The Forefathers are a Florida-based band that write and perform original, instrumental compositions — inspired by an eclectic mix of World, Rock, Funk, Folk, Ambient and New Age genres. Their music is cinematic and evocative.
The Forefathers had its origins in the solo work of guitarist Rich Marcil, in his debut CD, From The Edge (2004). The seeds of the original The Forefathers compositions were planted in these original songs arranged and composed by Rich Marcil.
In 2005, an ensemble was formed with Rich Marcil (guitar), Ross Jarrett (percussion/harmonica), Arturo Escamilia (drums), Thuan Nguyen (bass) and Jennifer Willsey (percussion). They reinterpreted and re-recorded Rich's original songs into the new band's self-titled debut CD, The Forefathers (2006).
In 2007, the quartet wrote and recorded their 2nd CD, Manataka. It was a tighter record with a clearer direction, and included original songs written by all members of the band. Jennifer Willsey departed shortly thereafter. The track, Mountain Rose, received frequent radio play on the music soundscape program Echoes in 2008.
The band continued to refine their sound and started writing new material. They joined efforts with sound engineer, Francis. C. Baranyi, to create a personal recording studio and begin recording their next album.
In late 2008, Arturo Escamilia departed, and Curtis Michelson joined the band as drummer. The band scrapped the previous recordings and started over. In their new recording, they also enlisted the voice talents of Vala Rhea, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Birdsall. It also marked the beginning of cooperative joint ventures with dance troupe, Emotions Dance Company.
In 2010, The Forefathers released their 3rd full-length CD, Aurora. The album release party was held at the renowned Orlando venue, Timucua. Dancers from Emotions Dance Co. and vocalist Vala Rhea joined them for a special performance.
In 2011, The Forefathers welcomed multi-instrumentalist, Russell Gaspard, to the line-up and began writing and recording new material. Incorporating synthesizers, viola and classical guitar to the mix.
After a long hiatus, they released their 4th full-length studio album, Full Circle, in 2016. They welcomed new members, Alex Katsaros, on percussion. After Russell Gaspard's departure, the band welcomed Rick Lucchessi, as multi-instrumentalist in 2017.
Longtime friend and collaborator, David Oltman joined as full-time drummer following Alex's departure in 2018. After the 2020-2021 pandemic, Rick Lucchessi departed. With the current lineup, The Forefathers are once again performing live and exploring new music compositions.
A brief photographic history of The Forefathers.
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