About The Band
The name of this band is On The One. The essence of its sound, a festive stew of joyful noise served up on a savory bed of simmering groove, lies in the way the ingredients come together — in the way bassist Jono Allen’s syncopated swing and El-Lay’s contrapuntal keyboard conjurations coalesce around emcee Nick Classic’s deft dissemination of higher mathematics. It’s also in the indispensable contributions of two Berklee-bred virtuosos who round out this quintet: Robert Ax, a sublime vocalist and a guitarist whose instrument is truly an extension of his soul; and drummer Bill Shields, a lockstep timesmith gifted with a jazzman’s abstract pulse.
The members of this ensemble first came together in the summer of 2015 by way of the then-biweekly jam sessions organized by the MightyHIP organization in Silver Spring, Maryland. The players then followed MightyHIP’s events through several incarnations of venue and frequency before it established a long-term residency at Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant under the banner of MightyMondays. On The One still appears there frequently, along with an ever-expanding collective of bands, musicians, singers, poets, photographers and other independent artists, all of them staking out positions across a broad spectrum of creative expression.
OTO brings the party whenever they take the stage, generating a fervent call that is only awaiting a response from that final, most critical element in the musical equation — you, the listener. Come check them out at a venue near you in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.