Asylum Wind Band offers a touch of local originality

    by Tianna Grosch

    Any artist knows that even if you’re influenced by what came before, that doesn’t mean you don’t have your own twist of originality. For Asylum Wind Band (AWB), formed six years ago in the greater Philadelphia area, the five band members bring such an amazingly diverse taste in musical genres, it’s hard to call them anything but original.

    Each member plays multiple instruments, sings lead and backup vocals, and produces dazzling harmonies.

    “We’re so proud of our musical diversity,” said Jim Padilla of Churchville, who plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass, harmonica, and keyboards. “We want to stand out and be different. On our CD’s, it’s all original music. We’re so fortunate to be able to create something from the ground up.”

    AWB has the versatility to perform powerful rock sets, quieter acoustic sets, or anything in between, depending on the mood or venue. You never know what type of song will pop up next.

    The founding member of the band is Jim’s wife of two years, Jayne Jacobs who plays flute, sax, acoustic rhythm guitar, and keyboards.

    “We’re passionate about our original music and that takes us to some amazing and diverse genres,” said Jim.

    There are many unique tunes featured on their second CD, entitled “Lookin’ Up,” which was recently released and available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify, and Pandora.

    Enjoy the rockin’ harmonica-infused “You Can Only Control (What You Can Control),” mixed in with the socially conscious “Cheaters,” followed by the artful and alternative “Why,” succeeded by the whimsical and hard driving “Not My Fault,” and rounded out by the tender ballad, “I’ve Never Loved No One (Like I Love You).”

    AWB loves being in front of live audiences, and can cater to a diverse crowd with danceable covers, classic rock, or a variety of original tunes.

    Jim says, “We play songs that sometimes surprise our audiences – things like Gershwin’s ‘Summertime,’ Patsy Cline’s ‘Walkin’ After Midnight,’ or Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance,’ which can be real crowd pleasers.”

    The other members of the band are Scott Cooper (piano, organ, keyboards, trombone, and bass), Rich Heim (lead and rhythm, acoustic and electric guitar), and Elvis Jendy (drums and percussion).

    “Our members are engineers, teachers, HR reps, data techs, and marketing professionals who work full-time, have families, and somehow find the time to create our own brand of music,” says Jim. “It’s a balancing act, and we love it.”

    Their goal now is to cultivate a greater following in the local area. “Look out for us at your favorite local venues!” said Jim. “We’re making more of an effort to get out there in the new year and want people to start recognizing our music.”

    Whether it be a concert hall, festival, club, restaurant, bar, public event, private party, or playing for fun (and free) at the Veteran’s Home in Southampton several times a year, AWB likes being out in the community and hopes to create more of that presence in 2018.

    Come out and see them live on Friday, December 15th, at Ralphie’s Sports Bar, located at 2295 Second Street Pike, Newtown, from 8:00pm until midnight.

    There’s a rumor Santa will be there checking out the band! Find more info on Facebook. Feel free to e-mail AWB at or call 215-519-0733 to speak with one of the members.

    PHOTO CAP: The Asylum Wind Band, from left, Jim Padilla, Elvis Jendy, Jayne Jacobs, Rich Heim, and Scott Cooper