About b l u e l e v e l soaring popularity Blue Level, formed in 2001 in Columbus, Ohio, is captivating a nationwide, diverse listening audience with their elegant and unique pop sound. Since the self-release of their third album Evenings in December 2004, Border's Book Stores has ranked Blue Level number one in all sales of local bands in Central Ohio. 15 months after the release, numerous adult contemporary, alternative radio and internet radio stations continue to rotate multiple Blue Level tracks from the album on their stations. Prestigious venues The band features vocalist Trace Marie, saxophonist Craig Fernandez, percussionist Brad Butler and composer Brad Scott. Together they fuse elements of blues, jazz, pop and hip hop into a strikingly original and sophisticated modern sound. Because of their emotive music style and dynamic musicianship, Blue Level has played at the most prestigious venues in Central Ohio including: The Columbus Arts Festival, The Ohio State University, The Newport Music Hall, Veteran's Memorial Auditorium and many others. Much of their recent growth in popularity is due to their weekly performances at various Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, one of the United State's most successful upscale restaurant groups, with locations in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville, Columbus and Indianapolis. Musician bios Lead singer and songwriter Trace Marie sets the stage with her note-perfect, soulful voice that she has perfected since childhood. When she was very young Trace's parents realized her pristine, three octave range and inspired her to follow her ambitions to become a professional vocalist. Trace began in elementary school singing in many musicals. Her interests also included clarinet and piano, though she continued studying voice, and participated in several Columbus youth choirs. Female artists including Joni Mitchell, Blondie, Ricki Lee Jones, and Madonna greatly influenced Trace's lyrical and vocal development. At 17, she discovered other talented musicians interested in creating original music and became a lead singer in a band that eventually evolved into the core line-up of Blue Level. Today, Trace Marie commands a sensual voice that critics have likened to Norah Jones, with the strength of Sinead O'Conner. Her musical style incorporates memorable melodies and hooks with intelligent lyrics and lively arrangements. Experienced tenor and soprano saxophonist, Craig Fernandez, is a featured member of several successful jazz and blues bands including Backstairs Quartet, Sean Carney Band, and Deep Blue Groove. His father, Ben Fernandez, an accomplished musician, inspired Craig to perform when he heard his son's natural ability. Craig laughs remembering his teenage years playing in a talent contest at a steakhouse and winning the grand prize (a steak dinner, of course.) With influences ranging from Miles Davis to Black Sabbath, Craig exudes smoothness while exploring many styles. An improvisational musician, Craig takes music to new levels allowing his horn to meld with the other instruments to create rich harmonies. Composer, producer, guitarist and vocalist, Brad Scott is another essential creative element to Blue Level's music. Early in life Bradley explored different styles sitting with his mother at the piano, creating songs of love and heartbreak by the age of eight. In elementary school, Brad borrowed his older brother's guitar and within weeks was entertaining the neighborhood. Bradley's natural talent and passion to improve his skills resulted in innumerable awards in children's music contests. His literature and poetry was published locally and nationally in various young writer forums which lead him to continue his study of writing at The Ohio State University. By 1987, an underage Bradley began playing regular Saturday gigs at popular downtown Columbus nightclubs. One of his early projects with other promising musicians was the popular Ohio college band Supplication that gave birth to both Blue Level and nationally-known jam band ekoostik hookah. Percussionist, Brad Butler is also from Ohio and has been playing music since the age of nine. He picked up the trumpet in third grade and was a state award winner by junior high school. As a sophomore in high school, Brad also developed a profound interest in the drums. In college, Brad played in The Ohio University Marching Band on trumpet before drums completely took over. Since focusing on the drums, Brad has been a key element in successful Ohio bands including Time Warp, Destination Blues, Biggie Maggoo, Happy Sac, Roberta's Basement, Richey Brothers Band and Supplication.
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