DJ Williams Projekt
I’m a Drummer, Producer, Song Writer, Born, Dusty Ray Simmons on October 3rd 1980 in Richmond, Virginia to mother Debra Ann Simmons and father David “Slim” Simmons, Dusty Ray was exposed to music from birth; growing up in a household of musicians where PA equipment doubled as furniture. Dusty Ray received his first drum set for his 8th birthday, which would be the same set he had played on for two years prior in his father’s garage. This would mark the point in time when Dusty Ray’s innovation of music would begin.
It was high school in St. Louis that Dusty Ray created his first band, The Purple Edge, a very loud ensemble of early Pink Floyd, T-Rex and Velvet Underground covers. Following high school he joined his older brother, Jeremy Simmons’ band Peach Crate, a southern rock tip of the hat to everything he and his brothers had grown up listening to. As well Jeremy joined Dusty’s group Space Coyote with guitarist Michael Wehling. In 1998, Dusty Ray along with his brothers Jeremy and Zach packed up moved back to Richmond where he and Jeremy immediately started a band Gray-V, the Saturday Night Live of Richmond acts.(not so much anymore)
Dusty Ray continued to play drums for Oregon Hill Funk All-Stars (OHFAS), and the Devils Workshop Big Band, while touring with heavy metal band Lamb of God as drum tech, monitor engineer and stage manager. Currently, Dusty Ray plays drums for the DJ Williams Projekt, OHFAS, Gray-V, Glasseye Sugardaddy, The Breaks, The Word Brown and created one of the rare existent James Brown Tributes called the The Big Payback and an Allman Brothers tribute band dubbed “Skydog”. He is also writing, performing and producing his debut solo album at Elephant Ear Studios for Low Blow Music which he along with Jeremy own and operate.
From Courthouse Records-
“Todd Herrington is an award winning, critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and educator. As a bassist and founding member of Modern Groove Syndicate, he and fellow band mates have received numerous praise and recognition of their talent including winning the 2004 Best Jazz Band category in the Virginia Music Awards, the 2005 Independent Music Awards Jazz category, a 2007 Pollock Ensemble Award recognizing their contribution to the arts, and have garnered two separate spots on the 2003 and 2005 Grammy Awards’ entry list. His music has reached the top spot on many National/ International radio stations, including a three month run on Xm Radio’s Beyond Jazz station‘s top five.
Todd is actively involved in the Richmond music community performing with several bands such as Modern Groove Syndicate,The New Belgians, the DJ Williams Projekt, and the Big Payback: A Tribute to the Music of James Brown. He has been teaching bass and guitar to students of all ages for over 10 years. In addition to his musical endeavors, Todd has been an English to Speakers of Other Languages Instructor with Chesterfield County Public School since 1998.
A native of Richmond, he holds a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, and resides in the city.”
Mark Ingraham has quickly become one of the most sought after musicians in Virginia. He is a staple on the Richmond music scene performing regularly in town and along the East Coast with several groups including his eight piece super group, Beast Wellington.
Mark graduated in 2004 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance with concentration in composition and arranging. In 2003 and 2004 he was a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition placing third in the Jazz Division in 2003. Mark has been featured on over 30 albums, and his musical endeavors have allowed him to perform internationally.
He has performed with music greats such as Tony Award winner Savion Glover, Grammy Award winner Brian Lynch, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Mulgrew Miller, the O’Jays, the P-Funk Allstars, Steve Wilson, Matt Wilson, Steve Lacy and Herb Pommeroy. He has also had the pleasure to share the stage with John Legend, Fantasia Barrino, Buddy Guy, Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne, Foghat, the Dave Mathews Band, Dickie Betts, Soulive, Michael Franti, Chuck Mangione, Boney James, Betty White and Slick Rick. Richmond Magazine chose his as one of 10 band leaders to watch out for in 2009.
Having received a BMA from Hampton University Mr. Jones went on to do a short stint with Carnival Cruise lines as a musician. Directly after that brief run he started working with a hip hop group named “Jazz Poets Society”. JPS toured with such artists as Imogen Heep, Erikah Badau, The Roots, Goode Mob, A Tribe called Quest, and Doug E. Fresh to name a few. JPS disbanded in 2002.
Continuing on his career path, Gordon was recruited to another original music project named The Headstone Circus. There he performed and wrote for the band. He also wrote and performed guitar/saxophone duets with the bands’ leader Sean Hoppe. This collaboration lasted approximately six years. During the time with “Headstone” Gordon got the itch to try his hand at becoming a band leader.
The Oregon Hill Funk All Stars was the band and it’s second release “Backbeat Sacrifice” was independently produced and released in 2004. The CD received some critical acclaim and wonderful reviews (Relix Oct. 2005).
Having shown prowess as both a sideman and band leader the intrepid Mr. Jones decided to collaborate with a talented young man named D.J. Williams and help him create his own outfit (of which he is presently a member) the “D.J. Williams Projekt”.
Presently Gordon “Saxman” Jones tours nationally and internationally with critically acclaimed blues artist Corey Harris (featured on Blu.Black Concord/Telarc records and Father Sun/Mother Earth Corey’s first independent release). In addition to these projects Gordon also works with Chris “Peanut” Whitley and Stable roots productions.
The latest member of DJWP joined after Brian Mahne decided to leave fulfill other pursuits. Joey heads ups his own group Near Earth Objects as well as performing in SKYDOG the Allman Bros. tribute band.
- Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
- The Breaks
- Williams & Jones
- Projekt Produktions