Cosmic Roots: Unveiling the elemental key to Sacramento’s musical landscape

Cosmic Roots. Courtesy photo

Band will release its debut album Feb. 23rd at The Sidedoor

By Casey Sexton

In the heart of Sacramento, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant culture, lies a sanctuary where music transcends mere notes and melodies: Cosmic Roots, a band whose name has become synonymous with innovation and soul-stirring performances, finds its essence in the enigmatic number 223—an emblem that not only represents their elemental key but also serves as the beacon guiding their journey through the realm of jazz.

At the core of their artistic endeavors stands their recording studio, bearing the same numerical insignia, where the members have been meticulously crafting their soundscapes. It isn’t just a space for recording; it’s a sanctuary where creativity intertwines with the raw energy of the universe, birthing compositions that defy convention and embody jazz’s boundless possibilities.

For Cosmic Roots, music is more than a mere arrangement of sounds, it’s a conduit through which the members channel their collective spirit, forging a deep and unbreakable bond. Within every chord progression and lyrical verse lies a testament to their enduring love for one another—a love that transcends the confines of time and space, resonating through the very fabric of their music.

“This is the music of our ancestors, the music we grew up on, the music that made us the musicians we are today,” the band said in a joint statement. “Who cares if the masses like us, we’re doing it for the love of art, for the culture first.”

The visions that merge   

Meet Cosmic Roots, a collective of musicians who have fused diverse backgrounds, experiences and musical influences, all in a way that’s transcending to something more. Composed of Jay Myers, Alex Donald, Myles Taylor, Kenan Jackson and Joey Archie, Cosmic Roots is a group seeking to be a testament to the power of music to connect souls and inspire greatness.

“Life is so crazy and I just wanna sing my song” echoes through their music, reflecting a commitment to self-expression and authenticity. Cosmic Roots is also challenging the norms of the commercial industry. Tired of the conventions around how music is produced, they have taken matters into their own hands, teaching themselves the art of creating music from scratch and redefining the very essence of what it means to be a band.

Myers, the rhythmic backbone of the group, traces his musical influences back to his childhood in Orangeburg, South Carolina. From playing drums in his grandmother’s church to honing his skills at Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities, Myers’ journey took a detour when he joined the military. However, his passion for music never waned, and after returning to civilian life in 2018, he dove back into the world of music with renewed vigor, joining forces with like-minded artists in Sacramento.

Donald, the vocalist and songwriter, brings a SoCal flair to Cosmic Roots, drawing from his eclectic musical upbringing in Chino Hills. With a family lineage stretching from Sacramento to Oakland, Donald’s journey to Cosmic Roots was serendipitous, guided by his love for music and a desire to be closer to his roots. It all began at the piano at the age of three, eventually leading him to discover his voice and his passion for songwriting.

Taylor, the saxophone maestro, hails from Sacramento and has been entranced by the power of music since the third grade. A veteran of the San Jose State marching band, Taylor brings discipline, consistency and a love for performance to the ensemble. After a period of soul-searching and odd jobs, Taylor found his calling in music once again, channeling his experiences into the cosmic vision of the band.

Jackson, the bass virtuoso, was born with a gift for music. Blessed by his grandmother’s prayers at the age of four, he grew into a multi-instrumentalist and seasoned church musician. Jackson’s journey to Cosmic Roots was a leap of faith, a commitment to sharing his anointed talents with the world. His dedication to jazz and his willingness to learn from his bandmates have been instrumental in shaping the group’s sound.

Archie, the keyboardist and trumpeter, rounds out the quintet with his versatile musical background and familial ties to Sacramento. From his early days on the drums to his collegiate exploration of wind instruments, Archie’s progression to Cosmic Roots was a natural evolution of his passion for music. His commitment to honing his craft and his deep understanding of jazz play through all the band’s performances.

“Although we all have similar interests, each one of us brings something different to the table, both socially and musically,” Donald observed. “We operate as a brotherhood first and a band second. We know each others’ skills, ear, what we like and what we don’t like and built the foundation off of that.”

More than a night out  

As they continue to push boundaries, Cosmic Roots isn’t just helping shape Sacramento’s music scene; they’re arguably revolutionizing it. Their performances veer into the realm of the spiritual, inviting audiences to embark on a trek through the cosmos of sound, where the synthesis of artistry and emotion creates an experience that is as captivating as it is transformative. In a world where conformity often stifles creativity, Cosmic Roots remind us that true innovation lies not in following the beaten-path, but in daring to explore the uncharted territories of the soul.

“One of the best feelings in the world is receiving energy from the crowd,” Myers reflected. “It’s what makes a show even more special. After all the rehearsals and late nights, the stage is our sanctuary, our place to shine and have fun. The hard work is over and we can flow.”

So, the next time you find yourself drawn to the ethereal melodies emanating from Sacramento’s vibrant music scene, listen closely, for you may just hear the cosmic resonance of 223—the elemental key that unlocks the mesmerizing secrets of jazz.

Sacramento’s music scene is now buzzing about the upcoming release of Cosmic Roots’ debut album “Elements.” Scheduled to launch on February 23rd during a live performance at The Side Door in Sacramento (tickets here), this occasion marks a significant milestone in the band’s musical odyssey—a culmination of their collective vision and unwavering dedication to craft.

“This album signifies resilience and perseverance,” Taylor said. “The inspiration behind this album was to showcase each element of Cosmic Roots. Whether it’s jazz, Funk, RnB or Hip Hop, each element of Black music is being showcased on our album and in full force. We also want to express how the elements of nature inspired us to stay level through all the obstacles that were thrown at us, in order to finish this album.”

Casey Sexton is the producer for Casey Sexton Presents and talent buyer for The Side Door in Sacramento – ‘curating talent, creating magic’

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