Tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley has been a major force on the Bay Area music scene since his teenage years in the mid-90s. He’s steeped in a vast array of African-American idioms, from gospel, blues and jazz to R&B, funk and hip-hop. All of these currents flow into Extra Nappy, a loose and limber quartet that delivers improvisation-laced arrangements of classic songs. Featuring Alameda-raised drummer Thomas Pridgen, who spent three years touring and recording with El Paso rockers The Mars Volta, pianist/organist Lionel “LJ” Holoman and bassist Michael “Tiny” Lindsey, Wiley’s quartet plays next-level grooves with such a deep pocket it’s not just nappy, it’s Extra Nappy.
The group has continued to turn heads as part of their weekly residency at Madrone Art Bar, which they’ve held for more than a year. Locally, they’ve become a staple inside SoFA’s Cafe Stritch, where they regularly perform as part of First Fridays. If you’ve never seen the group live, expect a high-energy fusion of funk and soul mixed with top-notch jazz musicianship. Extra Nappy’s band members have earned their stripes playing alongside some of contemporary music’s finest voices, among them Lauryn Hill, Sheila E, Christian McBride, Alicia Keys, Steely Dan, Boyz II Men, Nas, the Mars Volta and Thundercat.
Howard Wiley - tenor sax
James Pridgen - drums