About Gumbo le Funque
Colorado may seem an unlikely place for Sazerac and voodoo rhythms, but the devil-may-care attitude of historic New Orleans is alive and well in the Rockies. Thanks to Gumbo le Funque, a five-piece jazz-funk/soul outfit from Denver, the boogalee spirit of the Big Easy has been resurrected at a higher altitude. Intoxicating melodies, plenty of groove and possessed by the tradition of the second line, their new album #Power Love Freedom is what Jamsphere Magazine calls “a masterful blend of funk and contemporary jazz.” And Coloradans have no problem dancing at the fais-dodos.
“I started the group because I love New Orleans music, from traditional jazz to funk,” explains frontman/saxophonist Jason Justice. “New Orleans is the genesis of all the pop music we listen to today.”
Formed in 2011, Gumbo le Funque is comprised of Justice and Anton, bassist Chris Harris, drummer Chris Beers, and vocalist/keyboardist Andrea Mérida. From the start they were inspired by jazz-funk artists like Maceo Parker, Galactic, and Dr. John, and NOLA’s tradition of the second line, where crowds of everyday people dance and strut behind the main section of a marching parade.
“Our music is really about having a great time,” explains guitarist Chris Anton. “We are most happy when people leave our shows exhausted and sweaty from shaking their butts the entire night!”
In 2014 the group released their first two recordings Funky-Dangerous Party Music, Volume 1 and Funky-Dangerous Party Music, Volume 2 – which earned them airplay on KGNU-FM in Boulder and KAOS-FM in Olympia, WA. They also did an in-studio session for KUVO-FM in Denver, which got issued as a live album in 2015 called Partygras.
Their latest record #PowerLoveFreedom was released in February 2016, and it’s an 11-track effort that takes their fun Nawlins sound up a notch. The record has already received airplay and live studio performances, including KMAX-FM in Colorado. Putting funk, second line, neo-soul and jazz into a boiling pot spiced with positive messages of unity and social and economic justice, the album tells a story from beginning to end about how we as a people have more power than we think.
“We want to connect with communities around the country who are working for the good of their neighbor and to amplify their voices,” says Mérida. “The music on this album is really a love song to social and economic justice activists, inspiring each of us to support one other, express ourselves and to love wholly.”
On the web:
Latest Album: #PowerLoveFreedom
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