State of Jefferson is a diverse group of musicians who pride themselves on possessing an array of influences and a varied sound. This group is fun, it’s upbeat and it’s got all of southern Oregon buzzing.
Ryan Redding and Joe Ginet founded the band in 2002 and it’s been growing ever since. Six members now travel the West Coast and frequently gig the Hawaiian Islands.
“We come from a small town so we’re a band made of friends and family,” keyboardist and vocalist Erik Vestnys says. “The age group of the band is from 28 to 52, so there’s a lot of diversity when it comes to influences.”
State of Jefferson’s live show looks different on any given night because these guys are true showmen. “We try to cater toward our audience; our show depends completely on the vibe of the environment we are in,” Vestnys says. “Sometimes we play for a winery; sometimes we play for a loud festival; it just depends.”
But these guys are more than just musical mercenaries taking any gig that comes their way: The band hosts the Jefferson State Hemp Fest, which features more than 50 other bands and is considered to be southern Oregon’s largest music festival. “It’s about community and creating community together with our friends,” Vestnys says. “It’s fun and it’s a way of life for us.”
State of Jefferson is like a perfectly planned mural, drawing together artists young and old, with every kind of instrument and many different influences — and the group’s music still manages to come out sounding brilliant. Blending reggae, funk, hip-hop and jazz, State of Jefferson is one band that always has its listeners begging for an encore.
State of Jefferson plays 4:20 pm Friday, Aug. 10, at the Northwest World Reggae Festival; for ticket info go to www.nwwrf.com — Ali Enright