Violinist Christian Rose will celebrate his birthday with a few thousand guests this evening when the band Juice returns to Musikfest in Bethlehem.
The Boston-based septet will perform on the Plaza Tropical stage.
"It's always a great time," Rose said of the festival during a Aug. 3 phone interview.
Guitarist Michael Ricciardulli enthusiastically added, "Musikfest has always been such a grassroots endeavor. I don't know if it's a regional thing, but we've always gotten a lot of love after the show."
Juice has been earning critical praise for their highly concentrated fusion of classic soul, hip-hop, blues and modern pop. (Not to mention incredibly crisp vocal harmonies.) And, in the case of their single "Sugar," seamlessly transitioning from one genre to another in the same tune.
Seven different personalities, tastes and musical influences, Ricciardulli said, allows for richer storytelling within the songs. "Our stylistic diversity sort of rewards us as a group. When you have all of those colors in your palette, it's really easy to blend them together," he said. "We try and use that as a tool."
The band is touring in support of their EP Workin' on Lovin', which dropped in June. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2016.
Ricciardulli said Workin' on Lovin' serves as an epilogue to the first chapter of the Juice story, a narrative that began when the band's members met during freshman year at Boston University.
"Workin' on Lovin' encompasses seven young men, growing together," Rose added. "There's definitely an element of trust that happens after you work together for so long. I really trust the guys in the band; I trust them as collaborators. It's much easier to work with everybody because we're like a family."
The cross-stitching of music styles and genres heard on Workin' on Lovin', Christian said, reflects the group's desire to not be pinned down by one specific sound.
"When you're fluent in different styles, genre becomes a less constructed thing," Christian said. "We never felt gene is something that you have to conform to."
Juice performs 5:30 tonight on the Plaza Tropical stage at Musikfest in Bethlehem.