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Orpheus Nine began as a solo project by Jason Kresge, whose onstage persona inspired one fan to dub him “prog’s Phantom of the Opera.” Envisioning eclectic, keyboard-driven music, Jason created pieces that served up piano, organ, and synthesizer as aggressive lead instruments. After a period of experimentation, he teamed up with drummer Daniel Nydick in 2005, and the two spent a few years further developing their style. The result: modern progressive rock with infusions of classical, jazz, metal, and electronica.

By 2011, the duo had expanded to include bassist Tony Renda and guitarist Matt Ullestad. This lineup enjoyed a brief run together before scheduling conflicts forced a temporary hiatus. Daniel’s departure led to the 2012 arrival of drummer Mark DeGregory.

The New Jersey-based quartet emerged with an “instant classic” (ProgArchives) in 2017’s Transcendental Circus. While the centerpiece is its six-part, nearly-22-minute title track, O9 poured its soul into every one of this album’s “beautifully crafted songs,” deftly balancing virtuosity with emotion in music that is “insanely elaborate and yet aggressively melodic” (Prog). Listeners to this “very impressive debut” (Progression) have cited elements of ELP, King Crimson, Rush, Saga, Styx, Genesis, Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, Yes, The Flower Kings, Spock’s Beard, and Return to Forever — yet any past influence quickly yields to the fresh sound of a band focused on future possibilities.

Orpheus Nine celebrated the release of Transcendental Circus by playing it live before a standing-room-only NJProghouse crowd. In fall 2018, the band will perform at the 2nd annual ProgStock Festival.

Orpheus Nine

© 2008- Orpheus Nine

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