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Slammin: Six Slamma Jammas

Slammin All-Body Band (L to R): Keith Terry, Destani Wolf, Bryan Dyer, Kenny Washington, Zoe Ellis, Steve Hogan

Keith Terry starts a groove with an elaborate series of resounding heel clicks, hollow-toned chest thumps, tom-tom foot stomps and sandpaper hand rubs. When he’s joined by Steve Hogan, the master beatboxer ornaments the rhythm with a stuttering figure and then locks in on Terry’s propulsively swinging syncopation. Soon four vocalists join the fray, launching into a wild version of Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance,” inspiring gasps of amazement from the North Beach audience at San Francisco’s leading jazz spot, Jazz at Pearl’s.

Known as Slammin, the all-body band brings together some of the West Coast’s most inventive vocalists, including Kenny Washington, Zoe Ellis, Destani Wolf and Bryan Dyer, with Hogan on beatbox and Terry, the group’s mastermind, on body percussion, rhythm dance and occasional vocals. Combining the improvisational imperative of a jazz combo with an expansive repertoire drawing on reggae, funk, bebop and soul, the multigenerational ensemble is expanding the possibilities of vocal-group jazz by incorporating its members’ far-flung influences.

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