The Shuffle Demons
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|The Shuffle Demons|
Shuffle Demons in concert at the Guelph Jazz Festival. Left to right: Perry White, Richard Underhill, Stich Wynston, George Koller, Kelly Jefferson
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Jazz fusion, Pop, Jazz rap|
|Past members||Mike Murley
Eric St. Laurent
The band had a surprise Top 40 hit in Canada with their 1986 single "Spadina Bus". The song, from their debut album Streetniks, referred to the Toronto Transit Commission's Spadina Avenue bus in Toronto, Ontario. This song was also used as the original theme to CITY-TV's show Speakers Corner.
The Shuffle Demons released four more albums over the next seven years. They never scored another mainstream pop hit, although the video "Get Out of My House, Roach" received considerable airplay on MuchMusic. They retained a devoted cult following on the jazz scene, however.
In 1987, they appeared on the critically acclaimed children's television program Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show during season four. They help the trio find their lost pal, Elephant, in the episode titled "An Elephant Never Forgets".[clarification needed]
Later career and breakup
The group played jazz, folk, world and rock festivals from Halifax to Vancouver and from Italy to Estonia from 1986 – 1997, touring across Canada 15 times and through Europe 15 times. The Shuffle Demons featured a fusion of hard bop and rap combined with exotic costumes and a no-holds-barred performance style. Over the course of 15 European tours they were a hit at several Jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz, Molde Jazz, London’s Outside In Jazz festival, the Edinburgh Jazz festival, the Sfinks festival, and Jazz a Vienne.
Murley and Vivian left the band in 1989, and were replaced by Perry White and George Koller. Koller left in 1993, and was replaced by Mike Milligan. The following year, Wynston and White left the band, and were replaced by Eric St. Laurent and Greg Smith.
Parker left in 1995. The band subsequently broke up in 1997.
Reformation and international touring
Underhill, Parker, White, Wynston, Koller and Milligan reformed the band in 2004, releasing a new greatest hits CD to coincide with their reunion tour. During the tour, the band also coordinated a successful attempt at a world record for the largest number of people playing saxophone simultaneously. The official Guinness Book of Records count is 900 participants, all playing the theme from Hockey Night in Canada.
The Shuffle Demons continue to tour and performed at festivals in India, China and Europe in 2006 and in Thailand, South Korea and the USA in 2010 with great success. In the summer of 2011, the band performed at the Rochester, NY and Kingston, ON Jazz Festivals, as well as touring Australia and New Zealand.
In 2012, "Clusterfunk", their first album of new material in seventeen years, was released. It was recorded and mixed between January and September of the previous year, at Canterbury Music and Inception Sound, both located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Streetniks (1986)
- Bop Rap (1988)
- What Do You Want? (1990)
- Alive in Europe (1992)
- Extra Crispy (1993)
- Get Right EP (1995)
- Greatest Hits (2004)
- Clusterfunk (2012)
- The Shuffle Demons official website