What is Sol Fusion?
Sol: meaning Sun in Latin and other languages; also representing the fifth, or Dominant tone of the major scale in music.
The Sun: a celestial body around which our planetary system revolves; in our case, representing Music, the great Passion which draws individual souls into an indivisible entity; a fusion of souls: Sol Fusion.
Sol Fusion is what occurs when the most highly educated and experienced musicians and vocalists unite, each bringing his or her individual strengths and expertise in genre, style and presence.
So much more than just another band, Sol Fusion is an indefinable blend of musical greatness; it is an experience not to be missed.
For your convenience our stage set-up features LED lighting, all wireless technology, in-ear monitoring systems and a top-notch, highly educated sound engineer. Be sure to ask your entertainment consultant about our ceremony and/or cocktail hour options!
Hester Kast-McClure is an owner and founding member of Sol Fusion. She and her husband Chris (pictured below) put Sol Fusion together in 2011 and are very proud of their first “baby.” They welcomed their first human baby on Valentine’s Day, 2016!
Hester holds a degree in Music Theory and History from UNC-Chapel Hill and has been singing (and rapping) professionally since 2002. She is also an accomplished Master of Ceremonies, having announced for hundreds of weddings and other private events. She will work closely with the client or the client’s event planner to make sure every detail gets covered without a hitch!
Chris McClure is Sol Fusion’s co-owner, manager and biggest cheerleader. He has extensive experience in booking and producing all kinds of high-profile events, both public and private, and can guide clients and planners in the right direction in terms of logistics (lighting, staging, power and the like). Known within the band by his moniker “Showbizz,” his infectious personality and can-do attitude have been instrumental in Sol Fusion’s success.
Chris is also a partner with EastCoast Entertainment and his unique set of talents and abilities also led him to pick up a “side job” as Adjunct Professor of Concert and Event Production at Johnson and Wales University, where he has been wildly popular with students and staff alike.
Ed Bibbs, Sol Fusion’s lead audio and visual engineer and owner of A\V Smarts, LLC, is originally from Fayetteville, NC. After completing two degree programs at East Carolina University in 2006, he relocated to the Charlotte area to begin a career in Network Engineering for a national retail bank. He is a former musician with strong roots in the gospel industry. Eddie brings over twenty years of live audio production and engineering experience with him to every Sol Fusion event, and he will almost always be the first on site as well as the last!
Carmelo Smith, guitarist extraordinaire, is Sol Fusion’s Music Director and the epitome of a Working Musician. In addition to running our rehearsals and directing our shows, you can find Melo out playing gigs pretty much seven days a week, and he also teaches a multitude of students. Hailing from Atlantic Beach, Melo is formerly a television producer and he, along with Timm Young of Untitled Works, is the creative mind behind our promotional videos.
Chris Gray comes from a legendary musical family. Equally as talented on keys as he is on drums, his humble nature belies the monster within: guests, vendors and venue staff alike often find themselves mesmerized by his unfathomable and un-reproducible fills and riffs.
Joe Brown, also known as “The Lover on the Low End,” is the bass player and an original member of Sol Fusion. Joe’s musical career began in the children’s choir of First Baptist Church Charlotte. When it was time to choose an instrument in middle school, he was drawn to the trumpet. Throughout school he participated in the NC Honors Choir, sang with the Charlotte Youth Chorale and attended many national competitions. He graduated as a member of the National Music Honors Society and went on to major in music at Appalachian State University. He started playing the bass almost by accident. He wanted to play trumpet in his church orchestra but they needed a bass player instead. So, he taught himself bass and was playing within 3 months.
At Appalachian, Joe performed with the University Singers, Jazz Vocal, and Another Level a cappella group. He also played bass for the ASU Gospel Choir. College became a great place to fine tune his bass playing. He gained a lot of experience playing in the studio and gigging with many bands including Michael Alvarado of “US the Duo” with whom he toured during the summer of 2018. He has shared the stage with The Gregory Brothers, made famous by Auto-tune the news, Emily Moore from fun., and multiple American Idol finalists.
