Benefit concert for local charities Dec. 4 in Kingston

The poster for the concert.

The poster for the concert.

Brothers Britt and Jack Espinosa, who grew up in Kingston, and their band Becoming Bristol will be holding a benefit concert Dec. 4 at Bayside Community Church to support local charities and families this holiday season.

The Espinosa brothers haven’t performed in Kitsap County in nearly three years and are eager to play in front of familiar faces. Presale tickets are $10, which can be found at the band’s website becomingbristol.com. At the door, tickets will be $12; 50% of ticket proceeds will go toward charities such as Coffee Oasis and ShareNet Food Bank & Thrift Store. The show will be from 6-8 p.m.

“My former youth pastor there is now the lead pastor so I reached out to him,” Britt said. “That’s usually how we do it when we play back home; we have some cause to give to from the ticket sales.”

Along with Becoming Bristol, other local musicians will be opening the show, such as former bandmate Mikey Moore, who has his own solo project now. Indie-rock band Selah Korah will also be opening; Britt used to play music with one of the bandmates, Michael Love.

Music background

Britt, 27, and Jack, 25, were raised in Kingston. They first began playing music with local church youth groups. Their parents enrolled them in classical piano at a young age but they would soon learn there was more to music.

“When I was 13 I went to an actual rock-n-roll concert, and I just fell in love with how that all felt,” Britt said.

Even though the Espinosa’s were homeschooled, they were involved with the community as they played basketball at public schools. Britt said he enrolled in the recording arts class at Kingston High School, which helped him form their band.

“That’s how I fell in love with recording,” he said of the class. “When I was 16, my brother and I got together with a couple other guys in Kitsap, and we started playing rock-n-roll music shows. Our first shows were in Kingston at Bayside Community Church.”

Before Becoming Bristol, the band was initially called The Exchange for the first seven years. In 2010, the band performed about 30 shows and did their first out-of-state concert. The next year, Britt’s ambition led him to try and book tours around the country, and he succeeded.

“I self-called venues and festivals…and I booked us a 20-day tour,” he said. “My parents actually came along with us. I didn’t have my driver’s license yet at that time.”

That tour ended up paying dividends because the band was signed to record label Save the City Records, where they put out three music projects. In the summer of 2015, their song Heartbeat was the No. 1 single for contemporary hit radio for a two-week period. Britt said it was heard locally on Seattle area station 98.9.

Now independent

In 2017, the band chose to become independent from a record label, and soon after changed its name to Becoming Bristol. Since then, they have only been releasing singles. But Britt said the band is expecting to release a new EP with six songs in February.

“Just with the way everything changed in the music industry, you kind of didn’t need a record label anymore,” Britt said. “Now with the push of a button I can get all of our stuff on Spotify. We’re totally independent now, which has been a lot of fun.”

Since forming the band, the Espinosa brothers have been mainstays while other band members have rotated in and out. All current band members are from the Puget Sound area. Britt is the frontman and plays electric guitar while Jack plays drums and also sings.

“We all try to be multi-instrumental,” Britt said. “We’re kind of like if Coldplay and Led Zeppelin had a baby. We’re trying to be a little bit rock but we also like pop with piano and pretty sounds.”

Britt said the band has toured the country about seven times and has also played in Canada. He said most of the big tours are about four months. But during COVID-19 the band had to transition from live performance to more recording. But recently the band has done a few live shows.

“Basically, our entire schedule for 2020 was cut,” Britt said. “For live music, basically the only way to make money these days is by playing shows. I’ve just missed it a lot. We actually pivoted a bunch to recording, trying to release new music and get a bunch of new stuff in the works.”

Aside from music, Britt is co-founder at a tech company in Seattle, and Jack runs an event production company. Both now live in the Seattle area.

“Music is what we love to do so we’ll always do it,” Britt said. “We’ve figured out how to make it work and still play shows, while also having some level of stability that doesn’t require us to be away from home for long periods of time.”

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