About

After a last-minute rescue call to tour with the premier Genesis tribute-band The Musical Box, drummer Jonathan Mover returned home waxing nostalgic: “I haven't had that much fun onstage in a long time and was reminded of the reason I began drumming in the first place–Prog Rock. Playing songs like 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', 'Dance on A Volcano', 'Wot Gorilla', 'Watcher of The Skies' and 'Back In NYC' had me feeling fifteen again and relit the very same fire I felt when I first picked up sticks."
Next thought, "What if I put together 'The Ultimate Prog Rock Experience', with top players, and pay homage to our favorite Prog giants–Genesis, YES, ELP and King Crimson, along with some Pink Floyd, Rush, Peter Gabriel, U.K., Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and more..." The seeds were sown.
With a two-plus hour set that includes Prog classics and epics such as, "Back In NYC", "The Cinema Show", "Firth of Fifth", "Karn Evil 9 - 1st Impression Pt. I & II", "From The Beginning", "Siberian Khatru", "Roundabout", "Long Distance Runaround", "21st Century Schizoid Man", "Lark's Tongues In Aspic", "Xanadu", "La Villa Strangiato", "Have A Cigar", "Wish You Were Here", "Solsbury Hill", "Living In The Past" and more... ProgJect is going to drop your jaw and blow your mind.

Players

When the idea of ProgJect first came to mind, my initial thought was, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a stable of amazing players to work with, and depending on the material and schedule - pick, choose and assemble accordingly, always keeping it fresh and with new perspectives via the various players performing.” Fortunately, my first set of phone calls resulted in the opportunity to put together a line-up that came together straight away!
That being said, the 2022 debut line-up of ProgJect on tour was a big success and the opportunities for the future are even greater than imagined. With that, we're expanding the ProgJect family so that we do not have to pass on any opportunities or turn down any offers due to someone’s availability or lack of. Therefore, we'll be adding new players to the fold and changing it up from time to time and tour to tour–depending on the material and schedule, we’ll present various line-ups accordingly.
So, if you’re a musician (vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, instrumentalist, and/or a drummer, in case I need a break at some point) and you love classic prog, want to play classic prog, can play the shit out of your instrument(s) and remember all the notes/words, own the gear, have experience on the road (know bus/travel etiquette), play and get along well with others, have no problems (bad habits) with alcohol and/or drugs, and are reliable, then by all means, send me an email with your details and we’ll take it from there.

Jonathan Mover

Why Prog?

It was hearing “Lucky Man” on the radio when I was a kid, and Keith Emerson’s Moog solo during the outro just blew my mind. I asked my parents to buy me the record, but when we got to the store and found the ELP bin, as soon as I saw the cover of Brain Salad Surgery, I had to have it–even though “Lucky Man” wasn’t on it. I put it on and my mind was blown just the same; as soon as I heard Carl Palmer’s drum solo in “Toccata”, which incorporated synthesizer drums, it was settled.

From there, it was drums and all things Prog–ELP, YES, Genesis and King Crimson, followed by Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Rush, U.K., Bruford, Dixie Dregs, Pink Floyd, 10cc, Happy The Man, FM, Camel, The Tubes, Utopia, PFM, Nektar, Triumvirat, etc. That being said, if you really take the word ‘progressive’ for its true meaning, then there’s the be-all and end-all of music for me: Frank Zappa, and my favorite band of all time, The Beatles.

And, Prog record covers were the best! As mentioned, it was HR Giger’s ELP cover that caught my attention, and undeniably, all of Roger Dean’s work for YES (and others); King Crimson’s In The Court…, Genesis’ Seconds Out, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side…, etc. And let’s not forget, Roxy Music’s Country Life!

Ryo Okumoto

Why Prog?

The moment I discovered Jimmy “The Cat” Smith when I was 10, I felt sure that I was destined to become an organist. After I heard Deep Purple’s Machine Head, I bought a Hammond organ and a Marshall amp, and somehow managed not to lose my hearing in the process! When I saw the band U.K. live in concert on May 30th, 1979 at Sun Plaza in Nakano, Japan, I knew my heart belonged to progressive music.

Playing in the top rock band in Japan wasn’t good enough so I moved to L.A. After I graduated school with courses in Jazz Keyboards, Composition and Arrangement, and Film Scoring, I started playing and recording with a wide array of artists in every genre of music.

It was in 1995 that I joined Spock’s Beard and my journey into Prog was set in stone and my fate was sealed. All I want to do now is to play organ with passion and wild abandon, play intense and moving and memorable synth melodies with my Moog and envelop people in the unmistakable sound of the legendary Mellotron, all while climbing atop my keyboards screaming, “Yeah! Look at me up here, I’m PROGGING!”

