The band’s core consisted of Ben Thomas (lead vocals, flute, percussion), Brandon “B3” Beebe (guitar, backing vocals), Sean Potts (bass, backing vocals), John Foord (drums) and Vince Stoffer (keyboards). The West 11th St. Horn Section began with: Brooks Barnett (trumpet), Hans Hlawaty (alto sax) and Dave Cordon(tenor sax). Jeff Thorpe added his bass riffs to the mix and Kate “The Pres” Presley’s (trumpet) and Mike Thompson’s (alto sax) flashy horn tricks joined the group for the remainder of their time. There were also many incredible horn players and other musicians who contributed or played with the group over the years.
The GJS played in and around Eugene, OR and toured the West Coast for about 5 years, playing shows in Ashland, Northern California, Portland and more. After that, the displacement of band members broke the group apart, though they have come back for several reunion tours. Their many diehard fans kept the GJS in existance well after the official breakup of the group and the masses continue to demand for more of the unadulturated funk that only the GJS can provide.
During the band’s existence, they also developed a strong commitment to helping spread awareness of social and environmental injustices. They felt that as people in the public eye they had a duty to help solve the problems present in the world today. They reflected this attitude through some of their songs, literature available at shows, active involvement in community activites and performing at benefit concerts.