Brooklyn-based funksters Turkuaz made their return to Colorado on Friday night, and it sure was a treat. Following up on an opening performance with Lettuce at Red Rocks Amphitheater back in May, this time around Turkuaz got to shine as a headliner with two lively sets in front of a sold-out crowd at Boulder’s Fox Theatre.
The nine-piece powerhouse band continues to grow, both as musicians and as entertainers. A Turkuaz performance is about more than just the music (and the music is great), it is an immersive experience that includes choreographed dance moves from singers Sammi Garett and Shira Elias, polychromatic costumes, and multiple frontmen (and women) each working the crowd in their own unique ways. Turkuaz’s theatrical approach to funk pays homage to greats like Sly and the Family Stone, George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, and the Talking Heads, but the sound is more technically progressive in large part because of drummer Michelangelo Carubba’s unrelenting chops and leadership.
The night opened with an eclectic set from Sudanese-American songwriter Sinkane. The five-piece band had a worldly sound that blended a wide variety of influences into a feel-good pop product, though they weren’t afraid to end their set with a jammy exploration that was laced with organ and a jazzy groove.
Turkuaz then wasted no time with a dialed-in funk assault that jumped quickly and expertly from song to song. Each member got opportunities to open up and solo, especially guitarist Craig Brodhead, but as a whole the sound was structured and well-rehearsed.
The band played a plethora of songs, including a new tune “On the Run,” the title track of their 2015 release “Digitonium,” and a set-ending “Holy Ghost” that let baritone saxophonist Josh Schwartz take over lead vocal duties. After two power-packed sets, the night ended with the only cover of the night, a rocking take of Sly and the Family Stone’s “M’ Lady.”
Turkuaz will return to the stage tonight at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado. Limited tickets remain available here.
[photo via @beensforbrains on Instagram]