World funk ‘n’ jazz |

World funk ‘n’ jazz

Wren Wertin
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Some bands track success in record sales, others opt for bouncing floors and full rooms. The Motet is heading into the studio in April. Until then, they’re concentrating on packing the house. The play at 8150 in Vail today at 10 p.m.

The Motet is a funky jazz-based ensemble with lots of percussion and world flavors. It’s the pet project of drummer Dave Watts, who’s seen a variety of line-ups. A newly added horn has made all the difference.

“As usual we’ve got varied influences,” said Watts, “but since we’ve added a horn to our line-up, it’s been a strong force to our sound. We’ve been listening a lot to Fela Kuti and that Afro beat style that he developed. Very groove oriented – he’s like the James Brown of Africa, African funk. And we’re bringing in our own jazz elements.”

Though this isn’t an entirely new direction for them, it has allowed them to go deeper than they had before. f

Every once in awhile, members of The Motet pack their bags and head off on educational jaunts to places like Brazil and Cuba. This year, instead of traveling the globe, they traveled within themselves and concentrated on writing original material, some of which the Vail audience will be hearing.

The Motet always takes to the mountains in the spring, hitting as many Rocky Mountain venues as time allows.

“We like to snowboard a lot, so every March we like to tour,” said Watts.

But they’re always happy to return to Boulder, where Watts has lived for the past nine years.

“The music scene here – it’s just really diverse,” he recalled. “When I first moved there, it was more about folk rock and jam rock. Now it’s really diverse, lots of world music. There’s a Brazilian samba group, a West African drum and dance group there, there’s even a pop fusion group based out of Boulder. The scene has grown so much.”

And The Motet is part of that, as the musicians have been known to sit in with other projects occasionally

Despite the hip-hop that has been their constant companion in their van’s CD player thus far on their tour, be prepared for a world music jazz-funk explosion.

Keeping the beat

The Motet

Today, 10 p.m.

8150, Vail

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