Named 2017 Best Local Band in the Hudson Valley by readers of Hudson Valley Magazine, Soul Purpose is a seven-piece band fueled by a shared love of Soul, Swing, Motown and Jazz music. Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Soul Purpose has been entertaining fans with their “soulful sounds, brazen horn section and warm vocals”, (Kingston After Dark).
Throughout their nearly twenty-year history, the band has played at numerous venues from intimate concerts, larger festival stages and benefits. Soul Purpose has headlined at the famed Daryl's House Club, Pawling, NY, iconic Towne Crier Cafe, Beacon, NY, historic Colony, Woodstock, NY and renowned Falcon, Marlboro, NY. The band has opened for such prominent artists as Grammy Award Nominee and Blues Music Award Nominee, Shemekia Copeland; Grammy Award Nominee Singer/Songwriter Blues Album, Slam Allen and the Chris O’Leary Band.
Described by the Huguenot Herald as “a smokin’ band whose joyous renditions of R&B, Soul and Swing will lift your heart, gathering the boisterous energy of a dancing crowd and channeling it into a melodic explosion”, Soul Purpose delivers a visceral rhythm and soul sound to an ever-growing fan base.
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SARA ESPINOSA, Lead Vocals
Sara brings immense passion and enthusiasm to her role as lead vocalist for Soul Purpose. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with a number of singer / songwriters and bands in the Hudson Valley and in the Pacific Northwest.
DR. LORI MORRIS — Alto, tenor and soprano saxes, flute, percussion and vocals
Dr. Lori has performed from California to New York and in Europe. In addition to Soul Purpose, Dr. Lori performs with an 18 piece big band "The Jazz Pioneers", "Women of the Blues" along with numerous other Hudson Valley ensembles.
RICH DE CROSTA — Trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet, vocals, percussion
Rich has played in groups around the Hudson Valley, up and down the east coast, California and Europe. In addition to a current local project, The Jazz Pioneers Big Band, Rich has performed or recorded with The Orlons of Don't Hang Up and South Street fame, The Christine Spero Group, The Felice Brothers, Byard Lancaster, Gary Windo, Blueberry and Pete Seeger. Rich has played with Soul Purpose since its first gig.
ROBERT "CUE" GERHARDS — Guitar and Vocals
Cue is a Luthier who plays guitars he has designed and hand crafted in his own shop. Having played many styles of music throughout the northeast, his style fits the Soul Purpose Band to a tee. Some of Cue's highlight's include playing The Ed Sullivan Theater Stage, New York City and as well as The Egg, Albany NY. Cue has also jammed with diverse musicians such as Little Sammy Davis and Del McCoury.
For more information on Cue's hand crafted guitars, go to:
JAMES PROSSER — Keyboards and Piano
James grew up in a musical family where his mother played the piano and his father the cello. James got the bug to learn the piano as a young teen, and has been playing ever since. James interests are American music and improvisational music, so blues, jazz, and "The Great American Song-Book" are his faves. Along the way, he has played in many different types of bands – everything from Ambient to Zydeco. Soul Purpose is a wonderful fit for James musical tastes, and he is enjoying his "key" place in the band. James plays a Roland Digital piano, and (when the roadies are willing) a Hammond organ.
FRANCIS RALSTON — Bass
Francis has been playing bass professionally for over 35 years. His experience in many styles of music has allowed him to perform with bands across the US, the Caribbean and Europe. Membership in the Jazz Pioneers and Soul Purpose represents a "return to his roots" of R&B, blues and jazz.
Drumset, percussion and vocals
It was during his later high school years in Monmouth County, New Jersey, that Teters met other musicians who were already playing blues, rock and roll, and the current rock music of the early seventies. Bruce Springsteen was a local up and coming rocker in his area who was becoming very popular. Through seeing Springsteen perform many times, Teters began to see how important the rhythm section… especially the drummer, was to the music. Although rock and roll was exciting, Teters’ drumming style was greatly influenced by his love for jazz, funk and world music.
In NYC, Jerry studied with drum instructor, Sam Ulano, and Hank Jaramillo (Broadway show drummer). Teters quotes, “Much like the love I have for painting, my passion for music and drumming covers many styles. For me, it’s all one big happy stew of expression, whether it is sound or the visual.”