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Zaramela’s growth reaches new heights with HOB show

Vika Petlakh

Lead singer Kris Hansen belts out a tune at Zaramela's May show at House of Blues in Chicago

Jess Melchor, Staff Reporter

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A band consisting of seven senior boys, whose music genre varies from hip-hop to rock, has been going steady for about a year. With two saxophonists and a trumpet player, this group isn’t your ordinary band.

Zaramela includes saxophonists Josh Schwartz-Dodek and Mike Jang, trumpet player Aaron Gamalinda, lead singer Kris Hansen, bassist Inho Park, drummer Malcolm Engel, and guitarist Jameson Brenner.

Zaramela has been together since April 2012, a little over 13 months, according to Schwartz-Dodek.

With musical inspiration coming from varied places, like The Roots, Frank Sinatra, and Biggie, Zaramela’s music also varies from jazz to rap. Each member in Zaramela helps with their input while making music together. They had hoped to progress and move forward, which they have in the past year.

“We did a bunch of charity events because no one would really hire us until we had done more stuff,” Schwartz-Dodek said. “So we did charity events. We played at block parties, Y-Fest in Northbrook, [and] stuff to raise money.”

While Zaramela played charity shows in the summer, they continued to move up to bigger venues. According to Jang, the venues were all in Chicago, with a show in Wisconsin.

“We played at the Rave, the CMA, which is the Chicago Music Awards, [and] we played at the Beat Kitchen,” Jang said.

Recently, Zaramela sold 250 tickets for their show at the House of Blues on May 3, playing in front of more than a thousand people, according to Schwartz-Dodek. Hansen said that the band’s time slot was moved because of the high number of tickets they sold for the show. They sold more tickets than the show’s main opening act did.

“I was ecstatic just to know even before all of this happened that we had the opportunity [to play at the House of Blues],” Hansen said.

Zaramela recently went to the studio for a second time to start recording music for a second extended play, which can potentially be a full-length album according to Jang, due to be released this upcoming summer.

“It’s so cool [being in the studio],” Jang said. “I can’t even describe it.”

Zaramela has also played events at school, including the Battle of the Bands, Jamnesty, and Spring Fling.

Along with playing concerts, Zaramela is also working on making a music video.

“We haven’t exactly decided what song it’s gonna be yet, we’ve thrown around a couple of ideas […] and hopefully get it out sometime over the summer,” Hansen said. “Everything’s just kinda not concrete yet,” Hansen said.

Some members agree that the most difficult part of being in Zaramela is working together when writing the music.

Jang said, “Writing new music is pretty hard because we have seven people, seven different ideas, so most of the time we disagree on a lot of stuff, but in the end we’re all good friends.”

As for the band’s future, they hope to keep up with the band and continuing to reach their original goal for it, making the name famous, according to Jang.

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Zaramela’s growth reaches new heights with HOB show