By Luna Wright (

Opportunity abounds, and Dave Wright is coming to collect. In a city so full of jazz there is an annual Rochester International Jazz Festival that takes over downtown each summer, Dave Wright & the Band of Opportunity still stand out.

Loath to call the band simply ‘jazz,’ I sat down for a video chat with the world-fusion-jazz group to discuss their formation, recent album release, and that evening’s show at Faircraft Brauhaus before attending it myself. Dave Wright and The Band of Opportunity consists of four members, the titular Dave Wright on guitar, Doug Fien on the bass, Ryan Muchard on drums, and Scott Bradley on keyboards and flugelhorn. Each member of the band has a unique history and years of experience, drawn together over a simple premise: they wanted to play something interesting and exciting.

Dave Wright and The Band Of Opportunity live original jazz

The Band of Opportunity playing at Faircraft Brauhaus, July 2022. From left to right: Ryan Muchard, Doug Fien, Dave Wright and Scott Bradley.

When asked what makes playing together fun, Doug immediately has an answer. “There’s a mutual interest in the music, and a diversity of background and experience.” Doug and Ryan spearheaded The Band of Opportunity’s creation after becoming bored playing in another band — in a world of jazz bands that stick to the standards, the draw of Dave’s repertoire of original compositions brought the four musicians together. Scott is quick to credit their front man for keeping things exciting, “What makes the group unique is Dave,” he explains as the others nod along. “I don’t know anyone else who could’ve written What You See and What You Do and songs like Sunbird.”

Scott is no stranger to the music industry — he has a storied history playing with many musicians from many genres, such as regular shows with James Brown’s musical director Pee Wee Ellis. But when thinking of the music he plays with Dave? “They’d never even think to write anything like that.” Dave’s direction of the band is as unique as the music. When he describes his directives to his bandmates, he recalls specific notes related to the trips abroad that serve as his musical muse, such as “you need to play like a mountain” or “drum like eight guys playing around a fire in Africa.” For Ryan, the songs are “fun and freeing. You can always be very creative with the music [due to the improvisation], and between all the performances it’s always different.”

In fact, in anticipation for their show later that evening in the lofted barroom of Faircraft Brauhaus, the group laughed at the thought of the show, saying that they’d have to see how things went — as Ryan said, the performance is different each time, and even for musicians so used to playing music heavy in improvisation, there’s always a possibility different might be a bad thing. Fortunately, there were no notes that seemed to miss the mark, and the audience was happily occupied by the engaging audiovisual elements incorporated into the blend of solos and jazz from each corner of the genre.

As Dave spoke about the inspirations for each song in the set from their recent album There and Gone, cards on the tables in the Brauhaus bore labeled QR codes which whisked the crowd away to photographs taken by Dave on the very trips that inspired the music. Tales about a trek through Newfoundland with his son and songs written under the Carribbean moonlight as quietly as possible so his daughter wouldn’t wake up were accompanied by beautiful music and charming photographs. The audience was enraptured, and the band concluded their set to applause from each corner of the bar.

Dave Wright live jazz guitar photo

Dave Wright on acoustic and electric guitars

Doug Fien photo from Dave Wright and The Band Of Opportunity

Doug Fien on electric and acoustic bass

Scott Bradley photo from Dave Wright and The Band Of Opportunity

Scott Bradley on keyboards and flugelhorn

Ryan Muchard photo from Dave Wright and The Band Of Opportunity

Ryan Muchard on drums and percussion

While the band has another gig lined up a few weeks down the line, when I asked them what sort of gigs they’d be interested in playing with Dave’s unconventional take on the jazz genre, there wasn’t an immediate answer. “It’s a paradox,” Scott says, “because Dave writes what he thinks is good and panders to nobody. But if you’re not going to pander to anyone then it’ll be a trick to play.” The refusal to play to the beat of the popular drum is part of why Ryan wanted to play the drums for Dave in the first place. “I like that we’re not trying to fit a mold, and that we’re staying true to ourselves and our music. We’re not trying to write hits to top the charts, we’re trying to create beautiful timeless music.” It wouldn’t be the first time a new take took the genre in a fresh direction. “I don’t think Frank Zappa pandered,” Scott adds, “and he got big gigs.” Doug agreed, contributing an idea of his own. “Maybe some fundraising gigs,” he suggests. “I’m at that stage in my life where I’m interested in more than just eating and shitting. [I want to find] something I’m interested in and want to support.”

So what’s ahead for Dave Wright and his three bandmates? If their name and amazing music is any indication, opportunity is sure to be right around the corner.

You can hear examples of Dave Wright & the Band Of Opportunity here.




Luna Wright photo, blog author for Dave Wright and The Band Of Opportunity

Luna Wright is the granddaughter of Ray and Doris Wright and daughter of Dave Wright, and is proud to be continuing the tradition of creativity within the Wright clan. To follow Luna’s ongoing writing projects, including her first book The Blackest Blue, published July 1, 2022, visit Luna’s dystopian fiction novel “The Blackest Blue” is available for purchase in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions here.