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Postmodern Jukebox, also widely known by the acronym PMJ, is a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011. PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz. Postmodern Jukebox has amassed over 1 billion YouTube views and 3.6 million subscribers.
Each week, Postmodern Jukebox puts out a new video on YouTube. Although originally most were filmed casually in Bradlee's living room, sets became more elaborate over time. The band has covered songs by artists ranging from Lady Gaga and The Strokes to Katy Perry and the White Stripes. Since their beginnings as a small group of friends making music in a basement in Queens, New York, Postmodern Jukebox has gone on to feature 70 different performers and tour six continents.
Postmodern Jukebox originated when Bradlee began shooting videos with his close friends from college in his small basement apartment in Astoria, Queens. This original group included bassist Chris Anderson, saxophonist Ben Golder-Novick, harpist Brandee Younger, and vocalist Emma Walker.
Bradlee struggled for years post-college as a jazz musician in the New York City area before hitting it big with his first viral video in 2009 - "a medley of '80s songs done ragtime style." A tweet from famed author Neil Gaiman was the beginning of his eventual online viral popularity.
In 2011, a precursor to the Postmodern Jukebox concept emerged in the form of Bradlee's project A Motown Tribute to Nickelback. It was this video that introduced the world to many PMJ featured performers including bassist Adam Kubota, drummer Allan Mednard, emcee Drue Davis, sax / EWI player / producer Steve Ujfalussy (also known as '90s R&B icon "Steve Sweat" from Saturday Morning Slow Jams) and Tambourine Guy, Tim Kubart.
In late 2013, Postmodern Jukebox was invited into the New York City offices of Cosmopolitan magazine to film a year-end tribute to 2013, covering the year's hit songs with arrangements transitioning through various genres and time periods. The "Just Another Day at the Office" mashup features: Robyn Adele Anderson singing "Blurred Lines", Cristina Gatti singing "Holy Grail", Anderson and the Tee Tones singing "We Can't Stop", Karen Marie singing "Roar", Ashley Stroud singing "Royals" and Andromeda Turre singing "What Does The Fox Say?". The production was completed in a single take, and a companion behind-the-scenes video was also produced.
In 2014, guest artist Kate Davis performed a cover of Meghan Trainor's, "All About That Bass" (2014), in Scott Bradlee's living room after three hours of practice. Davis performs and solos on the upright bass while singing the song and recalls the occasion, "I knew the song, probably could have done it on the fly. Maybe that's why it's so funny. I remember thinking it was so funny at the time I was going to crack up, maybe five times." The 1940s arrangement and piano accompaniment is by Bradlee with Dave Tedeschi on drums. The single was a success, catching the attention of Time magazine,Billboard magazine, the Huffington Post and PBS NewsHour. As of February 2017, the music video has over 16,570,000 YouTube views, and the song is track 11 on PMJ's Historical Misappropriation (2014) album.
In early February 2016, Postmodern Jukebox covered the late David Bowie's classic song "Heroes" in honor of World Cancer Day - featuring vocals by Nicole Atkins. The track was sold on iTunes to earn money for the Cancer Research Institute. In 2016, Heineken announced their global partnership with Formula One racing management and in September released its first "If You Drive, Never Drink" campaign commercial featuring Sir Jackie Stewart (the "Flying Scot") with PMJ's cover of "Heroes" as the soundtrack. Around the same time, PMJ launched a program called "Reboxed," consisting of new versions of songs that they'd already covered. The first Reboxed song was Niemietz (and the Sole Sisters) singing "Bad Romance" which had previously been sung by Ariana Savalas (feat. Sarah Reich tap dancing). Adweek went on to feature Bradlee as one of "20 Content Creators Who Are Setting the Bar for Creativity in 2016."
On June 12, 2018, Scott Bradlee released his first book, a memoir entitled Outside The Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession Into My Dream Gig. The book garnered rave reviews from artists such as Kristin Chenoweth and Mick Fleetwood, as well as features from Publishers Weekly,The Weekly Standard, and Billboard. Scott performed a series of special intimate Book Release Parties during the book's release week in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, and his hometown of Flemington, NJ.
