By Aaron Solomon
It’s not unusual for 18-year old guitarist Jared Solomon to have two or three gigs on a weekend. They are typically small venues such as coffee shops or bars in which the audience can range from five to fifty people. The weekend of May 10 – 11 will be different. On May 10, Dewey and the Peoples is expecting several hundred to attend their show at Brick and Mortar in San Francisco, and on May 11, Remi & Chloe with the Extracts is expecting over 100 at their dinner show at Angelica’s in Redwood City.
Destined for the stage
Jared seemed destined for stage performance when, as a 3-year old, he climbed up onto the stage at San Carlos’ Burton Park, and proclaimed for all to hear, “I want to be a rock star!” By the age of 7, he was jumping in with local adult bands, and by junior high had formed his first band. A few years later as a high school freshman, his newly formed band, Toxic Playground, surprised everyone by winning the 2010 San Carlos Battle of the Bands. Toxic Playground went on to win again in 2011 and 2012.
From Sequoia to Berklee School of Music
Jared has the typical demands of any Sequoia High School senior, with the added workload of practicing, recording and song writing. The pressure of his studies has eased somewhat after he was accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
“I am so excited to be heading to Berklee in the fall! There are so many great musicians there. I feel like they’ll push me to play even better.”
Dewey and the Peoples has been playing together for a little more than a year, and already has a four-song EP available on iTunes and a set list of more than 20 originals. Influenced by California rock reggae artists such as Sublime and Slightly Stoopid, Dewey and the Peoples pulls the guitar even further forward, weaving it through the reggae rhythm and soulful lyrics.
Singer and front man Darren Robinson, aka “Dewey,” created the vision a few years ago and began collaborating with Jared, who then brought in two musicians he had met in band class at Sequoia, bass player Marley Edwards and drummer Peter Johnston.
Summer tour with Palo Alto High singer/songwriters
In addition to preparing for a show at Brick and Mortar on May 10, the band is preparing to record more of its originals and getting ready for a summer tour, which will extend to Los Angeles and San Diego.
While taking music classes at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park, Jared met up with Remi Wolf and Chloe Zilliac, two talented singer-songwriters with incredible chemistry to harmonize and play off each other on stage.
“They communicate telepathically on stage. It’s weird,” says Jared.
Remi & Chloe, juniors at Palo Alto High School, have written and recorded some original material, including Carousel, available on iTunes, which as been used as a soundtrack for a Castilleja High School student film project.
More original music, some as a duo and some with The Extracts, which includes Jared on guitar, Harry Justus on bass, and Aaron Velayo on drums, is being recorded and should be available this summer.
“Right now, our focus is on our show at Angelica’s on the 11th” says Jared. “It has been on the calendar for a while and postponed twice due to extensive remodeling. We sold it out the first time we played there last November, and can’t wait to check out their new stage.”
Scheduling around proms, exams
“The hardest part to being in two bands is coordinating rehearsal schedules,” says Jared. “ We’ve got proms and exams and other stuff to work around.” May 10 & 11 is going to be busy, and June looks to be even busier.
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