Jason Hann’s Rhythmatronix lit up Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO over the weekend, playing two nights of jazzy and funky grooves from around the world. Rhythmatronix, for those unfamiliar, is a supergroup of all-star musicians brought together by Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident, EOTO). Featuring Oteil Burbridge (Dead and Company, Allman Brothers Band), Raul Pineda (Chucho Valdez, Sintesis), Fareed Haque (Sting, Garaj Mahal), and Todd Stoops (RAQ, Electric Beethoven) for this iteration, the talent on stage was out of hand, and all the members were having a blast.
Friday night’s festivities were kicked off by Bonfire Dub with a delicious and soulful reggae set on the back patio. The crowd then moved inside for Colorado’s own Eufórquestra, who had the crowd getting down with their high-energy funk and soul. The crowd was treated to some super danceable grooves and, at times, disco vibes by the six-member group.
For the main course, Rhythmatronix laid out two unbelievable sets from some mind-blowing musicians. From the moment they took the stage, it was clear that they were all so stoked to be together and laying down sounds from around the world. The crowd fed off this energy, and looking around, it would be hard to say whether the musicians on stage or the crowd that was lucky enough to be there was enjoying the show more.
The first song of the night started off with a solid funk groove and show cased drum solos from both Raul Pineda, the Grammy-award winning Cuban drummer, and Jason Hann, the ultra-talented percussionist of String Cheese Incident. With all members grinning from ear-to-ear as they threw down solos and showed off their skills, Oteil Burbridge and Todd Stoops at points would break out into laughter, clearly overjoyed to be part of such a talented group.
The next song had a more Caribbean sound that had the crowd moving, and was followed by a spacier and bass-heavy song which lightened up into a solid funk jam. During this song, Oteil Burbridge treated the crowd to some vocal scatting, and was followed by some impressive soloing by Fareed Haque, while the percussion kept it locked down. This was followed by a sexy and mellower song that showed off the rhythm section, with Oteil, Raul, and Jason all showing off during extended solos.
Rhythmatronix closed out their first set with an upbeat number that had the whole floor dancing. This was also Todd Stoops’ time to shine as he pumped up the crowd with his impressive skills on the keys. The song ended with dueling drum solos, as Raul and Jason threw it down to show off their jaw-dropping talents.
For the second set, Fareed played a slower and soulful song to get things warmed up and showcased his virtuosic abilities on the guitar. The rest of the band joined in as they moved into a quicker, upbeat jam with a cascading melody that showcased Oteil’s mind-blowing bass skills. The third song was a funky and dancey uptempo number with a galloping beat.
This was followed by a cover of “Seven Days” by Sting, which was sang by Jason Hann, and sped up into an instrumental break during which Stoops really shined, and eventually slowed down into a quiet section led by Hann. Next, Fareed Haque got up and showed off his vocal scatting skills as well and lead the crowd in clapping, which hyped up the crowd for the next song, which was a super upbeat and funky number with extended soloing from Stoops and Oteil. Rhythmatronix ended the night with a faster improvisational jam with a driving rhythm and a jazzy drum beat, which moved into a slower ambient groove, before closing the night out on a high. During this last song, each member on stage had the chance to show off their impressive musical skills, and they all looked like they were having a ball.
Watch an extended jam from the group’s performance on Saturday night below, courtesy of Kyle Isaac.
Rhythmatronix was an incredible night of music, and those who are lucky enough to get a chance to check them out will not be disappointed. You can see this super-stacked line-up of high-caliber musicians at Brooklyn Comes Alive on October 22nd, spread across three great venues in Brooklyn, NY. Details can be found here.
[Photo via Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom // Instagram]