Forever Growing to play jam-jazz at Old Town Pub in Steamboat tonight
If you go
What: Forever Growing, jam-jazz band
When: 9:30 p.m. today
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs — Adam Sweet had never before played in a band that his mom liked until Forever Growing formed in 2006.
With a band comprising three musicians younger than 25, the recent college graduate knows his music appeals to the young jam band, electronic and improvisational fans who frequent their shows in Oregon and Colorado.
But it’s also clear the band’s jazz roots find their way into the ears and hearts of music fans of all ages.
“This is the only band I’ve ever been in where my mom is way down with the music,” Sweet said. “We play a lot of middle-aged music venues and festivals. Those people just love it.”
They’re not the only ones, because Eugene, Ore.-based Forever Growing has come a long way from its traditional jazz music education.
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“We appreciate classical jazz,” Sweet said. “But it showed us there’s a growing disconnect between the jazz musician and the audience. We’re striving to make music that reaches out to an audience and makes people want to dance and makes them feel involved.”
Forever Growing will play at 9:30 p.m. today at Old Town Pub. There is no cover charge.
Sweet said the group plays jazz-fusion, but that term might be outdated.
It could be construed as a jam band, but again, certain connotations come with that label, as well, he said.
Instead, Forever Growing emerged from the jazz music department at the University of Oregon, where Sweet, guitarist Andrew Becker and bassist Thomas Heritage fused their enthusiasm for electronic music, wandering jams and jazz-based improvisation.
Looking toward Medeski, Martin and Wood, the group adapted their knowledge and allowed it to evolve into thumping jazz grooves and the occasional spacey jam.
Sweet said his drumming is derived from the basic ride pattern, a drum beat of swinging eighth notes driven by the high-pitched ride cymbal.
In the same pattern, Sweet straightens out the eighth notes, creating a driving beat akin to electronic beats that too often come from laptops, he said.
As a part of the “jamtronic” music scene developing in Eugene and here in the Rocky Mountains, Forever Growing stays true to its instrumental roots by not even attempting to incorporate vocals into the music.
But the band members have found that after four years of ever-growing jams, their instrumental music still captures a wide range of music lovers even without the accessibility that comes with lyrical music.
“It kind of seemed like it was an issue at first,” Sweet said about the lack of vocals. “But after three four years of it, we find what we’re doing just comes across better.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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