In 2014, PMJ launched their first annual #PMJSearch contest to discover new musical talent. The month-long competition asks fans to submit videos of themselves performing versions of PMJ songs for a chance to perform on an upcoming official video. Out of the many videos that are submitted each year, the winner is selected personally by Scott Bradlee. Past winners include Holly Campbell-Smith (2015), Devi Ananda (2016), and Olivia Kuper Harris (2017), all of whom went on to be featured in PMJ videos, as well as on tour with the band. Harris' feature on "Last Friday Night" caught the attention of the song's original artist, Katy Perry, during an online feature for Glamour. On August 1, 2018, PMJ launched their fourth annual #PMJSearch, the winner(s) for which will be announced on Sept. 10th.
The 2016 tours included three continents: 1) a 75-date European tour at Vicar Street in Dublin, Ireland, wrapping on June 3, 2016 in Athens, Greece. 2) A 16-city Australia/New Zealand tour, which kicked off on August 29, 2016 at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch, wrapping on September 20, 2016 at the Perth Concert Hall. and 3) a 45-stop fall North American tour, kicking off on September 29, 2016 at the Vets in Providence, Rhode Island, and wrapping on November 27, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona.
The 2017 tour included concurrent dates in Europe and the USA, with two separate "casts" of musicians.
PMJ made its first visit of South America in August 2017, with four dates in Brazil and one in Argentina.
In April 2018, PMJ made their debut in Africa, performing in Tunisia at the Jazz a Carthage Festival and Morocco at the Jazzablanca Festival, marking the sixth continent on which they've performed.
Xavier Woods appeared in the cover of What Is Love, with his trombone "Francesca" and later recorded a video that was released on his channel (UpUpDownDown), in which they cover the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song.
The band has featured the following artists as guest vocalists and performers:
^"GUNS N' ROSES' 'Sweet Child O' Mine' Like You've Never Heard It Before". Blabbermouth.net. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 2016. POSTMODERN JUKEBOX actually originated as a musical concept created by our bandleader/pianist Scott Bradlee," lead singer Robyn Adele Anderson told Pipe Dream last year. "He came up with the term some years ago when he first started covering songs in different genres. I loved the idea but didn't get involved until February of  when Scott first asked me to be in a video (our vintage 'Thrift Shop' cover) and we've continued to make videos together ever since.
^Chris Baker (23 May 2013). "Postmodern Jukebox goes viral with jazzy YouTube cover of "Thrift Shop"". Syracuse Media Group. Retrieved 2016. Robyn Adele Anderson is the group's charismatic lead singer. An upstate native, she moved to New York City two years ago, hoping to start a career in music. "I wasn't sure I would ever end up singing in the real world," she said. "But now we've got millions of people watching us on YouTube." Anderson grew up in Delmar, N.Y., just outside of Albany. She studied political science at SUNY Binghamton and moved to New York City after graduating in 2011.
^Kevin Fallon (11 September 2013). "Doo-Wop 'We Can't Stop': Behind the Ridiculously Good Miley Cyrus Cover". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016. Robyn's actually my girlfriend. We dated for about a year before I put her in one of the videos, too. "Thrift Shop" I wasn't even familiar with at the top, and she was one day just sort of singing it in jazz style. I thought, We should do video of this. And we did and posted it. It was her first video singing in public. And that has over 2 million views now.
^John Orr (20 January 2016). "Kate Davis to sing with iSing". Mercury News. Retrieved 2016. The idea was to take Meghan Trainor's hit song, which preaches self-acceptance, and jazz it up in the Postmodern Jukebox style. "But I'm here to tell you," the song says, "Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top."
^ abMichael Lawrence Quintos (30 January 2015). "BWW Reviews: Postmodern Jukebox Entertains in their O.C. Debut Concer". Broadway World. Retrieved 2016. As for Bean--good lawd, this gal can saaaang. Already one of the musical theater world's favorite "Elphabas" (from WICKED, of course), this flawless-sounding, remarkable soul diva feels right at home with PMJ's vintage sounds. Along with her slinky soul viral hit cover of Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," (which she thankfully recreated for the concert), she also blessed the audience with outstanding, jaw-dropping covers of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off."
^Shayani Mukherjee (23 April 2016). "Stunning: Watch This 14-Year-Old Sing Cyndi Lauper". Australia Network. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 2016. Caroline Baran, who is just 14 years old, is blessed with an incredible voice. The PMJ team was so impressed with the voice of this little girl during their #PMJ search contest that they immediately booked her and her mother's ticket to Los Angeles so that she could record a PMJ video with them.