“We are a soulful ensemble of jazz on a melodic, R&B vibe — laced with a grooved down hip-hop backbeat and a touch of rock,” says young funk-rock/jazz guitarist Donald Jeffrey “DJ” Williams, leader of the technically-proficient DJ Williams Projekt. “The Projekt is gonna make your ass shake, your feet move, and your soul stir. If we can move the audience half as much as we do ourselves they will definitely be back for seconds!”
According to the New Jersey native (now based in Virginia), the band gradually formed itself out of a weekly jam session.
“I started playing a weekly gig every Tuesday night in Richmond at this place called Cafe Diem,” Williams says. “It was a solo gig. There is a huge circle of musicians in our hometown, and we are all friends, so I started having guest musicians with me on stage. Word of mouth started to do its thing, and over a period of about three months, the lineup of the Projekt kind of just happened and stuck. That is still our goal; to build a strong grassroots following. We still play every Tuesday around our tour schedule.”
Williams and his band — saxophonist Gordon Jones, drummer Dusty Simmons, keyboardist Brian Mahne, and bassist Todd Herrington — are currently on tour behind their third proper album, Projekt Management, an 11-song jam session that skips around from the modern “elektrik” sound of contemporary fusion and the classic smooth-groove of ’60s and ’70s funk.
The band is playing mostly new material off the new album, mixing it up with older stuff, standards, and jams. “We try not to ever play a song the same way twice,” says Williams. “So every time we go into a tune, it’s fun to see where the song is going to go musically.”
DJ Williams Projekt perform at the Pour House at 10 p.m. on Sat. Nov. 26. Tickets are $6 at the door.