Turkuaz With Butcher Brown Will Play At Songbirds On Oct. 11

Friday, September 7, 2018

Turkuaz with Butcher Brown will play at Songbirds on Oct. 11.  Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. 

Review for Turkuaz: 

Turkuaz is a 9-piece “Powerfunk” outfit from Brooklyn, N.Y., whose modern take on the classic funk sound has established them as leaders in the funk revolution that’s currently taking place in the genre. Blending elements of Pop, R&B, and Soul with their distinct aggressive funk core, Turkuaz sounds like the musical love child of Sly & the Family Stone and Talking Heads. With the release of their album Digitonium, Turkuaz’s sound is more accessible than ever and poised to break out to a more mainstream audience. With a playful feel that evokes the best of 80s dance music, Turkuaz’s tightly arranged songs are built on thick grooves, driven by powerhouse rhythm and horn sections, as well as four distinct vocalists. The group’s constant coast-to-coast touring since 2012 has earned them a passionate and dedicated national fan base that’s consistently growing. A dance band at their roots, Turkuaz’s live shows are high-energy, floor-shaking, visually appealing events filled with colorful clothing and choreographed dance moves that always leave attendees wanting more. Turkuaz’s crossover appeal has never been more evident-- from a recent video performance going viral and receiving over 2 million Facebook views, to their music providing the soundtrack to New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden, to constant rotation on Sirius XM Radio.

Review for Butcher Brown:

Butcher Brown is an up-to-the minute throwback to the great progressive jazz bands of the 60s and 70s. Whilst all members were born after the mid-70s golden age of fusion, their modern, hip-hop-inflected funk has rich echoes of Weather Report, Return to Forever, early Earth Wind and Fire and, perhaps, a pungent whiff of Zappa. Like those bands, Butcher Brown's unified sound comes from the intertwined talents of the five members, each bringing something unique to the mix.

Whilst each individual member maintains their own illustrious side-projects (working with artists such as Christian Scott, Nigel Hall, Mumu Fresh, Black Thought, Phonte, Rapsody, 9th Wonder), Butcher Brown is a hard-working band in an era where most groups are fleeting assemblages, together only long enough to record. The band cultivate a dedicated audience through combining a conventional, label-oriented approach with releasing "underground" tapes, disciplined rehearsal and engaging, adventurous performance. Recent high-profile performances include touring with Galactic last year & performing alongside bands such as Lettuce, Eric Krasno, Soullive, John Schofield, Tauk, & Motet whilst their future schedule looks packed as they prepare to support Kamasi Washington's US dates this autumn. 

Butcher Brown's releases to date range from the polished soul/funk of "All Purpose Music" (Ropeadope) (2014) to the 20-track underground groove-laden beats cassette "GrownFolk" in 2015. Both were released to critical acclaim and explains their almost cult status in the music world. The band have come in leaps and bounds in recent times: last year's "Live at the Vagabond" (Gearbox) record showcases the raw energy of their live shows, whilst the band's most recent Bandcamp release, Afrobeat-themed "Afrokuti: A Tribute to Fela", provides further testament to the band's tight synchronicity as well as the truly unbelievable musical capabilities of each band member.

Multi-instrumentalist Devonne Harris is arguably the visionary of this egalitarian band. His responsive keyboard work shapes the harmonic colors through which the music pulses and flows. Under the name DJ Harrison, he's created a vast catalog of hip hop beat tapes. He recently released a solo album entitled "Hazy Moods" on Stones Throw Records, the Los Angeles label responsible for releases by Madlib, J Dilla, and many more. Jellowstone Records, his home studio, is a pivotal focus of the vital Richmond music scene, with a growing reputation drawing big name visitors including Nicholas Payton (who recorded his 2014 record "Numbers" there with Butcher Brown). Recently projects include playing keys and synths on Jack White's latest album "Boarding House Reach," having selections featured on Phonte's solo album "No News is Good News," and taking part in DJ Jazzy Jeff's 2nd and 3rd annual Playlist Retreat Bassist Andrew Randazzo is arguably the band's navigator. "He's the cool one, the calm one. He's the mortar, binding together the rhythmic and harmonic side of the music. Both onstage and off, he holds everything together and makes everything go smoothly. And he is an amazing player." In the band's funk-inflected music, the foundation is foreground; the bass as much a lead as a rhythm instrument. 

Drummer Corey Fonville is pure explosive energy. "He's always ready for battle," Harris says. "A huge, controlling factor in our sound."  A percussion prodigy turned international jazz sideman, Fonville's national performance career when he was just 14, with a 2005 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. In the years since, Fonville's taken his propulsive energy around the world, playing with Christian Scott at New York's The Blue Note and performing alongside Chris "Daddy" Dave in China. He's the beating heart of Butcher Brown, pumping out fresh, danceable rhythmic complexities aimed at both the brain and the hips.

Guitarist Morgan Burrs is the youngest of the group. Coming from a family of musicians, and being surrounded by all types of music since birth, you could say he was destined to lead a life as a musician. In high school, he was awarded two full tuition scholarships to study at Berklee College of Music's 5 Week Summer program two years in a row, and having attended VCU, he's become a force on the Richmond Music scene. He's recently performed at Budweiser's Made In America Festival with hip-hop producer legend 9th Wonder and rapper Rapsody Marcus Tenney is a multi-instrumentalist from Richmond, Virginia. Working freelance since 2005, Marcus has been playing trumpet and saxophone with bands such as Foxygen, Brass and Butcher Brown. He has also done studio/session  work for Spacebomb Records and records and performs original music with a host of his own ensembles. Marcus has worked with artists such as Braxton Cook, Count Bass D, Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass, Billy Williams and many others.

As a band dedicated to innovation and informed by a love of the past, Butcher Brown's modernistic fusion is aptly described as "hip hop Mahavishnu." Impressive as they are individually, together they are something increasingly rare: a real band, playing for their audience and for each other, on the verge of a brilliant future.



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