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Primitive Culture masterfully blends Funk, Reggae, Latin, Rhythm & Blues into an original, upbeat and danceable groove. Their debut LP Fantasy won two MAMA awards in 2010: "Album of the Year" and "Song of the Year" (for "Hookup") in the World Music category. In 2011, the band earned three more MAMA awards, including two "Instrumentalist of the Year" awards (brass and woodwind), and "Live Performers of the Year".  Primitive Culture is:

David Hecht

David learned guitar at age 12, playing the Tex-Mex swing, mariachi and latin music he heard along the border, along with the rock and funk of the 60's and 70's. At 14, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin where he met and started jamming with the Neviaser brothers. David eventually formed the acclaimed touring act JAVA, claiming fans nationally and internationally, and opening for such notable artists as Elton John, the Pointer Sisters, Dr. John, the Neville Brothers and Los Lobos. 

After eight years JAVA disbanded, and David Hecht moved to Central America to steep in Latin culture, write music, and hone his skills as a solo performer. David then returned to Madison in 1998 to reunite with the Neviaser rhythm section, and get back to his musical roots. 

Birthplace: A stone's throw from the Mexican border in Harlingen, South Texas.

Influences: Carlos Santana, The Beatles, Pat Metheny, Taj Mahal, Steely Dan, Bob Marley.

Bruce Neviaser

In his early days, Bruce performed with David and Brother Don in the raucous funk band "Harold and the Rhinos", playing the frats & bars of UW Madison, and sowing seeds for the creation of JAVA. After David's return to Madison, Bruce helped form Primitive Culture, built what is now the Blast House Studios recording space, and has performed with Hot Money, Pilot, The Contractions, Windows Wide Open, and is currently active performing and recording LPs with The Bluegills.

Birthplace: Vienna, Virginia.

Influences: Dixie Dregs, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dream Theater, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius.

Jerry Neviaser

In some dark and misty time during the last millennium, Jerry started drumming as a pre-teen, and quickly learned how many different styles of music he could play to irritate his parents. Prior to forming Primitive Culture with David & Bruce, Jerry recorded two LPs and performed with STATE4, a creative & original Electronica project. With an insatiable musical palette, he has also performed with The Contractions, co-founded and performed with Hot Money, Pilot, Windows Wide Open, and is currently active performing and recording LPs with The Bluegills.

Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin.

Influences: Narada Michael Walden, Rod Morgenstein, Bill Bruford, Phil Ehart.

Phil Lyons

Phil has performed or recorded with the likes of Clyde Stubblefield, Freedy Johnston, Firetown, The O'bros and Sam Lyons. Phil is known as the multi-multi taskin' primate who also performs with VO5, Steely Dane and The WHODAT.

Birthplace: Bath, Maine.

Influences: Curtis Fuller, Wally Ingram, Sting, James Pankow.

Nicholas Bartell

A Madison native and graduate of West High School, Nick studied saxophone at the New School in New York City, lived in New York for 8 years, and Chicago for 4 years. Since moving back to Madison in 2012, he has performed regularly with many Jazz groups including the Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, Madison Jazz Orchestra, the Ben Ferris Quintet, the Darren Sterud Orchestra, and of course Primitive Culture. He also loves New Orleans-style music and has performed occasionally with Mama Digdown's Brass Band since 1999. Though he keeps a day job, Nick reserves most of his free time for playing saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, and jamming with brother/drummer Chad Bartell, plus taking in the arts, music, food and culture of Madison.

Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin.

Influences: Stanley Turrentine, Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Louis Armstrong, James Booker, D'angelo, Bob Marley, Maceo Parker, Michael Jackson and Barack Obama

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