Music » Music Stories & Interviews

Jazz Fusion Band Xenobia Made Up of UTSA Students Makes Imagine Fest IV Debut


San Antonio should keep an ear out for one of the dopest jazz-fusion bands in the city: Xenobia.

The band was part of the eclectic lineup for Imagine Fest IV at Imagine Books and Records. "I had the idea of creating a band three years ago," band leader and bass player Jamail Chachere said. "Since I was crazy into progressive metal the idea started as a progressive metal band that I changed into a jazz fusion band."

Chachere said the band is made up of musicians he met and became friends with while studying at UTSA.

"I just decided to put this group of all-stars together and it's working out great," the 21-year-old said.
  • Jamail Chachere/Instagram
On keys is 22-year-old Andi Ivins; Jorge Vargas, 20, on guitar; Steve Castor, 20, plays saxophone; Felix Cruz, 26, trumpet; Ezek Zamorano, 20, drumset; and Daulton Mattingly, 25, plays drums as well.

Most of the band members are fluent with multiple instruments. Their wide array of skills and approach to jazz fusion are perfect for the creative band name. A few members also play with the band, Mirame, which was one of the featured guests bands for YOSA's recent Thriller Live performance.
  • Mirame/Instagram
"During my most recent summer break back home in Conroe, a friend and I took a trip to a local botanical gardens," Chachere said. "While looking around I saw a bunch of amazing flowers and some with really cool names. One flower was called Dusty Zenobia and I instantly thought, 'wow, that would be a great band name.'"

Xenobia's music is mix of jazz, rock, progressive metal, hip hop, funk, Latin and many more. It gives listeners a sense of the surreal while simultaneously keeping them grounded with sounds that feel familiar.

"Inspiration comes from literally anywhere," Chachere said. "I listen to a lot of different things. Jazz, classical, Japanese folk music, the wind, cars driving by, everything."

Xenobia has been a crowd favorite for the Jazz and Poetry with a Purpose series at Carmens De La Calle. They plan to create recordings to boost online content for listeners.
View this post on Instagram

This solo was PHAT. @xenobiamusic

A post shared by Jorge Vargas (@jorgevargasjams) on

The band's upcoming shows include Jamail’s Senior recital on April 4 at 5 p.m. at the UTSA Recital Hall and UTSA Underground on May 4, which will be a festival of bands made up of UTSA students from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Get our top picks for the best events in San Antonio every Thursday morning. Sign up for our Events Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.