Donovan Hall, Broadside Correspondent

As my journey to discover the local music scene began, I found myself at JAXX night club off of Rolling Road in Springfield. It was here that I discovered the first band I would interview, I Am the Kaleidoscope.

I planted myself at a little table towards the back of the club, illuminated by a dull yellow light. As I waited for the performance to begin, I watched the 100 or so audience members drift around the bar and dance floor, anxiously waiting for the music to begin. After a few moments, the band appeared and began prepping for the show.

The first thing I noticed about I Am the Kaleidoscope was the relationship between the band members. They joked around and showed no sign of being nervous as they tuned their instruments. When they finished, a huddle formation between the members readied them, as well as the crowd, for the show.

As the performance began, the high energy and intense sound of the band drew the audience members closer to the stage. Within seconds of the music starting, the rapid guitar riffs, heart-pounding drum beats, hypnotizing bass lines and the lead singer’s distinctive and surprisingly high-pitched voice immediately caught my attention and held it the whole time they were on stage.

The music’s unique sound mixed several genres. Each member brought a style to the group ranging from hardcore rock to alternative and even R&B-infused rhythms. It dawned on me that deeming this group a certain genre would be nearly impossible.

In fact, before starting, one member made a comment to the crowd about the genre debate. “We are I Am the Kaleidoscope. I’d tell you what genre we are but I don’t know because we don’t know,” joked Eddie Fuentes, the 21-year-old guitarist from The Art Institute of Washington.

Alongside Eddie is Dominic Dixon, a 25-year-old on the bass. Back on the drums is George Mason University’s own Carlos Cruz, a 21-year-old biology and French double major. Finally is Khalid Gharzai, the 24-year-old vocalist.

The energy from the music was contagious and spread to the crowd. I even found myself constantly moving to the beat as I tried to take down notes. The performance was clean, energized, fun and genuine. Their love for music stood out as they shined on stage, doing the thing they enjoy with close friends.

Each song was different but still contained that unique sound that could only be attributed to their band. Some songs you could boogie down to and then next thing you know, you could be head banging to the next.

My first question was naturally about the name of the band. When the band formed, they actually had another name. Sadly, they learned of another group on the West Coast with a following and the same name. When trying to think of a new one, Eddie found inspiration in one of his poems.

When he spotted the line “I am the kaleidoscope,” Eddie immediately thought of the band’s music and members.

Just like the band, kaleidoscopes are made of different pieces to create an original vision. The name stuck.
The band started playing seriously six months ago, but they had come together much earlier.

In fact, Khalid and Dominic had played in a band together before this project. Eddie and Carlos also played together, and Carlos mentioned liking Khalid and Dom’s music before they even started playing together. Through friends, the group met and sealed their fate as a band.

All of their songs are originally composed by the band members. The other members joked around and labeled Eddie the “brain child” for his imagination and power to bring all of their influences together into their own sound. They meet about two times a week to collaborate and practice.

As I wrapped up the interview, I asked the band about their intentions for the future. “We would definitely like to get our music out to much more than a local level.”

Cruz said, “We would love to travel around and play. We all take our music very seriously.”

The band currently has a four-track demo they give out at their shows. Anyone interested in finding out more about the band or their music can check out their websites online: and

As for myself, my never-ending journey to help reach the masses about local music talent continues on. If you are in a band or know of a band that would be interested in doing an interview, you can reach me at my e-mail,