Lakers look toward Los Angeles

Student jazz quartet raising funds for Cali. workshop

By CeNique Yeldell | 6/1/14 11:22am


GVL / Courtesy - Dutcher Snedeker Band "Brad Fritcher Trois"

While this local jazz quartet has only been together for a little over a year, Brad Fritcher + trois has performed in places such as Detroit, Chicago and Flint. Their next stop? Los Angeles.

Last summer, Brad Fritcher + trois won the jazz category of ArtPrize as well as St. Cecilia’s music competition. They have also been featured artists in Local Spins, the Rapidian and Holland Sentinel, and have appeared on several radio stations including WBLV 90.3 and WBLU 88.1.

Most recently, three of the group's members auditioned for and were accepted into a workshop held by the School of Improvised Music in LA. Based on the amount of experience the quartet has built up and the feedback they have received from the music community, the trip out West seems to be a step in the right direction.

While only three of the students plan to head to Cali., the group consists of four Grand Valley students: Brad Fritcher, Dutcher Snedeker, Christian VanDuinen and Ryan Wallace. Fritcher, the creator of the quartet, plays multiple instruments and has been playing the trumpet for over a decade. Snedeker plays the piano and has years of classical training and performing jazz under his belt. VanDuinen plays the drums and Wallace switches between the electric and acoustic bass. While jazz is definitely the base of the music they play, explained Snedeker, the group draws influence from a variety of genres such as rock, metal and hip hop.

“We try not to pigeonhole ourselves by maintaining a certain criteria of what we should or shouldn't play,” Fritcher said. “Our goal in music is to create platforms, textures and colors that represent us as collaborative musicians, artists and as individuals at the highest possible level.”

During the weeklong study of improvisational music, Brad Fritcher + trois will be working with other musicians as well as professionals from the jazz and contemporary music fields. The sessions consist of two master classes each day, ensemble coaching, student and faculty performances and private lessons. Some of the instructors that will be teaching the workshop include renowned composers Ralph Alessi, John Hebert and Uri Caine.

“This group is on the brink of change,” Fritcher said. “I can't exactly put my finger on it at the moment but I feel that with the accomplishments that have already perspired in just one year's time, we will be doing some bigger things in 2014 including more out-of-state performances, more collaborations with artists in similar and other genres and more writing and recording of original material.”

Currently, the crew is working on funding their trip across country and hope to release their second album by July. Their next performance will be on June 4 at the farmers market on GV’s Allendale campus.

For more information about Brad Fritcher + trois visit

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