In 2011, Joe graduated with a BA in Music Business with a concentration in voice and a minor in Business. Straight out of college, he was offered to audition for a band that Chris and Hester McClure were putting together. He’s been with Sol Fusion ever since as one of its founding members. His dream is to one day tour the world playing bass for a female pop star.
Justin Deas was born and raised in Charleston, SC. He has been playing music professionally since he was 15 years old. Justin travels all over the world sharing his amazing gift by playing the piano, organ, and various keyboards. He has played with many artists such as John P. Kee, Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribett, the group Far East Movement, and many others.
DIRTY SOL HORNS
Charlie Fisher is a full time music educator, instilling his passion for music and the arts into the coming generations. A phenom on the trombone, Charlie also adds to Sol Fusion’s sound with fabulous vocals and percussion.
Jorge Wesly, otherwise known as “Sexy Sax,” has been a maintstay of Sol Fusion since day one. Originally from Miami and coming to Charlotte by way of Arizona, Jorge brings a smooth, sensual tone into the mix and adds an exotic flair.
Originally from Irvington Illinois, Phillip Howe began playing the piano at the age of 4. Years later after moving to Rock Hill SC he picked up the trumpet and discovered Clifford Brown. After years of practice he is now a full time musician, having shared the stage with Michael Franti, Steve Smith, Arturo O’ferrill, The Chairmen of the Board, Jim Breuer, Train, and many more.
Stephanie Massey Streater, affectionately known as “Sassy Massey,” discovered her love for music on the black top at John Taylor Williams Junior High in Charlotte, NC. This discovery led to a spot in the school chorus. She continued her choral career at Garinger High School in Charlotte, and she went on to obtain her B.A. in Music Liberal Arts at Livingstone College. While at Livingstone she was honored to sing for Dr. Maya Angelou at a United Negro College Fund event.
Stephanie also caught the acting bug during her college career. She developed a relationship with the Piedmont Players Theater where she would go on to star in their productions of “The Wiz” (as Dorothy), “Tommy” (as Acid Queen), “Sophisticated Ladies,” and “Leader of The Pack” (as Darlene Love). Her most recent production was with the talented actors of Clater-Kaye Theater Works in their production of “Hairspray” in which she played Motormouth Mabel. Stephanie has performed for several weddings, banquets and other events in the Charlotte area for the past 18 years.
LaVita Hill is Sol Fusion’s Beyonce, Rihanna and Whitney Houston all in one. When Sol Fusion (at the time known only as “New Charlotte Band”) first held auditions in November 2011, LaVita had just gotten married and was in the process of moving, and therefore could not come to the audition. Luckily (for us!) a second audition was held a couple weeks later, and the rest is history!
TK Hash once placed an ad on Craigslist looking for people who wanted to put a band together to perform current music – and as fate would have it, when we were starting the band we were looking on Craigslist for male singers! TK’s magnetic personality draws people together and brings out the best in everyone. His chameleon-like vocal versatility would lead one to believe that Michael McDonald, Zac Brown, Bruno Mars and Kanye West were all in the same room – at the same time.
Cara Watson was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2013, she made a visit to her family in Charlotte,NC and has been there ever since. She is an American Idol finalist and is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in vocal performance at UNC Charlotte. Her desire is to spread joy throughout the world with her voice.
We are honored to have shared the stage with the following musicians/vocalists and we thank them for their contributions!!
Corey Gaston, trumpet
Joe Brown, bass
Andre Porter, drums
Tim Scott, Jr., drums
Evan Brice, keys
Greg Dalton, guitar
Nate Whittenburg, guitar
Pat Valley, guitar
Jonny Fung, guitar/keys
Shago Elizondo, guitar
Mykal Curtis, bass
Kerrisha Glover, vocals
Blanche Johnson, vocals
James “JVito” Tillman, Jr., vocals
Jonathan Wiseman, trumpet
John Brooks, trumpet
Adrian Crutchfield, sax
Cesare Turner, trumpet
Marcus Jones, sax/bass
Djawaun Diggs, guitar
Archie “Snoopy” Pearson, bass