Photo:  Clancy Dunnigan 

About Brian Lee & the Orbiters

 


Get ready for a stellar ride through the traditional blues universe! Brian Lee & the Orbiters are among the premier bands on the Northwest blues circuit, and have earned an impressive reputation for being among the finest purveyors of traditional blues, while forging their own unique sound. The "Orbiters" name evokes the concept of the band - a "broad orbit through the blues universe". Brian delivers dynamic and engaging performances with melodic vocals, exceptional song writing, and superb harmonica, slide guitar, and guitar. The incredible Orbiters rhythm section features Mark Dalton on bass and Russ Kammerer on drums, and the groove really swings! Completing the Orbiters sound on guitar is the remarkable Mahiko Fujita, who is an exceptionally fine guitarist deeply versed in the blues and jazz traditions. 

Brian's blues influences from an early age include Elmore James, T-Bone Walker, Big and Little Walter, Johnny Watson, Guitar Slim, Peter Green, and later additions such as Jr. Watson, Jimmy Vaughan, Rick Estrin, Gary Smith, etc...  Brian has lead the Orbiters to a prominent position in the Northwest blues scene based on their engaging and energetic delivery, top-flight musicianship, and great repertoire of original tunes and gems from the blues tradition. The Brian Lee Trio scales this same sound to provide a perfect fit for smaller venues. Brian and the band are serious in their musicianship, but have serious fun when they perform! Without gimmicks, the focus is on delivering a great performance of great tunes that are perfect for both dancing and listening.  

Orbiters band members are all among the finest players in the Northwest. Core band members include:

Drums: Russ Kammerer performs with both the Orbiters and the Trio. He's a superb drummer who really drives the groove with energy and finesse. Russ's playing demonstrates incredible versatility, polish, and expertise that comes from many years of professional worldwide touring performance. He's a fantastic player!


Bass: Mark Dalton is a superb player who has been on the scene for many years, playing with Chris Stevens many others.  His experience really shows. He is a stellar musician, who really understand the blues. 

Guitar:  Mahiko Fujita spent many years playing the blues in Chicago, as well as touring nationally, and now is based in Seattle with the Obiters.  He's a brilliant, emotive player in the traditional style.

The Orbiters and Trio also draw upon the talents of additional great players including Brian Butler, Jack Cook, and Billy Stapleton on guitar;  Brady Kish, Guy Quintino, and Hank Yanda on bass; and Dave Coleman, Marty Lockwood, and Bob Merrihew on drums . The tunes always swing with this additional depth of talent playing with the band! 

Brian Lee & the Orbiters have been honored by the Washington Blues Society with 2018 "Best of the Blues" nominations for Best Traditional Blues Act and Best Slide Guitar. Brian and the Orbiters previously won the BB award for Best Traditional Blues Act for 2017, 2015, 2014, and 2013, and Brian was awarded for Best Slide Guitar in 2017.  They have also been awarded with "Best of the Blues" awards for 2014 Best Blues Act, 2012 Best Recording (Identity Theft) and Brian received the 2012 award for Best Songwriter.

Previous BB nominations include Best Blues Act (2017, 2014, 2010, 2008, 2003), Traditional Blues Act (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010)  and Best Recording (2014 In Orbit, 2012 Identity Theft , 2006 Falling Leaves). Individually Brian was nominated for Slide Guitar (2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011), Male Vocalist (2015, 2010), Performer (2017, 2015), Songwriter (2017, 2016, 2015, 2012), Russ for Drummer (2017, 2016, 2015) and Lifetime Achievement (2017, 2015), and Hank Yanda for Bass (2012). Thank you WBS members for the wonderful reccognition of these awards and nominations!

The Orbiters In Orbit album has received strong world-wide airplay, as well as being chosen by the South Sound Blues Association for entry in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Competition in Memphis. The bands' prior Identity Theft album also has been widely acclaimed and charted at #15 in 2012 on the Living Blues world wide blues radio chart.

For straight ahead traditional blues with exceptional musicianship and energy, Brian Lee & the Orbiters are among the finest!