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- Genre: Rock, R&B/Soul, Deep Alternative R&B
Ju-Taun ( Pronounced zha -tawn) Pronounced zha -tawn, our group consists of Jake and James Evans, Peter Garcia, and Samoeun Cheng. Inspired by the black velveteen voice of Marvin Gaye and the Motown sound of Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, we began performing in local venues and on our high school stage while still teenagers. We officially became a group in the spring of 1999 at a talent show in Philadelphia where we won second place. We have definitely seen our share of obstacles trying to break into an industry that is weary of anything that is "against the grain". After sending our music to every record company address we could get a hold of and performing at every talent show that crossed our path, we realized that we had to do something drastic to be heard and recognized. In 2003 with the guidance of friend and new found manager David Still, we collectively agreed to save up and fund our first cd release. We formed Climax Entertainment and quit our day jobs to pursue our endeavor full time. We would meet in parking lots and diners and plan our attack. The real challenge came our first day of selling our cd. We we're so anxious to start promoting that we didn't even have our cd's yet. We decided we would approach complete strangers, take their information (and money!) and tell them we would mail the cd to them. We didn't fully believe it would work until Jake sold the first one. We sold sixty that day and we we're on top of the world. But we quickly got knocked off our pedestal when we got arrested twice in the same week! When we started we weren't aware that promoting and selling your own music was illegal. We we're arrested on South Street in Philadelphia after we sold well over two-hundred cd's (Luckily we gave all the money to our manager before they put us in the paddy wagon). Then two days later we we're arrested in Times Square across the street from the MTV building. Samoeun became the unlucky member of the bunch when he spent three days in jail. The day Samouen was released we we're down and out so our manager decided we needed a change of scenery. We took a leap of faith and decided to follow B2K's "Scream Tour" and promote our music at every venue. We bought a cheap, used van at an auction and left with no money (of course having to make money to return home). We traveled state to state to places like Detroit, MI, Richmond, VA, Cleveland, OH and Pittsburgh, PA. We came before the concert started and stayed until the last concert-goer left the parking lot. Learning to practically live on top of each other, in a small van was difficult but in the end drew us closer together. In between the dates of the tour we would go to shopping malls day in and day out to sell our cd's. We quickly found out that the security guards weren't going to let us get away with it any more than the cops were. But where there's a will there's a way. So we kept coming back and they kept kicking us out. But eventually many of those same security guards and policemen became our biggest supporters. We followed this same pattern for years following every major tour, music festival, every superbowl and every major concert from Boston and Chicago to Houston and Miami. We would travel down to South Beach at least twice a year on those crazy holiday weekends and sell our cd on famed Ocean Drive from ten in the morning til early the next morning. We met plenty of people along the way but the ones we remember the most we're those in the record industry who would tell us our music was horrible and that we would never make it. Our manager often became so angry that he would make us create new music in addition to our daily routine of promoting our music. Those twelve, fourteen and sixteen hour days made us appreciate hard work and created a following that still remembers us 'til this day (over 50,000 cds sold and still counting!). We met with countless A&R's, managers, producers, and concert promoters but we still didn't get any one interested enough to sign us or get us signed to any record company. It doesn't help that we don't smoke, drink or hang out in clubs late at night. Everyone tells us it's who you know, no matter how good you are. But we never could connect with the lifestyle that surrounds the majority of the entertainment business so we missed out on meeting and connecting with plenty of people. We barely ever got any paying gigs so when we did do shows we covered all our own expenses. We would travel hundreds of miles and not even have a guarantee that we would get on stage. We sent our music to every radio station but of course never got any response. In doing all this also remember we had five members (which many in the industry stated was too many members). Ironically, in 2007 we we're struck a blow when a member decided to quit despite our pleas. The strain of little money and no definite future took a toll on him that he couldn't recover from. We had to redo everything from our arrangements to our choreography. It took us months just to realize he really did leave. Having to move on with our dream without someone that has been there from the beginning was one of the hardest things we've ever had to overcome. Though these past years have been filled with many struggles and hurdles, we refuse to be discouraged. Every time it seems like we don't know where else to go, another door opens. Every time it seems like we really need something, its there. There has always been something guiding us, almost motivating us to keep going, just when we need it the most. We know this is bigger than anyone of us, and we all feel blessed to be a part of it. Our bond, our spirit, and our loyalty can never be broken.
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Ju-Taun's Upcoming Concerts
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