What The What could be called the “trio different”. Formed in 2013 by three well-traveled Santa Fe natives, the group fuses diverse elements of funk, jazz and world into a unique and compelling sound. With a style described as “earthy and inviting” they defy categorization while evoking the familiar with original compositions. What the What’s eponymous CD was released in July 2015.
Bassist Jon Gagan is best known for his 25 + year association with renown guitarist Ottmar LIebert. In addition to playing bass and providing arrangements on over 20 Liebert albums, Gagan has performed with Milt Jackson, Dave Grusin, Christopher Cross, Big Al Anderson, Nat Adderley, and Emily Remler, among many others.
Trumpet player J.Q. Whitcomb graduated from Oberlin University and subsequently relocated to Shanghai, China, where he performed for eight years. He was featured with the internationally acclaimed Sinne Eeg/ Martin Schack quartet on a tour of Denmark, and has appeared at several of the elite Scandanavian Jazz fests. J.Q. is currently pursuing his master’s degree in trumpet performance at Julliard.
Percussionist Robby Rothschild has studied many forms of music with teachers worldwide and holds a master’s degree in composition from UNM. He performs regularly with Round Mountain, the inimitable world/folk duo he formed with his brother Char. Robby has also worked with Thomas Mapfuno, Guinean griot Prince Diabate and Ottmar Liebert.