Moonchild, the popular LA trip that fuses jazz with R&B, soul and more, has announced an April tour of the East Coast, Southeast and Midwest, with a stop in Jacksonville. The group plays Underbelly in Downtown Jax on Tuesday, April 18.
Wikipedia describes Moonchild as an “alternative R&B band”, but that description, much like their entry on the site, barely scratches the surface of what this trio is truly capable of. The group is kind of a jazz-soul hybrid, reflecting the diverse interests and influences of its personnel–Max Bryk, Andris Mattson and Amber Navran, all three of whom majored in jazz at USC.
Moonchild’s fifth album, Starfruit, was released last year to critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for Best Progressive R&B Album, losing to Steve Lacy in 2023. Navran’s lead vocals belie some serious saxophone chops, perhaps best-displayed on the instant classic that was Louis Cole’s Live Sesh and Xtra Songs from 2019. Moonchild were received quite well when they made their Duval debut at our Jazz Festival that same year, so it was just a matter of time before they returned.
All three members are trained on reeds, piano, synthesizers and drums, leaving them fully empowered to execute their vision to the utmost; Bryk also adds clarinet and kalimba, while Mattson adds guitar, ukulele and flugelhorn. They’re also solid citizens whose website lists a dozen nonprofits and activist groups that you can help them support. Their style is hard to pin down, and deliberately so. Thankfully, you don’t have to describe their sound — all you have to do is listen to it. The Underbelly stop is the group’s only Florida show of the tour. But they’ll be back.
Moonchild plays Underbelly on Tuesday, April 18. Tickets are on sale now.