Earth Radio is a future soul group based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The band formed in 2017 when bass player Justin Avdek brought these unique West Michigan musicians together for a spontaneous recording collaboration, which turned into a progressive project that takes neo-soul to a new level. Their sound combines the unexpected creativity of Hiatus Kaiyote, coupled with the soulful vocals reminiscent of Erykah Badu to create a sound unlike anything you’ve heard before. You’ll hear elements of funk, rock, soul, and progressive jazz melded together into a sound that is uniquely Earth Radio.
Earth Radio has shared the stage with The Accidentals, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, Last Gasp Collective, Jackie Venson, Minor Element, Afro Zuma, Outer Vibe, Lipstick Jodi, Desmond Jones, and more nationally touring artists. Their ability to collaborate as multi-instrumentalists leaves room for infinite possibility.
Since the release of their self-titled album, Earth Radio, in March 2018, their music has been well received by musical lovers from all genres, hitting the top of the charts as WYCE’s most played album. The excitement continued as the band was awarded “Emerging Artist of The Year” and “Best Jazz Album of 2018” at the 20th WYCE Jammie Awards. In 2019, Earth Radio released their sophomore record, “Mother’s Breath”, which earned them the Critics Choice Award and “Best Jazz Album of 2019” at the 21st WYCE Jammie Awards.
For 2020, Earth Radio released their latest album, “Reanimate,” which received three months on the “WYCE Hot Top 5” and a spot on the “2020 Hot Top 10 Local Spins Playlist.” They are currently working on new material for their next recording session.
The current members of Earth Radio are Justin Avdek (bass and effects), Hannah Laine (vocals and piano), Dutcher Snedeker (keyboards and synth), and Madison George (drums and percussion). They also recently added the talents of Eli Kahn (After Ours), Justin Wierenga, and David Ward (Sabbatical Bob) to their collaborative roster.
Justin Avdek is a widely known musician in West Michigan. He has played bass in many local groups including the Tommy Foster Band, the Mark Lavengood Band, The Underground Circus, Scott Pellegrom, and with Eric Engblade. Justin has released several albums as a solo artist and with collaborative groups, including and Dr. Dangatang, Don't Forget to Plug in The Sun, You Are What You Sleep, and recently The Hidden People. He loves to make sounds.
Dutcher Snedeker is a Masters graduate from WMU and an active performer around West Michigan. He has performed with many West Michigan musicians and bands including Brad Fritcher, Benjaman James, the West Michigan New Music Collective, the Mark Lavengood Band, and Blushing Monk. He is also a session musician with Third Coast Recording Company.
Hannah Laine is a soulful vocalist, songwriter, and pianist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her musical journey began at a young age, as she sang and performed with her father. Much of Hannah's inspiration in songwriting comes from various spiritual leaders and artists; including Ram Dass, Erykah Badu, Nai Palm, Stevie Wonder, Queen Afua, Zap Mama, and Mother Earth. Shortly prior to the birth of Earth Radio, Hannah released her debut solo EP titled Cut Your Strings. In addition to her ventures with Earth Radio and her solo performances, Hannah Laine practices yoga, meditation, and sound healing.
ELI KAHN is a guitarist, beat-maker, & improviser from South Bend, IN. After graduating from Indiana University of South Bend in 2010 with degrees in both classical guitar performance & music theory, he transitioned into the jazz world & discovered his love for improvisation. Performing for over 10 years with his original projects such as sobriquet, The B.E.A.T. & After Ours has helped him hone his craft with layers & composition & as a soloist, he has been flexing his beat-making & looping chops at shows & in the studio for the last 5 years. As one of the newest additions to the Earth Radio lineup, he now takes aim at adding another dimension of melodic texture to the band’s immersive sonic palette.
David Ward // percussion
David Ward is a drummer and percussionist originally from Washington, who moved to Michigan to study at the University of Michigan. A fearless artist, David can be seen and heard as a drummer/bandleader with Sabbatical Bob and as emcee Young Sinsei with his duo project FiendiGods when not performing with Earth Radio.
MADISON GEORGE// drums
Madison George is a former jazz studies student at Western Michigan University. He has appeared in various West Michigan groups including Lushh, Hip Pocket, and Michigander. Madison joined Earth Radio in October 2018, succeeding Hayaman Mana Tzach, who still makes occasional appearances. Madison has recently been invited to go on tour with The War & Treaty, which will be a fully realized career shift in 2021! For the time being, he is around for the current ventures with Earth Radio.
Justin Wierenga // guitar/pedal steel
Justin Wierenga is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, band leader and session musician with a primary focus in guitar and pedal steel/lap steel/dobro. Wierenga also plays bass, mandolin, keyboard and percussion. After playing professionally for over a decade in many styles of music, from country and bluegrass, to rock, metal, funk, jazz, reggae, new age and world music, Wierenga has forged a unique, singular voice for himself on the guitar. He has lent his talents to some of the top artists in Michigan including Earth Radio, the Mark Lavengood Band, Muruga Booker, Brad Fritcher, Cameron Blake, Megan Dooley, Eric Engblade, Cosmic Knot, Speak Easy and many more. Wierenga and vocalist, Hannah Graves, received the 2015 Jammy Blues/Soul Album of the Year Award for their album Everything We Already Knew. Wierenga's improvisational guitar prowess is presented on the 2015 Detroit Music Award-winning Muruga Band album Michigan Mud in the Outstanding World Recording Category.