Stell & Snuggs is the new acoustic, highly versatile duo group led by the husband-and-wife team of Jarad Astin (accordion, stomp-box, vocals) and Christel Rice-Astin (flute, ukulele, vocals). They began their journey together in 2013, after putting their individual musical careers on hold, the two began as a Choro, Cumbia, retro pop busker act in local Brooklyn venues, then moved onto a sailboat that spring to hit the seas as Stell & Snuggs. Since then, they sailed over 6000 nautical miles onboard their sailing vessel, "Catherine," sailing to the Caribbean and back to NYC, holding over 100 performances in 2013-2014. They are now geared up and ready to hit it again.
Stell & Snuggs presently balances between instrumental Brazilian street music (choro) , Colombian Cumbia, Cajun, retro-pop, and their own oringial music, putting a new spin on all these genres through use of a dynamic instrumentation using accordion, flute, and ukulele. As their gear, instruments and all of their possessions take them to exotic places via their sailing vessel "Catherine", they have drawn from a wide range of influences in such short time, such as Afro-Caribbean, salsa, jazz, and naturally gypsy music. Their music and lifestyle embody a modern type of gypsy - choosing to travel with their music rather than settle down, all the while using one of the worlds oldest and greenest modes of travel - sail.
Although the lifestyle of sailing to performances on tropical islands sounds quite romantic to say the least, it didn't begin as such. What brought Stell & Snuggs to the water permanently was also the very thing that took most of all their possessions away from them. Having lived on a ground floor apartment on Rockaway Beach, NY during Hurricane Sandy, they lost their home, most of their possessions, and were displaced for 9 months.But, this very reality made their dream "come true" to tour and performing using the wind to get them there. They searched tirelessly for that perfect sailing vessel over those cold winter months of 2013, and found the perfect boat in Mystic, Connecticut. They moved aboard "Catherine June of 2013 and have been sailing since.
Jarad, an accomplished NYC based jazz organist attended the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts in 1994-1998 and was fed on a steady diet of jazz on piano/organ under the tuteliage of Edward Simon (latin jazz/Brian Blade) and Trudy Pitts (Philadelphia based renowned jazz organist). While living in Brooklyn, one would find Jarad performing the salsa clubs in East Harlem and a weekly stints some of NYC's best jazz clubs.
“With his skill and talent on the rise, Jarad Astin continues to grow each and every time he sits at his instrument.” Rodney Franks KUVO 89.3 Denver
Christel Rice-Astin, a classically-trained flutist also out of the Philadelphia College who studied with Adeline Tomasone (Philadelphia Orchestra, Luciano Pavarotti, Yul Brynner and Rod Stewart), can switch seamlessly between everything from Bach to traditional Irish music on the wooden flute. Christel has also toured with the John Whelan Band, performing at major Irish festivals throughout the country.
"Her runs and articulations are speedy, but nonetheless possessed of a plaintive soulfulness and verve that reminds the listener of an ecstatic nightingale." -Colorado Daily
After much support from friends and family, (and some sceptism, of course) last winter/spring, Stell & Snuggs sailed 6,000 nautical miles from NYC to the Virgin Islands and back, performing along the way at Beach Clubs, Hotels, and Festivals. They had a really successful season, and made lots of new fans and friends - but having pulled off this lifestyle change so quickly, they didn't have time to make a record and all the associated things a "band" does to promote itself.
So what do they need?
- $500 for original artwork
- $1200 for graphic/ web design
- $1200 for mixing and mastering (we already did the tracking work on our own)
- $100 for Digital Download service
- $1225 for manufacturing of cd's and digipaks;
- $1285 for promotional goods and Kickstarter gifts
- $380 for marketing and pubicity
- 5% for the Kickstarter fee (of the $6200, that's $310)
Although they have been performing for over 20 years, respectively, starting a new project is always a challenge. It is their hope and dream to have a recording to take to the seas for their second season, and YOU can make this possible. Thank you all for all the support, and here's to wishing upon another star!
Stell & Snuggs
Risks and challenges
The timeline is of essence, period. This project must be mixed, mastered, and ready to be copied to CD by November to hit our release date of December 15. As with any project, there are always possible delays but with the studio right here at our fingertips, we don't think these are insurmountable issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)