Jelly Roll Sued by Jellyroll the Wedding Band

The dessert would like a word

Photo courtesy of BBR Music Group

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 12, 2024

You may know Jelly Roll, the face-tatted musician born Jason DeFord who initially rose to prominence as a Southern mixtape rapper and has now become a mainstream country star; but do you know Jellyroll, Philadelphia's self-described favourite wedding band? They're different! The group are convinced that there should be no chance of getting the two acts confused, so they've filed a name-disputing lawsuit against DeFord.

While the musician has been performing as Jelly Roll — the nickname his mother gave him as a child — for over two decades now, as Billboard reports, Philadelphia bandleader Kurt Titchenell alleges that he's been running Jellyroll since 1980. Furthermore, Titchenell claims that the famousness of the Grammy-nominated Jelly Roll has been threatening the band's business.

Titchenell and co. took to Instagram back in December in an attempt to give you some context and clarity about this whole debacle, writing:

JELLYROLL®, the original Philadelphia Horn Party Band, is busier than ever performing at the region's most sophisticated luxury weddings and high-end events, including the upcoming Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate Preview Gala, recent Army Navy Galas, and even two events at the White House.

We have become aware of, and you may have heard of, another 'Jelly Roll', who has recently gained some fame in the country music scene – Jason DeFord, the Nashville area crossover singer-songwriter. It's imperative that we avoid confusion for our band that has been performing as JELLYROLL® for over 40 years.

Therefore, we have an obligation to inform the public that Mr. DeFord performing as "Jelly Roll" is misleading, and an infringement on our band's JELLYROLL® trademark. We have run into issues with our social media accounts, search engine optimization, Google Ads, as well as overall brand recognition. The related promotion of his performance at the popular local Philadelphia Jingle Ball has caused confusion within our fan base resulting in multiple inquiries requesting information on the event. This is to clarify that the original JELLYROLL® is not part of this event.

Clearly, that doesn't seem to have worked, since Jellyroll have now taken legal action against Jelly Roll. In the new federal filing, the wedding band claim that the other Jelly Roll is messing with their SEO.

"Prior to the defendant's recent rise in notoriety, a search of the name of Jellyroll… returned references to the plaintiff," the Philadelphia group's attorney wrote "Now, any such search on Google returns multiple references to defendant, perhaps as many as 18-20 references, before any reference to plaintiff's entertainment dance band known as Jellyroll can be found."

Following the cease-and-desist and "several conversations," the two parties have not been able to find a resolution. Apparently, at one point or another, Jelly Roll's representatives asked if the two acts were really in competition with each other, which the wedding band evidently did not appreciate. 

Jellyroll — the "horn party band" — are looking to obtain a court order that would prevent DeFord from using the name at events — because, again, things could get confusing. Just imagine the chaos that might unfold if one of them was booked to perform at a bakery!

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