for the past year and just put out their first album called “The Glue.”

Hadden described the band’s music as a mixture of jazz and funk with other incorporated elements including rock, R&B, hip hop, electronic and even some gospel as well.

“All of that tied together with a grooving, improvisational approach,” Hadden said.

On the guitar, Hadden said a goal of his is to play melodically from inspiration from American musician Jerry Garcia. His play style is also influenced by jazz and fusion artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Herring and John Scofield.

In the band as a whole, Hadden sees influence from jazz groups like Snarky Puppy and Robert Glasper, funk musicians like James Brown and modern jam bands.

“We sort of model our approach after that, with extended improvisation where we try to just take listeners on a journey,” he said.

“Fusion is really the best way we can describe it because it is so many different things combined,” he added. “It’s really hard to put a finger down on exactly what stuff sounds like.”

The band’s writing process is one big collaboration.

“It’s called the Isaac Hadden Organ Trio but when I’m in the role of being leader it’s more of a facilitator in a way. I just try to work with people that I know work well together and … It’s not about them backing me up, it’s about creating a space where everyone’s free to create and there’s lots of fun interplay,” Hadden said.

He said that anyone who stops by to see the trio play at Front Porch Fest can expect, “some heavy groovin’, funky music” and “just fun improvisational stuff” and “to come ready to party.”

“The people that come out and see music are just a fun and interesting group of people and it’s also just the way I’m able to communicate in the best way,” Hadden said. “After I’ve played for a group of people, I feel like they know me and to an extent I know them.”

“Creating community based around music is what keeps me coming back,” he added.

The Isaac Hadden Organ Trio will play from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday on the Spirithaven Stage at Front Porch Fest.

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