Nick Di Maria is a trumpeter, composer, band leader, educator, podcaster & community activist based in New Haven, CT.
The Lost Tribe is a drum-centered Afro-funk fusion ensemble, led by multi-percussionist Jocelyn Pleasant. As a traditional percussionist and drum kit player, Pleasant wanted to create a group that showcased the drum as a lead instrument and melodic voice. Her goal was also to provide a platform for musicians of different but overlapping communities to come together. She started the group in 2016, with the goal of blending djembe music into African Diasporic genres like jazz, rock, funk, blues, and reggae.
The Tribe’s initial home base was MAC650 Gallery, an artist-run coop space in Middletown, CT. Many of the musicians in the group, past and present, were reared in some of CT’s premier arts institutions like the Artists Collective, The Hartt School of Music and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (GHAA). These institutions have cultivated a “Hartford sound” that can be heard in jazz-infused horn solos and the driving drum rhythms of the group. Connecticut roots are vital to the sound and direction of the group but each member also brings their own flavor and cultural background to the music. Song arrangements are fluid, and each musician is encouraged to bring their personality to the forefront. This mixture of energies creates a unique blend that is palpable to audiences, inviting participation and a sense of joy.
While there are currently eight core members, Lost Tribe performances often include various special guests that reflect the large talent pool of their community. Regardless of the line-up, the staples of a Tribe performance are energy, stage presence and GROOVE. They have opened for international acts Mokoomba (of Zimbabwe), and Trio da Kali (of Mali), were a featured artist at the 2018 Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, and won first place at the 2019 Valley Music Showcase (of Western Massachusetts).
Their debut album, Diaspora, is available on streaming platforms as well as two singles released in 2020, Say Their Names and Diaspora Sings.