Illiterate Light



Spanning the better part of a decade, the creative evolution between Jeff Gorman and Jake Cochran is far from ordinary. The duo ran an organic farm in the Shenandoah Valley, toured the mid-Atlantic by bicycle, and lived in small communities while pursuing modes of alternative education. Their eclectic background is mirrored in Illiterate Light's sound and lyricism, floating between postmodern confusion and vibrant, life-affirming optimism.

Formed in the summer of 2015, the band transcend expectations of typical rock music through their limitations as a duo. Gorman elevates his gritty guitar melodies and honest lyricism by stomping out thunderous synth bass with his feet as Cochran layers lush vocal harmony and explodes with body convulsing energy around his minimalist standing drum kit. Gorman and Cochran’s incessant writing, commanding live performance, and near constant touring promise a bright future as they finish their debut album with Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon, Chris Stapleton) and Adrian Olsen (Foxygen, Natalie Prass). Their recent EP, “Sweet Beast", is the first taste of what’s to come from Illiterate Light.



Newport Festivals Foundation has made a donation on behalf of Illiterate Light to the Harrisonburg High School Band Program. This donation will underwrite scholarships for students - from band camp for rising ninth graders and current high school students to college scholarships for seniors leaving for universities.

Quote from Jake Cochran, drums/vocals, Illiterate Light

I grew up in public school and band was a huge part of my life: concert band, jazz band, marching band, indoor drumline, and percussion ensemble, I did it all. I owe so much of my understanding and love of playing music to my teachers and the parents and volunteers who spent hours fundraising and supporting us. High school band gave me a place to be creative and a group of friends that were diverse and unique where I often felt like an oddball elsewhere, and I'm excited to support other high schoolers seeking that same experience.

Quote from Claire Leeper and Daniel Upton, Directors

We'd like to thank Illiterate Light and Newport Festivals Foundation for the generous donation to the Harrisonburg High School Blue Streak Bands program. Their kindness and support will give our students additional opportunities that will impact our program in positive and life-changing ways!