Trinidelphia has been pleasing audiences with their distinct combination of Caribbean and American styles for over a decade, after meeting in Philadelphia in 2005. Fusing Trinidadian Soca and Calypso with Latin Jazz, Reggae, Salsa, and American top-40, they have developed a sound all their own. Their unique and rhythmic arrangements of jazz and popular songs cast the steelpan in fresh new light, pushing the stylistic and artistic boundaries of an often type-cast instrument. Fronted by Steel Drummer/Trumpeter Chris Aschman and Lead Vocalist/Percussionist Shawn Hennessey, they are complemented by the dynamic rhythm section of Ian Rafalak on bass and Joe Truglio on drumset. As freelance musicians in their own right, they have performed with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, Paquito D'Rivera, Bill Withers, Stanley Clarke, Guster, Teena Marie, Joe Piscopo, Jeffry Iqbar, Andy Narell, Lotus, The O'Jays, Wayne Brady, Justin Guarani, and Melody Gardot, and at venues ranging from Philadelphia's Verizon Hall, the Blue Note in New York, and the Queen's Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain Trinidad. Through the years, Trinidelphia has performed over 750 times at festivals, concerts, restaurants, jazz clubs, beach bars, private events, weddings, and other functions across 8 US states.
Their 2013 self-titled release captures their unique blend of Caribbean/American fusion. From their mixing of neo-soul, jazz, and afro-beat on D'Angelo's "Spanish Joint," their playful ska rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire," to more traditional arrangements of classic Trinidadian socas like "Pan Rising" and "Pan in A Minor," their debut album summarized the group's mission in 9 polished tracks.
Since this release, the band has delved deeper into the folkloric traditions behind their instruments, and developed an even more unique sound. In 2015 Chris made the switch from the common C tenor pan to a new custom instrument, the low g tenor pan, and has twice ventured to Trinidad for Carnivale to perform at Panorama with the Supernovas of Surrey Village. These journeys have spurred a new set of original songs and arrangements, influenced by the intricate steel orchestra "engine rooms," or rhythm sections. He has also begun to incorporate influences beyond his experiences with jazz, adding a tinge of bluegrass and contra music to their sound from his experience with this music as a child. Shawn has made several pilgrimages to Ghana, Cuba, and Brazil, deepening his spiritual growth and further developing his sense of clave. Through his study of Afro-Cuban styles coupled with his love for American folk writers like Paul Simon and Neil Young, he has been fine tuning a truly unique songwriting style.
Trinidelphia will be releasing its second full-length record, "Color Wheel," during the Summer of 2019. This dynamic album will feature half originals and half interpretations of covers, and stylistically will touch on salsa, bluegrass, steelband, latin jazz, calypso, and American folk in suprisingly coherent ways.