Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
The Wee Trio is a collaborative musical exploration consisting of vibraphonist James Westfall, bassist Dan Loomis, and drummer Jared Schonig. In what started as a regular collective of Brooklyn musicians who got together to jam, chemistry quickly formed and thus was born The Wee Trio.
The band kicked off their inaugural tour performing throughout New York and Pennsylvania playing at a few clubs, a Jazz Festival, and an Artist Residency at a local University. The band reconvened back in Brooklyn to record and document the trio. The documented recording entitled Capital Diner Vol. 1 features original compositions by the trio with a few standards composed by Kurt Cobain, Sufjan Stevens, and Thelonious Monk. Needless to say the groups eclectic style has really helped them stand out in the New York jazz scene.
The Wee Trio comes from different areas of the USA; Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Houston. It wasn’t until Jared Schonig and Dan Loomis met, while attending Eastman School of Music, that the hook up was laid down. Meanwhile James Westfall was chosen by Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute. After finishing his studies, he moved to Brooklyn, coincidentally, across the street from the apartment the rhythm section shared.
Each member of the Wee Tree is a leader in their own right. Their respective recordings show the legacy of their visionary bandleading. Westfall's Independent was released on Bionic Records. Jazztimes writes ...declarative and uplifting, incorporating elements of rock and hip-hop...Westfall's style is distinctive Meanwhile, Loomis’ I Love Paris was released on Jazz Excursion, was praised as ...one of the top releases of 2007 by Scott Yanow of All Music Guide.
While rooted in Jazz The Wee Trio finds ways to break boundaries encompassing their other roots in Rock and Fusion.
James Westfall, Dan Loomis, and Jared Schonig play with fervent audacity, stretching the kinetic limits of their respective instruments. --Troy Collins, All About Jazz
The Wee Trio often veers from the expected...questioning the rules of jazz orthodoxy. They keep the music substantive and riddled with direction surprises. Definitely a group to watch. --Peter Margasak, Downbeat
A winning debut as true to the jazz tradition as it is to their freewheeling tastes. --Siddhartha Mitter, The Boston Globe
The Wee Trio consists of jazzmen who grew up on rock 'n' roll and aren't afraid to play it.With James Westfall's vibes in the forefront, the group has a fresh sound, and bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig flow like the tides. Wee's sound is not wee, it's huge --San Francisco Chronicle
One of the year’s most riveting albums... --Jay Miller, The Patriot Ledger
The Wee Trio have found a unique slant, not only in their vibes/bass/drums instrumentation but in their lyrical songwriting and flowing interaction. Shaun Brady, The Philadelphia Daily News
an immediate musical simpatico Keith Spera Times Picayunne
Bulging with even more muscular jazz chops than the Bad Plus but displaying more earthbound taste than the late, lamented E.S.T., the Brooklyn-based Wee Trio makes a larger than wee splash on its debut. --Kevin R. Convey, The Boston Herald