Mike Keneally

Why Prog?

My first instrument was the Magnus Chord Organ I got for my seventh birthday and I got serious about it right away, so my parents started feeding me a succession of Hammond Organs, gradually introducing me to the concepts of bass pedals, drum boxes, timbral varieties and most importantly, the headphone jack. I spent many happy hours joyfully trapped inside audio prisons of my making.

One day when I was nine years old, the most adventurous of the local stations played side one of the then-brand-new ELP album Tarkus. I had no idea you could do that with a Hammond Organ, and it was absolute love at first listen. The stuff Keith Emerson was writing and playing, combined with the way he was recorded and the aggression of the hard percussion sound on his Hammond reached to the deepest part of my being and took up permanent residence there. During that same year I heard Frank Zappa for the first time, and the one-two punch of FZ and KE set me off on a lifelong journey in constant search of the adventurous and the unpredictable in music.

I started playing guitar when I was 11 and tried to import the experiments that I was doing on the keyboard over to the fretboard. When I was 16, I taught myself every released Gary Green guitar part, which gave me important insight into the architectural arrangement aspects of Gentle Giant; from there my tastes just went further and further out.

Michael Sadler

Why Prog?

Let’s just say that, in a way, Prog found me. My first “official” exposure to the genre happened when the drummer for the band I was in at the time came home with an import copy of Gentle Giant’s Three Friends. We played the album in its entirety and once the dust had settled, I looked at him and said, “I’m not sure what that is, but I want to play music like that!” And so it began. I think that what drew me in was the syncopation, counterpoint vocals, brilliant lyrics and overall musical gymnastics on display. Yet, with all of that going on there was always a common thread that bound the whole thing together.

After running the gamut of listening to “all things Prog” I made a promise to myself that if and when it came time for me to write my own material, I would acknowledge and allow my influences to exist, but never penetrate my writing process. Rule number one; if a new part reminds you of something else you’ve heard before, trash it and move on!

Pete Griffin

Why Prog?

I was lucky to grow up with a much older brother who was cool enough to be a big Genesis/Peter Gabriel fan, so before I ever touched a bass (or really knew what one was), I was exposed to that music. Granted, it was a lot of the ‘80s Genesis stuff, but there are still lots of “proggy” tunes on those albums, like “Domino” and “Home By The Sea”, and it all introduced me to music that went far beyond a 4-minute pop song. Being raised in a sleepy suburb of NYC, I fell into these epic songs as an escape from my otherwise boring high school life, and soon rounded out my prog collection with a ton of YES, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull and Gong, amongst others. It’s so amazing to be able to finally learn how to play these songs that I already know so well as a listener, and to realize just what a huge influence all these bassists are on my own approach to the instrument.

Nick D'Virgilio

Why Prog?

Because I love it. When I was about eight years old, my brother Mike brought home a record and didn’t show me what it was. He told me to sit down and just listen to the song. That song was “The Battle of Epping Forest” from the Genesis record Selling England By The Pound. I was literally blown away by the musicianship from everybody in the band and the way Peter Gabriel sang that song. From that moment, ‘the Prog’ was in me.

At that point, I dove in deep and became a huge Genesis fan. That spurred me on to so many other great bands and wonderful music to learn from. Progressive rock has been an amazing education for me. From those early days all the way to the current point in my life, I’m still learning things from progressive rock music. I think I love it so much because it has a little bit of everything in it. That’s what makes it “progressive”. From jazz to metal, funk to Latin music, you can find nuances of all that and more in progressive rock. I’m forever a fan of the genre.

Marc Bonilla

Why Prog?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a variety of whom I consider to be A-list players whose creativity, guidance and musical instincts have contributed greatly to my deep love for music - from symphonic to rock. Yet, with all of these styles that have immersed me at different times in my development, I think Prog has led the forefront. Reason being that, if well-conceived and well-executed, it encompasses all of the styles into one entity. You have elements of rock, classical, blues, funk, jazz, pop, and soundtrack music present in one genre. No other musical umbrella can boast this feature. To me it is the best of all worlds combined into one glorious paradigm. Visual music. Plus, the fan appreciation for Prog is pure and unparalleled.

Ric Fierabracci

Why Prog?

