Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
De'Vine Soul was founded by bass man, Michael Watkins. The group was formed in 1996 as Salvation Flyte. After several transitions, De'Vine Soul was formed. Watkins' vision was simple - to make a musical connection for the soul. The group is based out of Orlando, FL area and is made up of eight talented and seasoned musicians and vocalists. They offer a unique diversity in musicianship that incorporates different genres of music, including Jazz, Latin, Neo-Soul, Gospel, R&B and Funk.
The band has spent the last two years performing at various events in the central Florida area, including the Melbourne Arts Festival, the Orlando Museum of Arts, the Leu Gardens Moon Stroll, Live Jazz & Blues at the historic Wells' Built Museum, the Casselberry Art & Jazz Festival, NAACP District Convention and Miles Jaye Jazz Cafe.
The band has shared the stage with national recording artists Miles Jaye, Najee and Alex Bugnon in a hurricane Katrina benefit concert. The band has also participated in non-profit fundraising events like the Lake Mary/Heathrow Arts Festival, Orlando Inner-City Games Foundation cocktail party hosted by Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl with a special appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the New Hope for Kids Harvest Moon charity gala and The Variety Club of Orlando's JazzTini Party fundraiser for kids. The band has been featured on a local cable television shows, performed in a theatrical production and was cast to perform in the Nationwide Financial Services All-In-One Show with celebrities Ben Stein and Darryl Hammond (Saturday Night Live). Other performances include various private functions for local and national politicians, celebrities and community leaders.
The band released their debut CD, entitled DS One, in June 2004. This self-produced, independent release serves up a tasty, spiritual and soulful menu of original compositions and arrangements that are jazz in nature with flavors of Latin, R&B, Blues, Gospel, and Funk. The CD prominently features each piece of De'Vine Soul with its smooth & melodic vocals, rich horns, tantalizing percussion and tight rhythm section.
Artists and songwriters that have influenced De'Vine Soul include Incognito, Tower of Power, Crusaders, Earth, Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Fourplay, Sheila E., Jeff Lorber, Joe Sample, Patrice Rushen and Brand New Heavies.
The band is currently working on their next CD as well as to expand its performances throughout US and abroad.