Cinémathèque originally formed in Roanoke, VA, in 2011. The main goal was to have an outlet for producing and performing a wide array of cinematic music influenced by niche genres such as surf rock, exotica, spaghetti westerns, Ethiopian jazz, and Afro-Beat.
In the early years, the line up for the band was a revolving door but always hinged on guitarist and founder, Ben Hudson. Various early band formations played clubs, DIY spaces, and small festivals around Southwest VA. The live sound at the time was generally more focused on loud, spring-verbed guitar leads shadowed by eerie organs. The group size was also limited to a smaller 4 or 5 piece cast.
Even in the midst of cast shuffling, there have been numerous kind friends to offer creative opportunities for small scores and placements such as short films and commercials. For awhile, recording remotely seemed to be the most practical musical focus while living in various locations to finish school.
In 2018, it only made sense to add live horns and auxiliary percussion which birthed a remarkable reincarnation. As the band consists of members either from rock band or school band backgrounds, they were all pleased to see the results as concert goers regularly danced and engaged with this strange instrumental music. This later line up has performed many brewery and show dates along with special events such as Kirk Fest 2019, Riot Rooster 2019 (at The Virginia Transportation Museum) and Roanoke Art POPS! (presented by The Jefferson Center at The Taubman Museum of Art).
The core 2022 line up is Ben Hudson, John Pence, Max Lee, Adam Baber, Jerry Duncan, Austin Grasty, Jonathan Falls, and Brandon Rhinehart. The band expands with other great players such as Willis Greenstreet, Vladmir Espinosa, and Sam Lunsford.
Cinémathèque is a surf rock / exotica dance band that comes to life with unique world rhythms and familiar themes on guitar, keys, bass, drums, horns, and aux percussion.