Java Men are a fiery sum of remarkable parts. Members have played The Montreaux Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza, The National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, and have recieved recognition from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar Magazine and Keyboard Magazine. They have played with major label groovesters Love Jones, and have been, or, are now members of the Drag City recording outfit King Kong.
As Java Men, Todd Hildreth (organ/keys), Craig Wagner (guitars), and Ray Rizzo (drums/percussion) combine their individual strengths and experience with strong writing, deep grooves, and a shared passion for free improvisation. Their sound stretches from bop to bluegrass, from latin to funk. Java Men invoke and expand the organ trio palate with the use of piano, acoustic guitar, accordian, synth and percussion, achieving music that is accessible but never predictable.
Todd Hildreth, the keyboardist for Java Men, played piano at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1988, with The Bellarmine Jazz Trio. He joined King Kong in 1993, and has been with the band since, providing Booker T. organ licks to the group's Drag City recordings and live shows. Todd has toured the U.S. on Lollapalooza and other Kong tours, returning with the group to Europe in 1996, and 1998. Todd is first call for groups who tour the region, having played with Jamey Aebersold, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Platters, The Shirelles, The Coasters, The Shangri-La's and even Bob from Sesame Street. He has recently recorded with Eugene Chadbourne.