is a contemporary jazz-rock band that incorporate a heavy world-fusion influence to produce an innovative and original sound. Their self-titled debut album showcases this interweaving of diverse musical traditions: a jazz vibe mixes with the power of rock, searing blues, Indian sensibilities and a pulsing groove. Led by guitarist-composer Marcus Taylor, the album features Ben Bell, Matt Snowden and Jeff Willet on keyboards, drums and percussion.
Marcus Taylor is a guitarist, bassist, percussionist, composer and academic. He produced Kashgar as a vehicle for his solo compositions exploring the interface of jazz, rock and world styles. On picking up the guitar as a 17 year old, Marcus learned to play by copying Santana solos as best he could on an old acoustic guitar. Soon upgrading to an electric, it was a short musical hop from Santana to John McLaughlin, Al di Meola and other 70s fusion pioneers whose vital energy and genre-blending approaches remain a huge influence. As a composer, he has consistently sought to craft a unique sound and is drawn to a wide range of musical styles to serve as points of inspiration. At any given time you might find Marcus listening to contemporary Nepalese folk music, Miles Davis or 70s progressive rock. His other musical ventures as both player and composer include the classic rock band Broken Parachute and the jazz-pop band Crosswinds. He normally lives in Kingston, Canada, but is presently resident in Helsinki, Finland. His academic work can be found here.
Ben Bell is keyboard player, vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Surrey, UK. Part of the Fusion Orchestra 2, Ben is an avid composer and has recently produced his own solo album, , which has been described on progrockarchives.com as “the way keyboard prog should be, virtuoso and ‘soundscapit’, pushing the boundaries that have illuminated our genre and help it to survive”. Kashgar is not the first time Ben has collaborated with Marcus having worked together on the contemporary classic rock album Down Is the New Up by Broken Parachute.
Matt Snowden is a British session drummer who has toured internationally and put his signature drumming on thousands of successful projects. He has worked with Marcus previously on a number of projects, including playing the drums on both the Broken Parachute and Crosswinds albums. An active performer and studio engineer, he can be commissioned for session work via his website.
Jeff Willet is a Philadelphia area percussionist and drummer. An active performer and recording artist on a range of percussion instruments, Jeff has a constant drive to continue exploring world rhythms and new types of hand drums. His website, including tutorials and performances, can be found at www.jeffwilletmusic.com Check out his wonderful hang-drum playing below!