When I first started playing bass, a friend gave me a copy of Fragile by YES–the music absolutely blew me away! Such glorious harmony and the bass and drum concept from Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, was so different from what I had ever heard before. It was a very positive, magical, learning experience for me. At that time, I was really into John Paul Jones and John Entwistle, who are also amazing in their own right, but this showed me that all of these great musicians had their own sound and approach, and that with music, anything you could imagine was possible.

That kickstarted me into a need to understand music as much as possible, and led me through various bands that [Bill] Bruford played in–King Crimson, Genesis, U.K. and others. For instance, U.K. turned me on to Allan Holdsworth; Allan turned me on to Soft Machine, Jean Luc Ponty, and Tony Williams; Tony turned me on to Miles Davis, and Miles turned me on to all of the jazz, prog and fusion greats. I saw a pattern that, great musicians play with other great musicians, so I decided I wanted to learn as much as possible about this thing called Music.

I was accepted at the University of Miami Jazz department when I was sixteen and just before classes started, a friend dragged me to see this band of UM graduates called the Dixie Dregs…I knew nothing about them. I was absolutely floored by the music and the amazing playing by everyone in the band. That’s when I really decided to dedicate my life to music, the knowledge of it, and mastery of it. Prog music started this whole journey for me–a journey that never ends, and a wonderful life of new awakenings and friendships as well.

Ted Leonard

Why Prog?

My brother came home with the Kansas album Drastic Measures and I was immediately drawn to the more complex compositions. The first cassette I ever purchased with my own paper-route money was their Best Of, at which point I was hooked. I didn’t even know what “prog” was, but after hearing Kansas described as such, I started checking out YES, Rush, and Genesis. But, for me, Kansas remains my favorite band. I must say, I got pretty good at drawing their logo on my Pee Chee folders and Trapper Keepers. I didn’t have any friends that were into this music so I never really got exposed to more obscure bands until I joined Enchant, which was in response to an ad that led off with “Steve Hogarth, where are you?” I didn’t know who he was but they listed Kansas and Queensryche as influences, so I responded. The rest is…well, you know.

Michael Whiteman

Why Prog?

I discovered prog as a teenager in the late ‘90s when a neighbour introduced me to Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and they became my favourite band of my teenage years. Whilst my friends were all listening to Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, I was listening to MMEB, Queen and the Beatles. Later, at university, I discovered the music of Genesis and someone suggested that if I liked them, I might also enjoy the music of Spock’s Beard. They were right! The thing I like most about prog is the contrast. The other thing I like most about prog is the idea of telling a story through the music. The music I enjoy most takes the listener on a journey and expresses a range of emotions. I like that, prog songs can be about unusual subjects and can employ the full range of musical dynamics, tempo, texture and instrumentation and so forth. And a 20-minute story can take you on more of an emotional rollercoaster than a three-minute one that’s the same throughout! Prog on!

Travis Davis

Why Prog?

In my case, it was more a matter of: Why wouldn’t I?

My first musical loves were comprised of The Beatles and various forms of symphonic music, so when I discovered that there was a type of music that incorporated ideas from both the world of rock music and the world of symphonic music, I was instantly hooked.

Bands like YES, Rush, ELP, Bruford, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Kansas, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Focus, Genesis, King Crimson and even the early recordings of Chicago, helped me to realize a good song with rock instrumentation doesn’t have to end after five minutes…two-and-a-half minutes these days.

When it came to playing bass, I was always looking for bigger challenges, and the worlds of Prog and Fusion seemed the most satisfying to me. It’s “my jam”, as they say.

As to how you would define what Prog is, you can discuss that for hours. I’ve never really worried that much about genre, for me there are only two types of music–the kind you like, and the kind you don’t.

Jason Bieler

Why Prog?

I have to be honest, I’m the oddball here! When I was growing up, Genesis was fronted by Phil Collins, Yes was 90125, and while I was aware of the brilliance of people like Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew, and of course Holdsworth, I never really took a deep dive into classic Prog until Mover asked me if I would be interested in coming onboard. In many ways, this was a wonderful thing, as I had the chance to discover what this music and these musicians were about from a different perspective than the others in the band.

Wonderful fellas, wonderful music…

Tour

Fall/Winter 2022 US Tour Dates

Date City Venue Buy
Sep 24, 2022 San Pedro, CA Alvas Showroom Past Event
Sep 25, 2022 San Pedro, CA Alvas Showroom Past Event
Dec 9, 2022 San Diego, CA The Ritz Theater - Escondido Tickets
Dec 10, 2022 Los Angeles, CA Champion Site+Sound Tickets
Dec 11, 2022 San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House Tickets

More dates to be announced soon!

Media