Affinity was formed in the spring of 2009 when leader/saxophonist Martin Kelley and bassist Diallo House their growing need and concern to consolidate efforts, and share ideologies and artistic vision. They were bandmates, playing in Diallo’s band House of Sextet and in the Martin Kelley Quartet at Fat Cat and in and around the West Village and Chelsea as far back as 2003. Martin grew very fond of the bassist’s compositions and was excited to explore their thematic possibilities. They would rehearse and have sessions and perform in other groups like the Brian Jackson Expression.
One Monday evening in September of 2009 while sitting in at a local jam session, the two witnessed a performance of drummer Christian Coleman. They heard more and just swing – there were other intangibles that elevated his sound. He stood above the rest of those in attendance and they unanimously crowned him and considered adding him to their vision. He obliged. Shortly thereafter, the three would record a demo that featured Martin’s music and would have listening sessions to gain greater insight of the group interest. Although the trio initially performed mostly modern jazz compositions and bebop, their sound has been simultaneously expanding and evolving with the addition of electronic devices and keyboards. Thirteen years later, Affinity is still based out of Long Island City, Queens, performing all over in many different situations. The repertoire consists mostly of original compositions, classics recorded by Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, and many more critically acclaimed musicians and groups.