We Have Our Winner!

District 97 has won over some impressive fans. Bill Bruford and John Wetton have been singing the praises of the band's debut, Hybrid Child. And S+V's editorial staff was equally unable to resist the Chicagoans' progressive pop in selecting the band as our first Breaking Out contest winner.

Drummer and primary composer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy, and guitarist Sam Krahn founded District 97 in 2006 as an all-instrumental outfit. After replacing Krahn with Jim Tashjian and adding vocalist Leslie Hunt (a 2007 American Idol finalist) and Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Katinka Kleijn, the band switched gears to pursue an unlikely mix of tech-metal riffing, Allan Holdsworthian melodicism, and pop-vocal hooks, all delivered with a Yes- and Rush-worthy sense of epic scope and scale. The future of prog? Just might be. 

Check 'em out for yourself at district97.net