Turkuaz and The Nth Power to headline Schmiggity’s Sunday | SteamboatToday.com

Turkuaz and The Nth Power to headline Schmiggity’s Sunday

The 9-piece, power funk outfit from Brooklyn, New York, Turkuaz will be in Steamboat Springs to headline a funk infused show with The Nth Power on Sunday at Schmiggity's.
Courtesy Photo

If You Go...

What: Turkuaz & The Nth Power

When: 10 p.m. Sunday, May 8

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.

— Beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, Schmiggity’s will host two powerhouse funk bands, Turkuaz and The Nth Power, for a night to remember.

If You Go…

What: Turkuaz & The Nth Power

When: 10 p.m. Sunday, May 8

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.

Each will showcase its own style and approach to the music, one boasting a nine-piece powerhouse group with rhythmic grooves and the other, a four-piece with an explosive, multicultural funk that offers a message beyond the music.

With its multi-instrumentalists — seven out of nine attended Berklee College of Music — Turkuaz will bring a show grounded in a sound that might be described as funk meets rock meets pop, similar to the music of Sly and the Family Stone or Talking Heads.

This quintet is led by female powerhouse Nikki Glaspie, who appeared on Beyonce’s world tour as the drummer for five years before joining Dumpstaphunk. She shares the stage with fellow members Nate Edgar, the bassist from Groovechild and John Brown’s Body; Nick Cassarino, singer and guitarist from the Jennifer Hartswick Band, who has also toured with Big Daddy Kane; Weedie Braimah, the group’s West African master-percussionist; and newest member Courtney J’Mell Smith, on vocals and keyboard.

Hailing from Brooklyn, the blending genre group has been touring since 2012, earning recognition from coast to coast. Recently, the band released its newest album, “Digitonium,” a throwback offering featuring the ’80s dance feel characterized by thick grooves, rhythm and horn sections.

The group is comprised of members Dave Brandwein, frontman on guitar and vocals; Taylor Shell on bass; Craig Brodhead on guitar and synths; Michelangelo Carubba on drums; Greg Sanderson on saxophone; Joshua Schwartz on saxophone and vocals; Chris Brouwers on trumpet and keyboard; Sammi Garett on vocals and percussion; and Shira Elias on vocals.

Also fresh off an album release is The Nth Power, with “Abundance,” which is guided by the rhythmic, funky bass of powerhouse Nikki Glaspie on drums. The group has been building a name for itself since 2014 with its fusion of funk, jazz, gospel and soul infused tunes.

Glaspie was also Beyonce’s world-touring drummer for five years, later joining Ivan Neville’s New Orleans funk group, Dumpstaphunk.

Onstage with Glaspie will be fellow members Nate Edgar, the bassist, who was also part of Groovechild and John Brown’s Body; Nick Cassarino, singer and guitarist from the Jennifer Hartswick Band, who has also toured with Big Daddy Kane; Weedie Braimah, the group’s West African master-percussionist; and newest member, Courtney J’Mell Smith, on vocals and keyboard.

Earlier this week, Steamboat Today caught up with Glaspie from the Nth Power and Brandwein from Turkuaz.

Nikki Glaspie

Steamboat Today: What were some of the things you learned from working with Beyonce and Dumpstaphunk, and how have those experiences influenced your career?

Nikki Glaspie: I definitely gained an incredible work ethic from being on Beyonce’s tour. She had 12- to 18-hour rehearsals, because she wanted it to be right, and she wouldn’t take no for an answer; there’s no such thing as “no” for her. I learned that if you want something done a certain way, make it so. It was an extremely valuable lesson to do things until it’s right. I’m a bit of perfectionist, and I think I got some of that from her. I got the old school push from Dumpstaphunk, because they’ve been touring longer than I’ve been alive. I gained years of experience and knowledge of being on the road with them and hearing stories. I also learned from them that the manager doesn’t tell you what to do; you tell the manager what to do. Some band just leave things in other people’s hands, and that’s not really how it should be done. If you really want your business to be successful, you have to be involved in it.

ST: What makes The Nth Power unique compared to other bands under the funk genre?

NG: The N in Nth Power represents infinite possibilities. We are all open to anything and everything. We all listen to each other, and no one shuts any ideas off. But we also have a message in our music that we believe in. We believe in the healing power of music and love, that if people just love each other, things would be better and more simple. That’s what we believe in as a band and as a group, and we hope to express that to people and spread the message.

ST: I’ve read that, as one of the most in-demand drummers today, you can play any style of music but claim funk as your foundation and first love. What is it about funk that drew you to this genre, and why does it continue to be a foundation for you?

NG: I claim myself to be a funkateer. What drew me to funk was what made me dance and what made me feel good. Honestly, I feel like funk is the foundation of a lot of different genres, but it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. When we register a song, there’s no option for funk, and it makes me upset, because I feel like I have this responsibility to change that … There’s no way to label funk, except funk.

Dave Brandwein

Steamboat Today: It seems like a lot Turkuaz’s songs are rooted in funk. What drew you to this genre in the first place?

Dave Brandwein: It’s funny, because most of us grew up with a lot of classic music. I was raised on the Beatles, Pink Floyd. Taylor, the bass player, and I founded the group, and we started watching a lot of Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense” film, and we started making the transition from rock into more of a funk setting. The idea was to have a party going on onstage, just with a ton of awesome instrumentation. From the beginning, we’ve followed that model and have done our own thing with it.

ST: What are some of the things you’ve done in the recording process that you didn’t think were possible?

DB: The biggest difference, among other things, is with this new album. We went into the studio without most of the material even written. We just went in and knew it would just be a crazy operation. We recorded in the Syracuse-based More Sound studio, and we all lived there for a few weeks during most of the recording. We mainly borrowed things from our demos and computerized tracks that we had been working on. In the past, we … had taken the approach of recording what we do live. But this time was totally different. It was created from the group up, and the recording process was the writing process.

ST: What were some of the inspirations for the new “Digitonium” album, and what about that new “Generator” video?

DB: It’s changed a lot from what we’ve done in the past. We got more into the ’80s synth-Mark Davis-Prince-funk sound. In the past, we really embraced the vintage thing and wanted to do something really different and break outside of the norm. For that video, we wanted to make it look like an ’80s Hall and Oates kind of music video. We actually used an old VHS camera and hired professional camera operators. Even though it was a cheap, old camera, we were able to do some really cool things with it. All of the visual effects are done with the VHS camera.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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