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The Seattle-based acoustic instrumental jam band Hanuman is comprised of members Paul Benoit (acoustic guitar), Tige DeCoster (acoustic bass), Jarrod Kaplan (djembe, percussion), and Scott Law (mandolin, acoustic guitar). Mixing rock, funk, jazz, bluegrass, African, Middle Eastern, and experimental music together into one tasty sonic cocktail, the quartet's sound brings to mind such acclaimed artists as Dave Matthews; Medeski, Martin & Wood; and David Grisman. The band formed in June of 1996, taking their name from stories of a Hindu Monkey God, with the original lineup consisting of flutist Ben Klein in addition to Kaplan, DeCoster, and Benoit. Klein left the group in November of 1997 as the group was put on hiatus while Benoit and DeCoster toured with roots rockers Crosseyed and Kaplan recorded and toured with the tribal gypsy pop band Devachan. A year later, the remaining trio wanted to resurrect Hanuman once more, and began playing as a trio throughout the summer of 1999 (billed as the Hanuman Trio). By the fall of the same year, Scott Law was welcomed aboard, as the band returned to their original setup of a quartet, and began supplementing their live shows with such extra musicians as Damien Aiken on saxophone, Hugh Sutton on Wurlitzer keyboard and accordion, and Billy Oskay on the fiddle. The group has subsequently played shows with such big names as the String Cheese Incident, the Jazz Mandolin Project, Jimmy Cliff, the Micky Hart Band, Zen Tricksters, Big Wu, Joe Craven, the Motet, Living Daylights, Grandmothers, and Vinyl, among others. In 2000, Hanuman appeared at numerous open air festivals on the West Coast, tops being the High Sierra Music Festival, the Oregon Country Fair, NW Folklife, and Bumbershoot. So far, the quartet has issued a total of three albums -- their self-titled debut in 1996, 1999's Hanuman Trio Live, and 2000's Pedalhorse. ~ allmusic.com
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