The April Verch Band features April Verch along with fellow world-class musicians Clay Ross on guitar and Cody Walters on upright-electric bass and banjo. Together, these three passionate musicians tour tirelessly across Canada, the United States, the U.K., Europe and Australia. They have established a reputation as consummate performers, winning over audiences not only with sheer virtuosity on their respective instruments, but also with charm, humor and boundless energy on stage.
April Verch doesn’t just perform music, she exudes it. The internationally renowned Canadian fiddler, singer, songwriter and stepdancer has a passion for performing and her goal is to touch the lives of those who are listening at any given moment. “The world is this amazing puzzle that we can’t fully understand and music is the joy that pulls it all together and helps us make sense of it,” says Verch, with a dynamic excitement and confidence that makes you believe her in a heartbeat.
Cody Walters grew up in rural northeastern Kansas, and started playing upright bass while attending college at the University of Kansas in 1999. The sound of the instrument grabbed hold of him and never let go. He has since played in various bands, performing different styles of music, from bluegrass to old-time, jazz to Latin, folk and country and most spots in between. More recently he has added the claw hammer banjo to his roster of talents, adding a melody to the low end of his sound. He currently resides in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and in addition to having been a member of the April Verch Band since January 2007.
Clay Ross was recently selected by the U.S. State Department and Lincoln Center as a Jazz Ambassador. Under this title, he has toured throughout Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Brazil. After graduating from the University of Charleston with a degree in classical composition he became an integral part of the South Carolina Jazz scene. Now based in NYC, Ross has spent much of the last four years touring with Cyro Baptista’s world renowned percussion ensemble “Beat the Donkey.”
He has released three recordings of original music that showcase a wide range of stylistic influences including jazz, funk, Brazilian, bluegrass, classical, and more. In his recent project, Matuto, Ross collaborated with many of the most sought after young musicians on the NYC scene. Matuto is Brazilian slang for “country bumpkin.” With this group, Clay mixes the best of bluegrass and baiao for a sound like a Carnaval in the Appalachian Mountains. Clay is the newest member of the April Verch Band joining in 2009.