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 in Pawling, NY, iconic Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, NY and renowned The Falcon in Marlboro, NY. The band has opened for such prominent artists as Grammy Award Nominee and Blues Music Award Nominee, Shemekia Copeland 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
As the newest member of the Soul Purpose Band, Sara brings her passion and enthusiasm to her role as lead vocalist. In the past ten years, she has collaborated with a number of singer / songwriters and bands in the Hudson Valley (most notably, All UC and the Jim Decker Band). Prior to that, she performed with bands in the Pacific Northwest; from which she hails. She possesses a genuine love and passion for music and has a particular interest in neo and “old school” Soul and R&B.
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, 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.
STEVE TUROWSKI — Drums
Steve has been playing drums professionally with various groups since college days. His experience playing drums covers all musical styles including club and lounge groups, musicals, show, marching and concert bands. Steve has spent many summers playing at Catskill Mountain hotels and resorts. Along with Soul Purpose, Steve is currently the drummer for an 18 piece big band, "The Jazz Pioneers", "The Doug Ferony Show Band" as well as various small jazz groups.
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.