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The New Orleans-based jazz-funk ensemble Galactic formed in 1994; originally an eight-piece, the group soon pared down to an instrumental sextet comprised of guitarist Jeff Raines, organist Rich Vogel, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonists Ben Ellman and Jason Mingledorff, and drummer Stanton Moore. Later adding Crescent City music scene vet Theryl deClouet on vocals, Galactic built a fervent local following on the strength of a relentless live schedule that included opening slots for group heroes including the Meters, Maceo Parker, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. In 1996 Galactic issued their debut LP, Coolin' Off; upon signing to major-label Capricorn, they re-released the album two years later, soon followed by the all-new Crazyhorse Mongoose. Since that time, they have released a handful of albums including Late for the Future in 2000, Ruckus in 2003, and From the Corner to the Block in 2007. The band itself released a pair of live albums of its sets at Jazz Fest in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 they issued their most ambitious project to date with Ya-Ka-May, a wholesale New Orleans recording featuring guest appearances by everyone from Irma Thomas and Big Chief Bo Dollis to the Rebirth Brass Band and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Galactic decided to explore the various connections between New Orleans' annual Mardi Gras and the nearly nationwide Carnivale of Brazil. Carnivale Electricos did exactly that. Enlisting help from Cyril and Ivan Neville, rappers Mystikal and Mannie Fresh, Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Juan Pardo, the KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band, and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Galactic stretched itself toward Brazil's native samba by covering Carlinhos Brown's "Malagenha." They composed two tunes that bridged the continents: "Guero Bounce," fusing NOLA bounce and Brazilian rhythms, and "Julou," titled for the band's own outsider Mardis Gras parade. They also include the traditional Carnivale number "O Côco da Galinha" with the help of samba poet Moyseis Marques on vocals. Carnivale Electricos was issued on Mardis Gras Day in 2012.
Galactic is a funk and jazz jam band from New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
Origins and background 
Originally formed in 1994 as an octet (under the name Galactic Prophylactic) and including singer Chris Lane and guitarist Rob Gowen, the group was soon pared down to a sextet of: guitarist Jeff Raines, bassist Robert Mercurio, drummer Stanton Moore, Hammond organist Rich Vogel, Theryl DeClouet on vocals, and later adding saxophonist Ben Ellman.
The group was started when Raines and Mercurio, childhood friends from the Washington D.C. area, moved to New Orleans together to attend college at Tulane and Loyola Universities, and became enamored of the local funk scene, populated by such legendary acts as The Meters and Dirty Dozen Brass Band and inspired by local legends such as Professor Longhair. There they teamed with noted New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore, saxophonist/harmonica (now producer) Ben Ellman, and Rich Vogel. In 2004, the band parted ways with vocalist DeClouet, and now continue as an instrumental group. They have been releasing albums consistently since 1996.
Musical style 
The band has developed a unique sound as a result of their influences, including: hip hop, electronic, world music, rock, blues and jazz. Many of their songs include performances by other artists of various styles of music, like hip-hop artists Boots Riley (of The Coup), Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious) and Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5). On the European version of From the Corner to the Block there are two tracks more than on the US version. One of those tracks ("Valley Of Pain") features the German rapper Dendemann.
Over the years, the band's sound has evolved from organic New Orleans funk to a more modern style, incorporating elements of hip hop, electronica, fusion, and jazz. This change has been largely characterized by the increased use of electronic effects on guitar, bass, saxophone, and drums. Drummer Stanton Moore uses phrase samplers to sample a rhythm which he can then play over, producing intricate and layered drum sounds. Ben Ellman, saxophonist and harmonica player, often distorts his instruments to the degree that they sound similar to an electric guitar.
Live performances 
The band is also noted for inviting guest musicians from New Orleans to perform onstage with them. These include: the Soul Rebels Brass Band, The Neville Brothers, Brian Seeger, Corey "Boe Money" Henry George Porter of The Meters, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Skerik (a saxophone player who is actually based in Seattle, Washington, but is part of Stanton Moore's side project Garage A Trois), to name a few. The band is often on tour, and have shared the stage with acts including Live, Counting Crows, the Allman Brothers Band, The Roots, Fusebox Funk, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, Mike Doughty (formerly of Soul Coughing), Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious), and Jurassic 5.
In 2009, the band did a show with Brian Seeger in Kentucky at the Oulipo Ballroom.
As of 2010, the band's main guest vocalist has been Corey Glover from the band Living Colour.
Galactic toured North America in 2012 with Corey Glover and Soul Rebels Brass Band. On March 29, 2012 Galactic appeared with Soul Rebels Brass Band and Corey Glover on the Conan O'Brien show on TBS .
Recent Releases 
Ya-Ka-May was released on Feb 9, 2010 on ANTI-. The album includes guest performances by a range of New Orleans musicians. Long-established performers such as Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Big Chief Bo Dollis of The Wild Magnolias, Allen Toussaint and Walter "Wolfman" Washington are represented, along with younger performers in the traditional vein, such as Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry, John Boutté, Josh Cohen and Ryan Scully of Morning 40 Federation, and Glen David Andrews, and also Bounce artists Cheeky Blakk, Big Freedia, Katey Red, and Sissy Nobby.
Galactic released a live album in May, 2011 titled "The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans". This album includes live versions of many songs on "Ya-Ka-May". The band released a new studio album titled "Carnivale Electricos" on February 21, 2012.