Out of the Box
Out of the Box is a contemporary jazz band that was formed in 2007 by bassist Michael Hurt and pianist Larry Gravett. Drummer Gary Nowik completes this trio. Out of the Box is the Winner of the 2011 Downtown Albany Jazz Fest Competition in which it performed as a seven piece band, including percussionist Pedro Perez, saxophonist John Savage, guitarist Mike Tremante and vocalist Sha'ron. This ensemble was the opening act at the 10th Annual Riverfront Jazz Festival. All of the band members have been performing in the Capital District for a number of years and bring a uniqueness of sound to the music
Larry Gravett is a classically trained pianist who has been performing in bands around the Capital district since 1974. The genre of music he has been performing for the past 36 years covers a wide range that includes rhythm and blues, rock, disco, funk, and jazz. Larry has played with a number of local bands which included Kilo, Little Smoke, Meditative Funk, Sweet Magic, Red Clay, GMP, and his current band “Out of the Box.” Besides playing piano, Larry also performs as a lead vocalist. In 1981, Larry established his own Publishing and Record Companies and produced his first record. Besides performing live, Larry continues to write and compose music and is currently working on a CD project. Larry has performed in many Capital district venues such as the “Egg” with the band Red Clay where they opened up for the vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Larry also played with the band Sweet Magic which was the opening act for The Average White Band, and the 24 Street Band (David Letterman's band).
Michael Hurt has been involved with music since early trumpet lessons in 8th grade. He grew up in a home filled with Jazz, gospel and R & B. Much of his early formal music training was in voice. Performing in his High school choirs and Madrigal group, he learned the nuances of music presentation and the joy of entertaining. In Buffalo State College, he studied music education focusing on guitar, moving from contemporary folk music to Classical to Jazz. Intrigued with the possibilities a professional career held he elected to minor in Music education at Buffalo State. Over the past 35 years he has performed various musical forms; Soul, R & B, Dance, top forty, Blues and Jazz. He has recorded and served as Producer of gospel recordings. Michael spent a number of years working in local bands. In 1998 he focused much of his musical attention on the bass. In 2002 along with Mark Finkin he formed the Band Las Manos. Always intrigued by the exciting sounds of Latin music, He and Mark Finkin decided to create an exciting blend of Latin rhythms, and musical structures with contemporary and original tunes. These days Michael is the Bassist for Out of the Box a contemporary Jazz group playing everything for classical jazz and originals, to the latest hip jazz covers. Michael is an exciting player and brings love and energy to every tune he performs.
After 10 years of formal training as a trumpet player, Gary Nowik began playing drums in 1985 and continued to study with music as a minor at The College of St. Rose. Since that time, he has recorded and played live music with a number of Albany based bands such as Fat Albatross, Prey for Rain, Geo and the Komrades, Red Clay, Charlie Smith, GMP, Marcus Benoit, Raisinhead and HipDrop. These bands brought opportunities to serve as a opening acts for national headliners such as the Spin Doctors, Leslie West, Blue Oyster Cult and Stefon Harris. Gary believes that playing various musical styles can be challenging and rewarding, but has a true love for jazz and the freedom of expression it offers. "As a member of Out of the Box, I am continually working to improve my sound and groove in a jazz/r&b context."