Citizen Staff Writer
The members of the local “world jam reggae” band, Planet Jam, come from different backgrounds and cultures but all share one powerful passion: music. Guitarist/vocalist Marius Todirita, bass/vocalist Kacy Todirita, drummer Kini Wade and keyboardist/vocalist Stevie Abramson will share their eclectic global backgrounds in an international fusion of cultural music and worldly awareness this Friday at The Hut. In a recent e-mail interview, Todirita discusses the band’s roots, its University of Arizona connection and how he outsmarted censors in Romania.
Q: What got you into playing music and when did you start?
A: I started playing guitar and singing when I was 10 years old in the Socialist Republic of Romania. Communist political screening censored most music, and there was some contraband music smuggled in from the West, but not enough for my demand, so I provided my own uncensored music by playing my guitar. We usually had to show our lyrics to some comrade before we could play anything on stage. I was persecuted for breaking the rule and playing AC/DC and Rolling Stones tunes at my last high school dance. We generally played a lot of instrumentals.
How did your band come together?
When the Berlin Wall came down, I was finally able to travel. I went west to Italy and was busking in the streets of Bologna where I met Kacy, who was also traveling with a guitar. We fell in love and we’ve made music together ever since. She’s been playing bass since 1999, when we put out our first CD, “Tribal Healing.” We’ve been jamming in this configuration since September 2007 when Kini Wade joined on drums and Steven Abramson on keys.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
We are a multinational, multiethnic, multiracial group, so we draw from that diversity and try to remain as objective and universal in our unifying approach. We listen to a lot of diverse music. I try to put a positive, transcendental outlook on subjects that most people can relate to in current society. It’s important to be aware, and music is a vehicle for awareness to become instantly contagious on a mass scale.
How would you describe your style of music?
Concisely, I would call it world jam reggae. We use roots elements like ancient Romanian Gypsy riffs with traditional roots reggae beats and take it all into a dub infused electric jam.
Where did the name Planet Jam come from?
The name came at a time when we had a more geographically diverse show in 1999, when the point of the performance was to sing in as many languages as possible and musically travel around the planet on a genuine cultural experience.
How did you end up in Tucson?
I married Kacy, our bass player, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1993. She’s a UA architecture graduate who has a lot of friends here. We now have two children, so we settled in the warmer side of our previous nomadic route.
Where do you most like to play music?
I like to play outdoors. There’s a revolutionary aspect in our message and it feels good to bring it to the street like in California’s summer music festivals. I loved playing on the beach on the Romanian Black Sea coast last summer, too. Here in Tucson, we like to play at The Hut on Fourth Avenue.
Money? Fame? Fortune? What are your goals for the future?
I’m going to keep writing music and share my gift with the people because it’s my calling. Money is what’s needed to produce and deliver music. Fame is what brings people to the show. Fortune is needed for magical elements to fall into place and provide catalytic support for the ignition and launch of unique time and space moments into the multidimensional universe when consciousness accelerates friction-free for leap years in a second. We intend to keep the new music flowing in and to keep performing, make some nice videos and book some good shows.
IF YOU GO
What: Planet Jam reggae concert
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave.
Info: 623-3200, www.myspace.com/thehuttucson