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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 releases 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 Scott Bradlee began shooting videos with friends from college in his basement apartment in Astoria. This group included bassist Chris Anderson, saxophonist Ben Golder-Novick, harpist Brandee Younger, and vocalist Emma Walker.
Bradlee struggled for years as a jazz musician in New York City before one of his videos ("a medley of '80s songs done ragtime style") became popular in 2009. He received a messager on Twitter from author Neil Gaiman. Two years later his video for "A Motown Tribute to Nickelback" included Drue Davis (emcee), Steve Ujfalussy (saxophone, EWI) Adam Kubota (bass), Allan Mednard (drums), and Tim Kubart (tambourine).
In late 2013, Postmodern Jukebox was invited to the New York City offices of Cosmopolitan to film a year-end tribute to 2013, covering the year's hit songs with arrangements from different genres and times. The "Just Another Day at the Office" mashup included 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 Kate Davis performed a cover version of Meghan Trainor's song "All About That Bass" (2014) in Scott Bradlee's living room after three hours of practice. Davis performed on double bass. "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,Billboard,The Huffington Post, and PBS NewsHour.
Around the same time, PMJ started Reboxed, consisting of new versions of songs that had already been covered. The first Reboxed song was by Niemietz and the Sole Sisters singing "Bad Romance", which had been sung by Ariana Savalas with Sarah Reich tap dancing.Adweek named Bradlee one of "20 Content Creators Who Are Setting the Bar for Creativity in 2016".
In late May 2018 PMJ surpassed the one billion view mark on YouTube. Bradlee, members of the band, and guests hosted their first live stream event from the PMJ Manor to celebrate.
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 received positive reviews from Publishers Weekly,The Weekly Standard, and Billboard.
In 2014, PMJ started the first annual #PMJSearch contest to discover 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 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 singer, Katy Perry, during an online feature for Glamour.
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.
^Sharan Shetty (29 December 2015). "The Tap Awakens in This Terrific Dance Cover of the Star Wars Soundtrack". Slate. Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 2016. The folks at Postmodern Jukebox have a new video out, but this time around there's no old-timey cover of a new-fangled tune. Instead, we get a dance--specifically, a tap dance, one that sees renowned tapper Sarah Reich shuffle and shimmy her way through the Star Wars soundtrack