Drawing on influences from Middle Eastern, Native American, African and Eastern European musical traditions, Incus is redefining the American Tribal music movement. The combination of keyboards, accordion, violin, and cello with male and female vocals creates a beautifully haunting soundscape, replete with mesmerizing rhythms capable of inducing trance-like states.
Incus expresses a willingness to embrace the totality of human emotion, both light and dark. An Incus performance is a gathering of people who come together to live and breathe the challenge of being alive, to raise the energy to move toward ecstasy. The element of fire both illuminates and transforms, and it is this energy that Incus embodies while holding space for people to acknowledge the dark and move toward the light.
Incus' music has moved many a dancer since the band's formation in the mid-nineties. Indeed, the band's live act has featured performers of many stripes for years, particularly belly dancers, fire and flag spinners, and shadow dancers, among others. More than just a band, Incus has become an important anchor for a community of creative performers, providing the musical and energetic foundation for creative expression both onstage and in the audience.
Their newest single, "Dancer Through Time," is set to a video that portrays some of the Incus experience, featuring the band and many other performers. A teaser can be seen on the band's website. The song is also featured on a recently released DVD as part of the Fantasy Belly dance Series: Desire, produced by World Dance New York. The song accompanies a dance performed by Naraya of Vadalna Tribal Dance Company.
This embrace and transcendence of duality extends to the very modes of performance themselves. Incus is equally at home rocking out onstage at clubs and bars "plugged in" and electrified as they are performing in their acoustic power at fire festivals around the country. They have gained appreciative followings from these diverse settings. During the last four summers, Incus toured over 20,000 miles, making music at over 100 fires, and at various festivals and venues.
The core members of the tribe include composer Jason Cohen on vocals, keys, accordion, and percussion; Jacob Sirois on drums and percussion; and Chris Baum (Dropkick Murphys) on violin and vocals. For the summer of 2008, they will be joined at different shows by Billy Woods, Michael Wall, and Liron Peled (Raquy and the Cavemen) on percussion; Eli Carlton-Pearson on guitar; Kellianna and Katy Q. on vocals; and Kira Meade.. Dancers Naraya of Vadalna Tribal Dance Company and Sarah "Jezebel" Wood will accompany the musicians.
Jason Cohen, the visionary force of the band, has experienced numerous healing and expressive arts rituals around the United States, Mexico, and recently, Costa Rica. His knowledge, experience, and training as a ritual facilitator becomes a part of every Incus performance. Jason is also known for his work developing the interfaith spiritual Forestdance Gatherings, which have taken place in 5 US states as well as in Costa Rica. These are powerful transformational ritual gatherings designed to bring people into their full power through sacred fire circles. As the facilitator for these events, Jason is a community organizer, deeply committed to empowering people and communities while doing his best to honor all life on the planet.