About

“Vibrant performers with a wide breadth of styles… simply fun and fascinating music!” -Bellevue Art Museum

“…They have an uncanny ability to breathe life and fun into any crowd! We’ve been lucky enough to have them at many events, and the response we receive is overwhelming. We highly recommend A Cedar Suede for any occasion!” -Seattle Met Magazine: Events

A synergy of Afro-Cuban beats, sultry R&B, and lively pastoral melodies, A Cedar Suede is a cinematic world-funk ensemble from Seattle. Featuring accordion, violin and Spanish guitar, with a thick rhythm section, performing originals and a few classics, it’s Astor Piazolla cruising with Chick Corea in a lowered El Camino. Deep luscious grooves, handmade with love.

Founded in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, by Harold Belskus (Guitar) and Jamie Maschler (Accordion), the two often performed as an intimate duet or trio, featuring violinist, Amanda Fitch. Rooted in Latin and European influences, their music consisted of sophisticated soundscapes and layers of virtuosic improvisation. After only a few months of collaborating, they released their 2011 self-titled, self-produced, debut EP. It was immediately well-received across the Pacific Northwest.

The infectious appeal of this small group began to draw the attention of peers, many suggesting that the group expand in size and sound to reach their full potential. In 2013, they gathered some of the most vibrant and talented players in the Seattle area. The full ensemble, now featuring horns and a full rhythm section, seamlessly fuses classical and jazz traditions in a manner that draws respect from even the most critical listeners. A Cedar Suede balance lyrical melodies, lush harmonies, and tight grooves, all while providing room for improvisation within composition. Some pieces are simply beautiful, and some are dance-floor-bangers! Each song is its own adventure.

In three days of live tracking, with three takes of each song, A Cedar Suede recorded their debut full-band album: The Legend of the Great T.D. Bingo. It was recorded at London Bridge Studios and produced by Harold Belskus and Geoff Ott. The album will be released in February 2015. Pre order it here!

A Cedar Suede group landscape 2

Members: Jamie Maschler (Accordion), Harold Belskus (Guitar),  Tommy Whiteside (Percussion), Joe Eck (Drums), Martin Strand (Bass), Amanda Fitch (Violin), and special guests…

The Best Artist Bio of All Time: A Cedar Suede’s Unbelievable Story (Music Reviewing Magazine, Oct. 2014)

SONY DSC“Well, if I have to be honest, none of us are originally from Seattle. We’re from the Mid-West, the Rockies, the West Coast, but we all came here for the same reason: to learn and to make music… also, most people who hear us think we’re playing totally original music, but the truth is, well it’s a long story, and it begins in the future…” -Jamie Maschler (Accordion)

Like so many horrific endings, their career would end horrifically, just weeks after their critically-acclaimed 7th studio album Now-We-Play-Pop-Covers-7 will be released in the year 2029. According to reports, while on a quick tour through Australia, A Cedar Suede’s tour bus quickly sank into quicksand. Perhaps it was fate that the first time-machine-technology tests will have been taking place in Sydney earlier that year, and having already read their own Unbelievable Story, they knew what to do when the time will have come.

To avoid their horrific quicksanding fate, the septet secretly volunteered for an experimental test of one of the first time-machines ever created and time traveled from Sydney 2029, to Seattle 2013. They chose Seattle, not for the incredible culture, natural beauty, or arts scene, but because none of them had lived there before, so they hopefully won’t run into or mess with their younger past selves, and ruin this reality for everyone.

“Seattle is full of people from all over the country, and the world really. Not many folks here are actually originally from Seattle. It’s pretty open-minded, so we figured it would be the perfect place for a cover band from the future to slip in, work, and not get hassled too much,” says violinist Amanda Fitch.

When asked about the difficulty of starting a new identity and making new friends in an alternate space-time-continuum, they find themselves at ease and right at home:

“These days, it’s SO EASY to create a believable personal history using the internets, like Jamie’s website, or Harold’s, or Amanda’s. Or our Facebook page, which apparently sends out blasts of happiness to folks who “like” it. Seriously, good old old-fashioned technology! We love it here. The people enjoy futuristic music, and the seafood is great! In the future we’re from, we pretty much run out of seafood. Hopefully this space-time-dimension doesn’t run out of seafood. Man I love me some fresh-caught Dungeness crab!” -Martin Strand – Bass

When discussing the future of music, the role of performing artists, and music industry in general, guitarist Harold Belskus is purely optimistic: “The truth is, the reason we were a cover band, back in the future, is because it was really the only way to make any living as independent musicians. Not at all sad, but true. See, the top-40 pop music of the future is actually really high quality, and quite interesting! We are truly looking forward to having enjoyed it again,” Harold adds knowingly. “I know it sounds crazy, but the future is always full of surprises!”

Unfortunately, when they arrived in Seattle in 2013, they suffered severe acute amnesia from the inter-super-space-time journey. They had forgotten the name of their band, and a great deal of the music they had been covering back in the future. “Maybe we were called A Simon Says, maybe Seed Or Swede, or maybe A Swimming Salmon. Who knows? We just can’t remember,” percussionist Thomas Whiteside IV shrugs. “We decided to go with A Cedar Suede because it sounds nice and familiar, and there sure are a lot of cedar trees around here.”

With a bright new future ahead of them, A Cedar Suede strives, every day, to recall the number-one-pop-hits of the future that they will have been covering all along…. –Music Reviewing Magazine (Oct. 2014)

(but we were serious about the FB thing, and this too: @ACedarSuede 😉

Cinematic World Funk Orkestra

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