De’Vine Soul was founded by bass man, Michael Watkins. The group was formed in 1996 as Salvation Flyte, which included current members Bill Moss and Devrick Bell. After several transitions, De’Vine Soul was formed. Watkins’ vision was simple – to make a musical connection for the soul. The group is based out of Orlando, FL area and is made up of eight talented and seasoned musicians and vocalists. They offer a unique diversity in musicianship that incorporates different genres of music, including Jazz, Latin, Neo-Soul, Gospel, R&B and Funk.
The band has spent the last couple years performing at various events in the Orlando metropolitan area, including the AFASHI Festival broadcast on OrangeTV, Lake Eola’s “A Jazz Moment” & Firelight Fridays, the Annual Taste of Oviedo Festival, the Orlando Museum of Arts, the Harry P. Leu Gardens Moon Stroll, Live Jazz & Blues at the historic Wells’ Built Museum, the Casselberry Art & Jazz Festival and are regular performers at Live After Five at the Blackfin Restaurant and Lua Loa Supper Club. The band has also participated in non-profit fundraising events like the Lake Mary/Heathrow Arts Festival, Orlando Inner-City Games Foundation cocktail party hosted by Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl with a special appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the New Hope for Kids Harvest Moon charity gala and The Variety Club of Orlando’s JazzTini Party fundraiser for kids. De’Vine Soul is a partner with a local non-profit theatre group and has participated in several musical productions including the youth production of the Broadway stage-play, “The Wiz.” The band has been featured on a local cable television show called Backstage Pass, currently showing on OrangeTV. Other performances include various private functions for local and national politicians, celebrities and community leaders.
The band released their debut CD, entitled DS One, in June 2004. This self-produced, independent release serves up a tasty, spiritual and soulful menu of original compositions and arrangements that are jazz in nature with flavors of Latin, R&B, Blues, Gospel, and Funk. The CD prominently features each piece of De’Vine Soul with its smooth & melodic vocals, rich horns, tantalizing percussion and tight rhythm section. The first single from the CD, Natural Love, received honorable mention in the 12th Annual Billboard World Songwriting Contest and has also been placed in regular rotation on Orlando’s jazz station, WLOQ.
Artists and songwriters that have influenced De’Vine Soul include Incognito, Tower of Power, Crusaders, Earth, Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Fourplay, Sheila E., Jeff Lorber, Joe Sample, Patrice Rushen and Brand New Heavies.
De’Vine Soul is planning to record another project with a release in late 2005 as well as to expand its performances throughout US and abroad.