The Price of Dope

Christian Schinelli: Bass guitar, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | James Cummings: Organ | Dave Carano: Bass guitar, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Jeff Kelley: Drums | Andy Holmes: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Cochemea Gastelum: Saxophone

Genre: Blues & Soul, Jazz, Rock

RIYL: Pocket, B-Side Players, Greyboy Allstars, Wise Monkey Orchestra, the Meters, Jimmy McGriff, Medeski Martin & Wood, John Scofield, Stanley Turrentine

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Influences: The Meters, Medeski Martin & Wood, Stanley Turrentine, Prince, the Brand New Heavies, the Roots, the Jazz Crusaders, Ray Charles


San Diego's original acid-jazz group the Price of Dope first earned local notice in the 1990s, plying their funky trade all over town, particularly at beach venues like Winstons and the Catamaran. Songs from the band's debut CD were used for Rob Machado's (MTV) surf videos and frequently featured on local TV and radio (Bluetorch, KUSI, KSDS).

The group split in 1999 when Cochemea Gastelum aka Cheme Gastelum (Creedle) and Dave Carano joined Robert Walter (Creedle, Greyboy Allstars) in Robert Walter's 20th Congress. Soon after, Jeff Kelley, Andy Holmes, Christian Schinelli, and Ben Moore came together to form Pocket. Moore left Pocket in late 2008 and was replaced by another Price of Dope vet, organist James Cummings, though he left in early 2012, along with Price of Dope bassist Christian Schinelli (who joined Crash & the Burns, alongside former Dirty Sweet members).

Saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum, who grew up in Spring Valley, has delved deepest into the jazz world. The 1990 graduate of Monte Vista High School relocated to New York City, where he has been involved in too many recording sessions and live performances to recount here.

A Price of Dope reunion show happened in January 2011 at Bar Pink.


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