Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Since it’s inception in Lawrence, KS in 2004, the progressive fusion band DOJO has been steadily working their way to the surface by striving to produce technical music that has soul or meaning. Named after the term used in Zen Guitar, DOJO is a special place for three gifted musicians to grow. In addition to a healthy diet of gigs, they have played several festivals including the 2006 and 2007 Wakarusa Music Festivals and BrewGrass Music and Brewery Festival. In 2006, the group performed in Favored Nations “Night of Pure Guitar” concert featuring members of Steve Vai’s band and NYC guitar wizard Rob Balducci. DOJO has also held the opening slot for ALO. DOJO has three records out including Live at the Jazzhaus recorded at their favorite hometown venue. DOJO’s music has been described as Van Halen meets Coltrane. The band’s latest release Studiojo would be a great way to introduce the band to you.
Brian Baggett is one of the most visible jazz guitarists on the Kansas City scene; he played well over one hundred gigs in 2007. He has worked with some of KC’s finest including Kerry Strayer, Bobby Watson, Todd Strait, Stan Kessler and OJT. He played on Bill McKemy’s release Om Nidrah which was Pitch Weekly’s Best Jazz Album of 2003. Brian has been a jazz guitar teacher since 1994 and a guest artist/clinician at several jazz festivals. He is the faculty guitar instructor for the University of Kansas Jazz Workshop since 2006. Brian has produced music for both television and videogames. In print, Brian has been featured in Guitar Player Magazine, Abstract Logix and JAM magazine’s cover story “Guitars Galore”. Brian recently studied with guitar master Reggie Wooten and he can currently be seen working in several groups including Ken Lovern’s O.J.T. and Alphabet.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Luke Stone has been an active member of the Kansas City/Lawrence music scene for over 15 years. Luke has shared the stage with many prominent musicians, including Jazz Mandolin Project, Karl Denson, and others. Luke has three studio releases under his belt in which he did all of the playing and production. He is a very talented musician and a skillful drummer who honed his skills studying with Doug Auwarter (Danny Carey) and Jeff Sipe. In addition to playing drums on Studiojo and the first DOJO album Place of the Way, he also engineered and produced both albums. In 2006, Hummer licensed Luke’s song No Backpacks Allowed for use in a training video. Luke is currently the drummer and general all around guy for Cosmopolitics.
Chris Handley gained a strong reputation as the bass player for Space Pocket in 1999. They did shows with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Robert Walter's 20th Congress and others. He spent several years studying with Kansas City bass player and technique wizard Bob Blount. Chris has been a bass teacher himself for over ten years. As a very versatile bassist Chris works with several artists around the Midwest from singer/songwriter Tanner Walle to rappers like MC Approach. In 2007 Chris opened for BB King in Kansas City with the Brody Buster Blues Band. Chris can usually be seen playing around Lawrence with area jazz musicians and he was the house bass player at the Jazzhaus in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 Chris enrolled at the Player’s School of Music in Clearwater, Florida to study with bass legend Jeff Berlin.
For booking or more information on DOJO, visit www.dojoband.com
With so many good jazz guitarists around the area, it’s a little surprising that we don’t hear much guitar-driven jazz fusion in our clubs and concert halls.
The band Dojo from Lawrence is ready to fill the gap. Powered by guitarist Brian Baggett, bassist Chris Handley and drummer Luke Stone, it plays the hard-edged stuff inspired by Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius � with some Yes and King Crimson in the mix
Dojo will play the next concert in the Jazz & Beyond series at 8 p.m. Saturday at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut St. Tickets cost $10. The concert is also a celebration of the release of its third CD, “Studiojo.”
- Joe Klopus - Kansas City Star kansascity.com November 6, 2008
In an unbroken line of fusion bands beginning with the head-turning Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early '70s comes the Kansas outfit Dojo with their studio disc, aptly titled 'Studiojo'. Guitarheads will certainly enjoy Brian Baggett's mercurial lines and tasty phrasing. Give it a listen.
- Dan McAvinchey - Guitar 9 records guitar9.com October 29, 2008
Dojo's new album Studiojo offers listeners a diverse, progressive array of styles and sounds. With foot-tapping grooves and sometimes contemplative, sometimes rocking, guitar solos, the album perfectly captures the band's self-described style: Van Halen meets John Coltrane. Check out some of my favorite tracks like Something She Said, One Key, and Dojo and you'll get a real sense of this group's dynamic ability and fearless approach to playing the music they love.
- Joel Burnett, Jazz in the Morning DJ - 90.7 KJHK kjhk.org October 24, 2008
Brian Baggett, one of Kansas City’s finest of a younger generation of jazz guitarists, has a secret to share � his alter ego leading the stunning instrumental jazz/rock fusion trio DOJO. Owing as much to early progressive rock groups such as YES, King Crimson, and Genesis, as it does the classic 70’s fusion of Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin � DOJO releases their third CD entitled “Studiojo”, and is the next installment on the exciting Jazz & Beyond concert series at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 8.
- Jazz Ambassador Magazine - Oct. 2008
“It was a true musical discovery the new Studiojo album and you deserve all the most sincere congratulations in the world for such an outstanding piece of true art!! Sensational musicianship...masterful technical skills and very inspired compositions!!! Sincerest congratulations...and I'll be more then delighted to play such a great album to the good music lovers here in Resita-Romania!!!”
- Ovidiu Dumitrescu, For the Love of Guitar DJ� 105.6 Radio Resita, Romania October 18, 2008
DOJO has a unique way of staying away from the predictable. By focusing on the song's inherent platform for heavy exploration, DOJO doesn't rely on cliched riffs and soloing.
Brian Baggett gives you doses of Cream-Era Clapton intensity and then ups the ante by displaying lethal legato lines. - Abstractlogix.com
DOJO offers instruction on improvisation, group interplay, and gear suggestions.