One of the pioneering jam bands, Lettuce has mostly been a part-time if very influential venture since it was first formed in 1992. The band originally came together at the Berklee College of Music where all of its members first met at a summer music program while they were teenagers. Comprised of guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam Smirnoff, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonists Sam Kiniger and Ryan Zoidis, bassist Erick Coomes and drummer Adam Deitch, the musicians listened to records together and jammed constantly, developing their own sound during the summer. They had a reunion in 1994 when they returned to Berklee as undergrads. Because they often asked to sit in at local clubs (asking “Will you let us play”) the name Lettuce stuck. Once the group became more established, they sold tapes at their engagements and made recordings for the Japanese Velour label: 2001’s Outta Here and 2003’s Live In Tokyo. The latter has been released in the U.S. on Kufala Records. Lettuce’s most recent project is Rage, a tribute to a wide variety of funk innovators. Never a fulltime band, Lettuce has contributed its members to other groups and projects. Krasno and Evans founded Soulive, Kininger and Zoidis toured with the band as the Soulive Horns, Deitch worked with John Scofield, Smirnoff with the Squad, and Zoidis with Rustic Overtones while Coomes became an L.A.-based producer. As with the best jam bands, Lettuce combines together the improvising of jazz with the spirit of rock and the grooves of r&b. In recent years, Rashawn Ross has been added to Lettuce on trumpet.