9:15 – 10:15pm, Saturday 3 November, St Pats Hall
10:00 – 11:00pm, Sunday 4 November, WPAC Theatre
FORQ is an instrumental quartet with a dynamic sound and a penchant for sonic exploration. The group is composed of world-class improvisers, but it is their unusually memorable, genre-blending songs that leave the most lasting impression. Seven of these songs make up their third album Thrēq (pronounced “threek”), which was released in late 2017. Originally founded by keyboardist Henry Hey (David Bowie, Empire of the Sun, Jeff “Tain” Watts) and bassist Michael League (Grammy-winning leader of Snarky Puppy), Forq is now joined by guitarist Chris McQueen (Snarky Puppy, Bokanté), drummer Jason “JT” Thomas (Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Marcus Miller, D’Angelo) and bassist Kevin Scott (Wayne Krantz, Jimmy Herring, Col. Bruce Hampton). They have toured across the US and Europe and performed at international festivals including the North Sea Jazz festival, Jazz A’ Vienne, Udine Jazz Festival, Upstream Festival, and the GroundUP Festival in Miami Beach.
Chris McQueen – guitar
Henry Hey – keyboard
Kevin Scott – bass
Jason ‘JT’ Thomas – drums
Keyboardist Henry Hey is an established composer, arranger, producer, music director, and songwriter. He has lent his personal voice to many bands including his own co-led group, Rudder (featuring Keith Carlock, Tim Lefebvre, and Chris Cheek). Henry has recorded and performed regularly with jazz notables such as Donny McCaslin, Theo Bleckmann, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, and Seamus Blake. His musical work also finds him engaged in creative projects outside of jazz. Most recently he worked directly with David Bowie as the orchestrator, arranger, and musical director for David’s theatre piece Lazarus (NYC/London). Henry was George Michael’s musical director, working closely with George and legendary producer Phil Ramone in the creation of the critically acclaimed album Symphonica. He went on to lead the forty-piece orchestra and band in arena touring throughout Europe. He was also the musical director for Rod Stewart’s Great
American Songbook, for which he led and arranged the world tour and television appearances. Henry’s writing can be heard on the latest albums by pop sensation Empire of the Sun and Columbia artist Lucy Woodward. His playing can be heard on several major motion pictures, including Ocean’s Twelve, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Hundred-Foot Journey. He also collaborated with Empire of the Sun on the songs and score for cult film Dumb and Dumber To. In demand as a key part of several touring groups, Henry appears frequently with television and Broadway star Vanessa Williams and Columbia recording artist Chris Botti, and he has worked closely in the studio with producers Tony Visconti, Kevin Killen, Frank Filipetti, Richard Perry and Steve Tyrell.
Guitarist Chris McQueen is an Austin-based producer, composer, arranger, and recording artist. He is a founding member of three-time Grammy winning band Snarky Puppy as well as an acoustic guitar duo with fellow Austinite Matt Read. He tours around the world with Snarky and several other groups, including Bokanté, Lizz Wright, Banda Magda, Lucy Woodward, and Alejandro Escovedo. Chris started writing and recording music in Austin at ten, but he cut his teeth in the Dallas Gospel/R&B scene, especially through the mentorship of keyboardist Bernard Wright. He attended the University of North Texas for jazz, where he played in and wrote for the One O’Clock Lab Band. Chris has led several rock bands, including Oso Closo and Foe Destroyer, and has been featured in a number of rock musicals. Most recently he played lead guitar in David Bowie’s Lazarus at New York Theatre Workshop and The Rocky Horror Show at The Dallas Theater Center. He also designed and built Guitar Note Atlas, an app for iPhone and iPad to help guitar students learn the fretboard.
Drummer Jason Thomas (aka JT) is a producer, writer, and singer from Weatherford, TX. Growing up in a musical family, JT started playing the drums at the age of three. His early exposure to different genres of music—such as Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, Caribbean, and Gospel—is what prepared him to authentically adapt to any musical situation. After years of honing his skills with all kinds of bands in Dallas, JT quickly became known for his versatility. Calls soon came in for both live and studio work with artists such as Fred Hammond, Roy Hargrove (RH Factor), Les McCann, Marcus Miller, Tommy Sims, CeCe Winans, Daystar TV, Mark Lettieri, Snarky Puppy, and Phillip Phillips. Though playing all styles of music can be a challenge, it is JT’s passion and hallmark. His high level of preparation for each artist he works with, along with being a consummate professional on and off stage, is what keeps him in high demand on stages and in studios around the world. JT proudly and exclusively endorses Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Sticks, Meinl Cymbals and Percussion, and MatTea.
Bassist Kevin Scott has been a fixture on the Atlanta music scene for over a decade, and is always expanding his musical and geographic reach. Whether performing live or in the studio, as a leader or a sideman, his musical knowledge and creative spirit have made him a first call in many circles from jazz to funk, hip- hop, and metal. He has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists including Jimmy Herring, Donny McCaslin, Wayne Krantz, Akon, Monica, Wale, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, and Russell Gunn. When not on tour, Kevin is the host of Atlanta’s infamous no-holds-barred Tuesday night jam session, which has become a destination for some of the best musicians in the world to play purely improvisational music among other free thinkers.