MUSIC BOX: Euphoria meets Canyon

By on August 25, 2015

Euforquestra brings funk, Afrobeat to last Concert on the Commons

Concert on the Commons hosts the heavy funk of Euforquestra to close out the free summer series at Teton Village.

Concert on the Commons hosts the heavy funk of Euforquestra to close out the free summer series at Teton Village.

A band that has produced its own music festival for 14 years is bound to be the ambitious, savvy type. The quintet Euforquestra has been hosting “Camp Euphoria” with the likes of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wood Brothers and Jeff Austin Band, among many others. And they’ve been trekking through Jackson almost that long.

The funky soul of Afrobeat-reggae of Euforquestra (pronounced yoo-FOHR-keh-struh, think “euphoria” meets an “orchestra”) has been coming to the valley since 2008. In those days, the band was closer to an orchestra—seven or eight-piece unit adorned with multiple percussionists and horns.

Euforquestra’s fifth full-length studio album, “Fire” (2014), was possible due to a successful Kickstarter campaign, which also helped secure producer and keys player Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident. Among the studio guests on the album were Kim Dawson of The Motet and Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body. On this set, the Iowa City-born, Ft. Collins-grown ensemble strays from the Afro-Cuban, Samba and soca beats in favor of neo-funk with blistering horns and a loose, easy-going party feel.

They formed while attending the University of Iowa, which played an influential role in their music study and the initial five years of the band’s career, during which they labeled their sound as “Afro-Caribbean-barnyard-funk.” Ex-percussionist and founding member Matt Grundstad and bassist Adam Grosso traveled to Cuba to study the music, but it was their formal education that planted the seed that would become the concoction of folklore that combines drumming, dancing and singing. Since then, the evolution of the pocket-and-groove sound has traveled to nearly one thousand shows and added a dub element to its toolbox.

Opening the show is Jackson’s Canyon Kids, an indie-folk rock duo that often stages a full band version of what they do best, which is delivering engagingly hooky songs with lush vocal harmonies, and hitting you with arrangements that allure with folksy styling before unleashing the ambient rock attack. (The duo version also will be playing 7 p.m., Thursday at the Mangy Moose and 5:30 p.m., Monday at Hatch Taqueria). Sunday will mark the end of Concert in the Commons series.

Euforquestra with Canyon Kids, 5 to 8 p.m., Sunday at Concert in the Commons in Teton Village. Free, all-ages.

End of Summer Rager

It’s been a Sneaky year, per se. That is, for Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons – the local funk-groove-dance-folk sextet that has done well for themselves locally and in the region. They even had a glimmer on the mainstream radar as they watched their first album, “Breakfast,” debut at No. 5 on the radio chart. For a band that rarely plays the same song the same way at any given show, the push to tour and grow a following in the spirit of the late 1990s-driven jamband scene is not only smart, but readily attainable with such an infectious head-bobbing sound. And while the jamband scene has been diluted with negative connotations over the last several years, the music-centric community at-large still remains intact and in search of the next Weapon. Catch them before they hit the road for a few weeks through the Northwest. Cap summer off with a bang.

Summer Sendoff, a.k.a. “End of Summer Rager” with Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons, 10 p.m., Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886. PJH

Aaron Davis is an award-winning singer-songwriter, journalist, multi-instrumentalist, frontman for bands Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, and founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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