Trevor Bystrom: Local Southwest Florida Musician With A Multi-Cultural Sound
Trevor Bystrom is known for his multi-cultural sound, which blends elements from many genres including world, rock, reggae, latin, and blues. He and his band create world melodies and afro-rhythms using many unique instruments from a wide range of cultures including flute, violin, didgeridoo, ngoni, Weissenborn slide guitar, and world percussion.
The group fuses sounds and rhythms from around the globe to create memorable songs with captivating instrumentation and inspirational lyrics. The band’s original music largely centers around current and persisting social and environmental issues. It acts as a call for listeners to break their acceptance of the status quo and become individual ripples for positive change in the world. Their message appeals to a sense of communal responsibility, protection of the earth and all living beings, and a movement towards sustainable living.
Trevor’s love of music and conservationist spirit was fostered from a young age. He was born and raised on historic Anna Maria Island by a musical family. He grew up attending music festivals all around Florida. By 16 he had written many originals and began performing around local venues. At age 18, he started working on his first album, “Fly Away”. During that year, Morgan Greig joined on percussion and didgeridoo. The album was released and sold over 150 copies the first night. A few years later, Trevor and Morgan joined up with Kristie Armas on the bass to form The Tribal Trio. With this acoustic act Trevor released his second album, “Live and Direct”. It sold the entire order of 1,000 albums. After two years with this trio, Trevor’s songwriting visions led him to pursue a more dynamic project with a full size band.
In the summer of 2016 Trevor Bystrom attended the 5 week summer program at Berklee College of Music. Here he joined the World Music ensemble, which started to lay down the bricks for Trevor’s path to Caribbean and Afro influenced music. The ensemble was a group of 12 students covering songs by Nneka and Richard Bona. This was one of Trevor’s most challenging weeks in his music career.
The next summer, Trevor opened up Studio 6a, a recording studio on Anna Maria Island. He started producing a few artists, as well as working on his self produced 10 song album, “Water”. This album was influenced by Paul Simon, Rusted Root, Xavier Rudd and a few others. It was during this album Trevor met his drummer James Hershey. Once completed, “Water” received the BOMB award for best album in Manatee County. He took this album on the road, with successful tours in the Northeast including The Frosty Mug tour and Heart’s in the Caribbean tour.
In 2019 Trevor started recording his new album, a big project stretching the boundaries of Trevor’s past music. He called on Pedro Arevalo, a Berklee grad and international touring musician, to help produce the album with him. This album brings out the latin, reggae, and calypso side. During a search for a percussionist, James Hershey found Benny Maldonado, a next level Latin Grammy nominated percussionist based out of Tampa. He’s a rhythm expert, making the fourth member of Trevor’s team.
Trevor has many plans in the near future with music videos, shows, and events along with releasing a few singles in the next few months and releasing the entire album at the beginning of 2020.
Photos: top-Wherever Life. Studio-Andrew Brusso.
afro-rhythms, Andrew Brusso, Anna Maria Island, Benny Maldonado, Berklee College of music, BOMB award, conservationist, didgeridoo, James Hershey, Kristie Armas, Latin Grammy, Morgan Greig, ngoni, Pedro Arevalo, Studio 6a, sustainable living, The Tribal Trio, Trevor Bystrom, Weissenborn Slide Guitar, Wherever Live, world melodies, World Music ensemble, world percussion