The Dazz Band was the first group out of Cleveland, Ohio to win a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a R & B Group or Duo for their smash hit "Let It Whip" in 1982. Known for their electrifying R&B/ Funk and soulful ballads, The Dazz Band scored over 20 hits on Billboard's R&B and Pop charts. Hits like "Let It Whip", "Joystick", "Swoop", "You Are My Starship", "Heartbeat", "Party Right Here", "Let It All Blow", "Keep It Live", and others stood the test of time and remain in recurring rotation while millions of fans continue to seek out Dazz Band music online and across the globe.
The Dazz Band (formerly Kinsman Dazz) is led by original Grammy Winning Saxophonist, Producer, Writer & Arranger Bobby Harris who started the group in the late 1970's. Under Harris's leadership The Dazz Band released 7 records on the Motown Record label and toured with The Gap Band, Rick James, Kool & the Gang, Luther Vandross and more. Their innovative electro-funk sound and polished performances quickly catapulted them to Gold and Platinum record success. The Dazz Band performed on popular television shows like Soul Train, Solid Gold and American Bandstand and their music is featured in major motion pictures, video games and on television today. Bobby Harris's Producer/ Associate Producer credits include the two Kinsman Dazz albums and ALL fourteen Dazz Band albums including: Invitation to Love, Let the Music Play, Keep It Live, On the One For Fun, Jukebox, Hot Spot, Wild and Free, Time Traveler, Funkology, Here We Go Again, Rock the Room, Under The Streetlights, Motown Legends, and The 20th Century Millennium. Harris credits Producer Reggie Andrews (Patrice Rushen, Tyrese, Rick James) who wrote "Let it Whip" and produced many of The Dazz Band hits for bringing musical stability to the group. Bobby Harris has been honored with numerous awards including a Diamond Award of Excellence for his organization of "United We Funk" a concept which was then a first of its time that included multiple R & B acts backed by one common rhythm section during the late 1990's-2000's. Harris has also been recognized by the United States military on multiple occasions for entertaining US troops around the world. Under Harris's leadership, The Dazz Band has helped to raise awareness and garner significant contributions to worthy organizations such as Susan B. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento, St. Jude and countless others.
Skip Martin, Lead vocalist and Trumpet player, has been performing with The Dazz Band for a combined total of 31 years. Along with Harris, Skip Martin was a part of the Grammy Award winning Dazz Band in 1982. Skip's powerful tenor voice and masterful trumpet skills and high level performance skills make him a musical force to be reckoned with! Skip also spent 15 years as a lead vocalist with the legendary group Kool and the Gang. Skip is a MOBO Award recipient who achieved an honorary Doctorate in Music for his talents both vocally and through instrumentation. He is a Platinum & Gold Record recipient with Dazz Band, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the African American Music Association. Skip was also honored with a Living Legend Award from the Black Music Academy. In 2023, Skip was awarded an Emmy for his organization and participation in the remake of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" a compilation featuring over 25 Artists including The Dazz Band.
Guitarist Marlon “The Magician” McClain joined The Dazz Band in 1984 and has been with the group for a combined total of 35 years. Marlon's writer, producer, arranger, and/or performance credits include: En Vogue, Toni Braxton, George Clinton, George Benson, Jeff Lorber, Kenny G, Dazz Band, Charlie Wilson, Christine and the Queens and more! Marlon is a self-taught musician who began his professional music journey as guitarist and co-founder of Portland, Oregon’s Nationally known group Pleasure. A masterful guitarist and producer, Marlon also enjoys developing new artists including his niece Whitney McClain, and his son Marlon II, the internationally known Artist “Brando” featured on the smash hit "Body" with Loud Luxury.
Award winning Drummer, Producer and Songwriter Raymond Calhoun returned to the Dazz Band in 2019. Raymond Calhoun was drummer on Dazz Band albums Here We Go Again and Time Traveler. A native of Washington DC, Raymond studied music at Howard University before getting his first break with the Manhattans. It was not long after he was discovered by The Gap Band, where he would spend his next 33 years. As a member of The Gap Band Calhoun wrote one of the band's signature songs "Outstanding" off their platinum selling album Gap Band IV. "Outstanding" is one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop history, and has been sampled by Snoop Dog, Madonna, Puff Daddy, Christina Aguilera and more.
Accomplished Lead Vocalist Donny Sykes is celebrating 10 years with The Dazz Band in 2023. Donny Sykes is a native of Los Angeles, California and has traveled the world performing in musical theatre and on television with legendary artists from Stevie Wonder to Tyler Perry. Donny performed with the renown Spirit Productions in “All Night Long” featuring the Motown hits, and “Man in the Mirror” featuring music of the legendary “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Additional musical performance credits include Beyonce, and recording credits include Kanye West's "Jesus is King". When he is not onstage performing, Donny is teaching and inspiring children in Los Angeles, CA.
Keyboardist and Vocalist Keith Harrison was also honored with a Grammy with The Dazz Band. Keith was a member of the group from 1983-1988 before returning in 2020. Keith's songwriter credits include Dazz Band hits including "Let It All Blow", their biggest UK Single. Additional songwriter credits include "Paranoid", "So Much Love", "Give Me Your Body", "Time Will Heal a Broken Heart" and more. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Keith was leader of the band Faze-O, prior to joining the Dazz Band. FazeO's biggest hit "Riding High " was written by Harrison, and is one of the top 10 most sampled songs in rap history, sampled by Snoop Dog, Ice Cube and others.
Vocalist Alvin Frazier joined the group in 2021 and hails from the bands home town of Cleveland, Ohio. Alvin is a self taught musician, multi-instrumentalist AND a music historian who cannot be stumped on the road! As a solo artist, Alvin has toured throughout the United States, Asia, and most recently the UK as a supporting act for British songrstress Hil St. Soul.
The Dazz Band is honored to be recognized by the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. for their significant contributions to music. The Dazz Band continues to reach over 2 million listeners per month on the music industries two largest digital platforms Spotify & Apple Music. Their latest singles "Drop It" and "Your Luv" are NOW AVAILABLE ON ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS. In 2023, The Dazz Band was excited to land at #4 on Billboard's new Tik Tok Music Chart thanks to the "Whip It Challenge" introducing a whole new generation of fans to their music.
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