The Kids Of Louisville's Trip J Band Prove That Creativity Happens At All Ages

Feb 3, 2023 at 3:29 pm
The Trip J Band
The Trip J Band

At six years old, Jeriel “Jerio” Evans went to church with his family just like every other Sunday. That was until he heard a song that moved him so much, he wanted to try and learn it at home. That day, Jeriel went home, sat at the piano and played the exact same song by ear. That moment inspired not only young Jeriel but also his younger brother Jahmai “JB” to pick up the bass guitar, and the youngest brother Jedediah “Jet” went from banging on the table to banging on the drums. Their sister Xiyanna “Xi” found a love for vocals, and then, Trip J Band was born.  

Trip J Band began in 2020, but the Evans said they have been playing together for over five years. JB said playing as family also has perks. You’ll often find the band at home bouncing ideas off each other for new chord progressions, bass lines and even new songs.  

JB told LEO, “I think the most important part about the band is to have unity because the more the unity, the better the music sounds.” 

Trip J Band said they are often underestimated for being so young in the music scene. The Evans children are no older than 15 years old, and their music has already shocked the people of Louisville. Jerio said they once played at the bottom of the Big 4 Bridge, and walkers told the band they thought their music was coming from a radio rather than their own instruments. 

“I don't think that they expect the level of Dedication that we bring to our music,” Jerio said, remembering the experience. 

“We could be doing this stuff like other kids could be on like video games, watching TV with our family or just playing basketball in our backyard. But we want to make sure that we put in and devote our time to this,” said JB. 

Trip J Band are building their career in music more and more in Louisville. Last year, they did a score for the play “Threads” at Actors Theatre. They are also trying their hand at entrepreneurship, making their own label entitled Trip J Entertainment and booking live shows. Their most recent accomplishment being performing at the Dream Maker Awards, a charity concert event that AMPED Louisville asked the band to headline. 

The group accredits most of what they know to the Academy of Music Production Education and Development (AMPED) in Louisville. AMPED is a Black-owned nonprofit organization that offers lessons for children in music education, technology and business. AMPED has not only given Jerio an opportunity but the organization has helped JB, Jet and Xi refine their skills with their respective instruments.  

Taking inspiration from artists like Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Justin Lee Schultz, George Duke, and Marcus Miller, the band works together to build a Neo Funk and Jazz sound that Jerio produces himself. He used his skills to remix the Nutcracker suite into trap tracks and sound engineer original music for the band. 

Trip J Band’s parents Da’Shina and Sherod Evans are more than proud of what their children have already accomplished together.  

Da’Shina said: “You know they surprise us a lot too, and I think sometimes we take for granted just how good they are, because sometimes...we tell them, ‘Hey, you need to practice...’ and they get up without even trying, and they just sound awesome.”  

This year, Trip J Band hopes to release more music, collaborate with some local artists and perform together in different states. You can find their original music on Bandcamp and on their website