Meet Turkuaz: The colorful, nine-piece band plays Rock the Boat concert Saturday in Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Turkuaz is perhaps the perfect representation of the term “power funk.”
The Brooklyn-based, nine-piece band is known for its infectiously groove-able blend of potent funk, rock, soul and pop.
On Saturday, Turkuaz will headline the Rock the Boat free concert series show starting at 3:30 p.m. on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
The group is comprised of Dave Brandwein, front man 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.
Turkuaz has appeared at Bonnaroo, Red Rocks, Lock’n and Mountain Jam over the past two years and been performing coast to coast from Terminal 5 in New York to The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Explore Steamboat had a chat with Brandwein about the group’s sound and upcoming show in Steamboat.
Explore Steamboat: 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.
ES: For someone who has never seen a live show from you guys, what can they expect to witness?
DB: We have four vocalists who sing lead at different points in the show and many multi-instrumentalists from the top box keyboardist to trumpet player. It’s a lot of really high energy, and everyone’s moving all the time so there’s a lot to look at. Equally, it’s a visual experience as well as an auditory one. You certainly have to see it to get a full picture; it stands out in people’s minds.
ES: With a nine-piece touring since 2012, how do you guys do it? What is it that keeps you guys together and in good spirits?
DB: Really, we are such a family at this point it’s like second nature. Not every day is easy, but it’s a lot of fun and generally we love each other. We have two vehicles now to change up the dynamic and having a lot of people in the band is nice because it breaks it up a bit so you’re not sitting in the car with the same people.
ES: Having a group that big close knit group does it allow the music to go in a lot of different directions? Would you say that’s a plus or a challenge?
DB: I would say it’s definitely a plus. We can go in different directions in terms of covering songs because there’s nothing we can’t do with the amount of talent and instruments we have. It’s different though to translate that stuff to the live setting, but it works in our favor because so many of the musicians are multi-instrumentalists. We have the ability to get pretty creative with it.
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