Hit the Decks! It's Nation Beat

Scott Kettner of fusion jazz and roots/Americana/hip-hop project Nation Beat got his start in music when he was just eight years old.

"I got serious about it when I was about 13 years old when I joined the school band and started my own garage band where we played school dances and parties," he says.

Kettner describes the Nation Beat sound as, "a mix of Brazil meets USA through the lens of jazz improvisation and sensibilities. Our music is uplifting, fun and surprising. It's not like anything you've heard before yet there is a familiar element to the sound. Its carnival meets Mardi Gras. Dr John meets Chico Science. Forro, Funk, Bop and Brass."

The latest release is Archaic Humans.

"We recorded mostly at Mercy University in their state of the art recording studio," he says. "We also recorded some tracks in Brazil and at my studio in NJ, Jumbo Sounds. The album features special guests: South African vocalist Melanie Scholtz, D.C. Beatbox master Christylez Bacon, Brazilian percussionist Luca Texeira and master percussionist Michael Spiro. The concept of Archaic Humans is carrying the past to the present while we look to the future. As humans we all carry the DNA of our neanderthal ancestors. Our music is the same. Nothing is new. It all comes from something before it. Our music aims to carry the past musical traditions into the current day while we also imagine how it would sound in the future."

As for gear:

"I'm fortunate to be endorsed by some of the greatest drum companies in the world: Tama, Sabian, Vic Firth, Meinl and Remo."

Looking ahead, Nation Beat has plenty planned for 2024.

"We're currently preparing to tour on and off all summer to support the release of the album," he says. "We'll also be dropping music videos between now and the end of the year."

Archaic Humans is out May 31.

Photo by Jason Gardner