Youth music group Polyphony on the Groove to perform in Italy this summer

%28from+left%29+Mila+Barry+%28flute%29%2C+Sophia+Hogan-Lopez+%28alto+sax%29%2C+Martina+Gallo+%28piano%29%2C+Olivia+Hogan-Lopez+%28trombone%29%2C+Asha+Egmont+%28trombone%29%2C+Brooke+Cleary+%28drums%29%2C+True+Sayes+%28bass+guitar%29%2C+Daniel+Puglisi+%28trumpet%29%2C+Ivan+Demarjian+%28tenor+sax%29.+Not+pictured%3A+Tessa+Bushfield+%28vocalist%29

(from left) Mila Barry (flute), Sophia Hogan-Lopez (alto sax), Martina Gallo (piano), Olivia Hogan-Lopez (trombone), Asha Egmont (trombone), Brooke Cleary (drums), True Sayes (bass guitar), Daniel Puglisi (trumpet), Ivan Demarjian (tenor sax). Not pictured: Tessa Bushfield (vocalist)

BROOKE CLEARY, Staff Writer

Polyphony on the Groove, a Cape Ann based music group of Gloucester High School students playing funk, jazz, NOLA, and ska, is preparing to travel to a two week music camp in Italy this summer.

Polyphony, started in 2017, features a vocalist, six piece horn section and a three piece rhythm section. The band began as an ensemble workshop led by their O’Maley band director Carlos Menezes to improve on improvisational skills. From there, the group started playing around Gloucester at the Drift Cafe and during intermission for various shows with the Cape Ann Big Band. This past summer, you may have seen them playing at the Marblehead Jazz Festival or the block party. 

“Polyphony on the Groove is a great experience because it allows youth to explore the bounds of the professional music world,” said senior trombonist Asha Egmont.  “It affords us opportunities that our teachers and mentors didn’t have when they were our age.”

While the group plays many genres of music, their style roots from the traditional genre of jazz. Through playing around Gloucester, they’re hoping to get a chance to get the community engaged in these traditional styles of American music again. 

“We’re all excited because it gives us a chance to keep jazz, a dying language, alive,” said Egmont. “Jazz peaked in America in the 1920’s but has now lost its traditional sense. We’re trying to make jazz into an engaging experience for people both young and old by putting a modern twist on it. It’s been cool to see the community get excited about this kind of music again.”

Through the Art & Music Italia program in Salerno Italy, Polyphony on the Groove will get a chance to explore music opportunities abroad. The band will be playing concerts at local villas and roof-decks, and having jam sessions on the Fondazione’s terrace, all while being immersed in Italian culture. 

“We’re really looking forward to our trip to Italy. It’s going to give us an opportunity to perform internationally, which is a really unique thing to participate in at our age” said Egmont. “It will be cool to play American music abroad, and will open our eyes to new areas of the professional music world.”

As they prepare to travel to Italy, you can catch them fundraising on Sunday nights at the Cape Ann Brewery or Wednesday nights at 525 in Magnolia (Starting November 6). You can also come hear them play on New Years Eve in Rockport or accompanying the Cape Ann Big Band with their holiday show at the Shalin Liu on December 14th.    

Interested in booking them? Send an email to polyphonyonthegroove@gmail.com.

You can check out their videos on their Instagram and Facebook @polyphonyonthegroove, or on their Youtube channel @polyphonyonthegroove.