Galactic: New Orleans Day At Telluride Jazz 2013

sm_galactic_4261[4] MAINSunday, August 4, is NOLA (New Orleans) Day at the 37th annual Telluride Jazz Celebration. The line-up includes the Springdale Quartet, percussionist Mike Dillon and his band, The Stooges Brass Band, and the New Orleans Suspects. The big closer: Galactic.

Last time Telluride audiences heard the New Orleans progressive funk band was two years ago at the 17th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The audiences gave a full-throated response to the group’s robust, edgy, highly improvisational sound, a variation on Big Easy funk, including hip hop, electronica, fusion and jazz. You know what we’re talking about: a booty shaking mash up.

Two years ago, Galactic was touring to promote its release at the time, Ya-Ka-May, a gumbo of New Orleans sounds from jazz to brass band, funk and beyond. And now they are out and about with another winner, Carnivale Electricos, featuring the band – Ben Ellman, harps and horns; Robert Mercurio, bass; Stanton Moore, drums and percussion; Jeff Raines, guitar; Rich Vogel, keyboards – along with guest artists such as Cyril and Ivan Neville. For the most part, the record draw on the skills, stamina, and funk the group deploys in the all-night party of their annual Lundi Gras show that goes till sunrise and leads sleeplessly into Mardi Gras day.

Yes, it is hard to believe it took the funk conglomerate 18 years to release its first actual Mardi Gras (and Brazil’s Carnival) tribute, but better late than never for this raw, rowdy party disc.

“A roaming street party and a Lonely Planet travel guide wrapped into one, Carnivale Electricos is tireless and exhausting, a riot of disparate genres and influences swathed in horns and ’90s hip-hop beats, then shot like confetti out of a cannon,” raved The Washington Post.

What does all the talk mean to you? Be there and be prepared to shake a shoe or two as Galactic struts its stuff: long soulful grooves that climb and climb, whatever it takes to keep a body in motion.

Galactic came together in 1984 when Raines and Mercurio, childhood friends from the Washington D.C. area moved to New Orleans to attend college. The duo became enamored of the local funk scene and acts such as The Meters and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and inspired by iconic Big Easy figures such as Professor Longhair and added the other key players to band. Galactic today is a collaborative band with a unique format. It’s a stable quintet that plays together with high musicianship. They’ve been together so long, they’re telepathic.

For tickets to Telluride Jazz, go to or call 970-728-7009

Patron Pass $750 Limited number available:

Special stage-side seating at Town Park performances with “Wine & Dine” food and beverage catering in the Patron Pavilion. Patrons have First Priority entry to all participating Night Venues and events. In addition, patrons are invited to parties and special sponsored events throughout the weekend.

Weekend All-Access Pass $185:

Entry to Town Park Stage and participating night venues, on a first-come first-serve basis after top priority Patrons, Sponsors and Artists are seated.

Three-day Park Passes $135:

Entry to all Town Park Stage performances.

Single Day Passes:

Friday – $45
Saturday – $55
Sunday – $55  “New Orleans Day”

To learn more about Galactic, click the “play” button and listen to my conversation with Rich Vogel.

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