Ghost-Note begins like no other band – Sput Searight and Nate Werth met playing together in Snarky Puppy, adding their unique chemistry to the band while yearning to take their mutual love of exploration to new places. With fans digging their combined solos at some of the live shows, Ghost Note soon set out on the road. Drums and percussion in search of sound; Add Nick Werth (aka Galaxe) on Xylosynth and a mix of sounds was swirling in front of them. Their first LP, Fortified, captured those early moments. And yet the stage was set for this band to grow outward from the center, and changes continued to expand the sound. Through an ongoing series of events called life, Nick Werth eventually left the band, leaving the front open to improvise with new personnel.  And improvise they did, with a rotating cast that all became an integral part of the band – Anthony ‘AJ’ Brown, Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II (Sly 5th Ave), Dywane “MonoNeon” Thomas Jr, Jonathan Mones, Michael Jelani Brooks, and Xavier Taplin.

Nate Werth grew up in Northwestern Indiana, playing in the marching band and soon following his brother’s path to UNT. Nate envisioned his future in classical music – more symphony than playing in bars – but when he arrived at UNT there was a broad array of adjunct faculty, teaching many styles of world percussion from West African to Afro Cuban to East Indian. Nate jumped straight in and collected experiences in different ensembles, perhaps overdoing it as his professor tried to guide him back towards the orchestra. Needless to say, Nate switched to general ed and continued to play where he felt a sense of community.

If you’ve had the pleasure of watching Snarky Puppy play, you’ll see Nate actively adding flavor to the mix with unusual instruments. As a young fan of Aphex Twin, Nate takes the perspective of a studio musician designing sound with his suite of tools to the stage.

Sput Searight was raised in Dallas, and has collaborated with (and influenced) many – from God’s property to Snarky Puppy to Terrace Martin to Snoop Dogg. Winning multiple Grammys, Sput has been a player, yet his strongest position is the producer’s chair. Sput understands and respects the creative process from both sides, and his respect for Nate Werth is evident at every turn. When he speaks of Nate, he marvels at his openness to new styles and experiences, and his thorough hands on research in the world of percussion.

When I hit with Snarky Puppy, there was no time to learn the music – you just had to jump in and learn on the fly. Nate helped me through the curve, and within some time we developed a relationship that is unique; unspoken rules came into play, silent communication merged us as one drummer on stage. The guys in the band saw it happen, and we moved on by taking drum solos together, finishing each other’s musical sentences. No thought, no planning, just drumming together.
— Robert 'Sput' Searight

As Ghost-Note hit the road in 2017, they could not avoid the barrage of news hitting every day, so the band made a conscious choice to find comedy and positivity in these troubling times. They began recording their moments of discussion and humor as voice memos, which would later find their way into the new album. Studio dates were set, and the surprise announcement that Nick Werth would be leaving the band for his solo work left things wide open. Without Nick, Ghost-Note started anew with no notions; they just went in to the studio and risked it all.

And so, Swagism was recorded in the same way the band developed: start with the base and leave the destination wide open. With a  growing cast of players bringing fresh new arrangements of sound, Nate and Sput brought in some friends, further altering the end game. Kamasi Washington, Karl Denson, Raja Kassis, Prudence the Auset Sneed, Brandon ‘Taz’ Neiderauer, Nigel Hall, Bob Lanzetti, Alvin Ford Jr, Jay Jennings, Nick Werth, Bobby Ray Sparks, Phil Lassiter, Michael Palmer and many more added their incredible flourish to the album, rounding out a document that captures the entire Ghost-Note experience, tying everything together in the same way it evolved – as a family, as a multi-cultural band of humans that fully embraces the time they spend together and their common goal, complete with reflection on the times we live in. This is Ghost-Note.

The record started out (as) instrumental, genre bending music… and I thought we are on a really good track… It’s an incredible journey for making a record, to start somewhere and end in a place of protest, of speaking your mind and hoping that peace and love resonate with the listeners.
— Nate Werth
This is my voice, it means more than all of the other things. Of course I’m sharing a platform with others in Ghost-Note, but this is me.
— Robert 'Sput' Searight

And so we have two humans who synch up, both in their craft of music and in their interest in expansion and open improvisation. Their brotherhood is best expressed by the opening track – a poem written by Sput about the world we live in, handed to Nate to read to music – a personal statement on social justice, race, the human condition, and SWAG.

Swagism Cover art.jpg

Ghost-Note Is

Robert Sput Searight - drums, rhodes, organ, & auxiliary keys

Nate Werth - percussion

Anthony “AJ” Brown - bass guitar & key bass

Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II - bari sax, tenor sax, & flute

Dywane “MonoNeon” Thomas Jr. - bass guitar, guitar, and baritone guitar

Jonathan Mones - alto sax & flute

Michael Jelani Brooks- tenor sax & flute (A2, A6)

Xavier Taplin- auxiliary keys & vocals (A4, B2, B3 & B9)

Executive Producers: Robert Sput Searight, Nate Werth, & Louis Marks

Produced by: Robert Sput Searight

Co-produced by: Nate Werth

Recorded at: The Parlor Recording Studios & 206 Studios

Engineered by: Nick Guttmann, Matt Grondin, & Ben Burget

Mixed at: Make Believe Studios, Tiki Hill, The Parlor Recording Studios, & Atlantic Sound

Mixed by: Rick Carson (A4, A6, A9, B2, B3, B4, B5, & B9), Chris Godbey (A1 & A3), Matt Grondin (A5, A8, B1, & B6), & Nic Hard (A2, A7, B7, & B8)

Mastered by: Rick Carson at Make Believe Studios

Artwork by: Ventral is Golden


Alvin Ford Jr. - drums 

Michael Palma - rhodes, moog, clavinet, & prophet

Nick “Galaxe” Werth - xylosynth 

Bob Lanzetti - guitar 

Ben Burget - flute & soprano sax 

Chris Payton - guitar 

Donny Domino - vocals 

Mark Lettieri - guitar 

Raja Kassis - guitar 

Jay Jennings - commentary

Featured Artists

Nigel Hall - clavinet, moog, rhodes, prophet, arp odyssey, & organ 

Bobby Ray Sparks - moog & clavinet 

Phil Lassiter - trumpet 

Karl Denson - flute 

Weedie Braimah - djembe, congas, dununs, & vocals 

Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer - guitar 

So So Topic - vocals 

Kamasi Washington - tenor sax 

Prudence TheAuset Sneed - vocals 

Rico Sisney - vocals 

Ernie G - turntables/samples

Elise Testone - vocals

Justin Stanton - prophet 6

Press Contact: Fabian Brown | | 215.789.9793