Official site of the instrumental rock band Moraine
Introducing Moraine's new drummer extraordinaire Brian Oppel!
Moraine is a shape-shifting Seattle-based instrumental quintet led by guitarist Dennis Rea and featuring ace instrumentalists Alicia DeJoie (violin), James DeJoie (woodwinds), Kevin Millard (bass), and Brian Oppel (drums), Moraine has quickly built a reputation as one of the most electrifying and original instrumental rock bands anywhere, winning over listeners around the globe with its unique amalgam of art rock, forward-thinking jazz, Asian-inspired music, and more.
With a distinctive repertoire balancing rigorously composed passages with exploratory improvisation, Moraine has delighted audiences ranging from progressive rock partisans to jazz aficionados to metalheads. The band has generated a buzz with performances in major East Coast cities, California, Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, Siberia, and Tuva, and its set at NEARfest 2010 was considered by many to be a highlight of the festival. Moraine's MoonJune Records releases manifest deNsity and Metamorphic Rock have garnered hundreds of glowing reviews worldwide. The band's recently completed third album for MoonJune Records, Groundswell – co-produced and mixed by legendary Pacific Northwest producer Steve Fisk – was released in late 2014.
Exclusive management: MoonJune Records & Management
Moraine live at Ustuu Huree Festival, Tuva 7.24.15
All photos except Brian Oppel (c) Joe del Tufo / Studio M
Dennis Rea's adventurous guitar playing blends modern jazz, creative rock, experimental music, and world musical traditions into an approach that is uniquely his own, encompassing haunting lyricism, enigmatic textures, agile improvisation, and the raw dynamism of rock. Over the years Dennis has led or been a key contributor to such innovative groups as Land (with Jeff Greinke), Iron Kim Style, Stackpole, Savant (with K. Leimer), Earthstar (produced by Klaus Schulze), Identity Crisis, and Ting Bu Dong. He has performed or recorded with such prominent creative musicians as acclaimed French composer Hector Zazou, Dutch jazz legend Han Bennink, trombone virtuoso Stuart Dempster, and godfather of Chinese rock Cui Jian, as well as members of King Crimson, Hawkwind, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Ministry, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. He has collaborated with many of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese music and was one of the first Western musicians to record an album for the state-owned China Record Company. He is also an accomplished author whose most recent work is the book Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan. For more information, see the Dennis Rea website.
Born in Nashville, East Coast native Alicia DeJoie moved to Seattle in 1994 and soon began playing electric guitar and violin in local bands Big Sister and X-tra Virgin. She has recorded and toured the country with Jeremy Enigk, performing works from his solo album, Return of the Frog Queen. In addition to Moraine, she often plays violin with singer-songwriter Eric Apoe, and is a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra tribute band Being John McLaughlin. Alicia and her husband, James (also in Moraine), co-lead the alternative rock band Dr. Fleek and the Army of Experimental Children, in which she sings and plays banjo. In 2013, Alicia had the honor of participating with Seattle’s legendary trombonist Stuart Dempster in a performance for Doug Aitken's art exhibition opening, MIRROR, at the Seattle Art Museum, which included an outdoor performance of Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music,” as well as performing in Terry Riley’s minimalist piece “In C.” In 2015, Alicia performed at Seattle’s esteemed Seaprog festival with Nik Turner, original saxophonist and vocalist of British space-rock band Hawkwind.
James DeJoie hails from Seattle and revels in bringing together diverse musical genres in distinctive combinations. Through his use of electronics and world-influenced rhythms, James writes and performs music that broadens the scope of what may be defined as “jazz.” He is equally fluent on baritone and alto saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and percussion. In addition to playing in and composing for his wide-ranging musical groups including his newest group joiephonic, James is also a regular contributor to such top-flight Seattle based ensembles as Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb’s Washington Composers Orchestra, Tom Varner’s Nonet, Daniel Barry’s Walk All Ways, and the world-renowned Jim Knapp Orchestra. He is also active performing classical music and was recently the featured soloist in a Baritone Saxophone Concerto written for him by composer David Gaines, which he recorded with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava in 2008.
From early roots playing improvised music in the upper Midwest with players including cellist and Moraine cofounder Ruth Davidson, bassist and "baliset" player Kevin Millard went on to play experimental music in Seattle bands such as dot.communists and his own avant-groove band Panopticon throughout the 1990s. He then paid his musical dues in a long string of rock, pop, and country bands including Thornton Creek, the Jeunes, and The Melody Unit before returning to his avant-garde roots with Moraine.
As a product of rural America, Brian Oppel was raised on AM gold, FM rock radio, and his family's copious record collection. Devoted listening led to music fandom, and the urge for a creative outlet was spawned. Clearly only the drums would do. Beginning with school band, then proceeding on to backwoods bar bands, then through classical and world percussion studies at the University of Montana, Brian became the drummer of choice for a slew of rock, folk, punk, and jazz groups in his formative years. A move from Missoula to Seattle in 1999 proved to be fruitful in his quest for musical and artistic diversity. Clearly unable to decide on any particular musical style, he has happily been enlisted in a plethora of original music projects. Currently, these include Trimtab, Kled, Resets, and The Plaid Perspective. As the band's newest member, Brian is looking forward to sinking his teeth into the giant geological prog biscuit of Moraine.