Having built a massive fanbase over the years, Lotus tours heavily selling out headline shows across the country and playing festivals such as Electric Forest, Imagine Music Fest, Camp Bisco, and more. Whether you catch Lotus in outdoor amphitheaters, the country’s best theaters, intimate clubs or a variety of festivals, you can expect to have an experience of the senses. The band’s new album, Eat the Light, is a first for Lotus – an album with vocals on every song. Guest singers appear throughout ranging from soulful to indie and electronic to rock. The tracks bubble with contagious dance energy and blast into orbit with sing-along choruses. The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem…
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, highly regarded as one of the best live bands on the planet, gets back on the road showcasing material from their long-awaited forthcoming studio album, as well as previous acclaimed KDTU recordings like ‘New Ammo’ and ‘The Bridge.’ The current KDTU touring lineup is comprised of Richmond guitarist DJ Williams, former drummer of The Greyboy Allstars, Zak Najor and current bassist Chris Stillwell, also of The Greyboy Allstars, Crush Effects’ keyboardist David Veith, Seattle trumpeter Chris Littlefield and ace slide and lap steel guitarist Seth Freeman. Karl Denson is known as a founding member of seminal funk outfit The Greyboy Allstars and sideman of Lenny Kravitz, Slightly Stoopid and his current role as part of The Rolling Stones touring band.
Composed of Brian Moss (guitar), Jordan Fairless (bass), Andrew “Red” Johnson (keys), and Cameron Laforest (drums), Spafford’s patented “electrofunk therapy” has a little bit of something for everyone, offering tastes of rock, funk, electronic, bluegrass, gospel, and more. The Arizona-based four-piece is characterized by strong vocals, tight harmonies, catchy tunes, and captivating live shows. However, the group is best known for their immense improvisational abilities, which see the band regularly embark on spontaneous and unrehearsed hour-long musical odysseys featuring jams that are patient, meticulous, and sonically rich.
In recent years, Spafford has witnessed a truly meteoric rise in the jam scene. Coming together serendipitously in 2009, the band gained a dedicated fan base in their home state of Arizona and quickly earned a reputation as the Southwest’s go-to jam act. Through word of mouth, buzz about the group spread, and due to unprecedented demand, their headlining tours consistently sold out venues across the country. Most recently, Spafford has been selected to play high-profile events like Bonnaroo, The Peach Music Festival, Summer Camp, Firefly Music Festival, and Suwanee Hulaween.
Along with The Disco Biscuits and Sound Tribe Sector 9, Particle was among the first to blend rock, jazz, funk, and electronica into the milieu of what has been dubbed “livetronica.” The group has made a name for itself and built an enthusiastic fan base by performing energetic late-night sets at festivals around the world!
Though four-piece experimental rock group Genetics calls Denver, Colorado home these days, the band’s roots go back to Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, then-15-year-olds Nathaniel Snow (drums), Jeff Ervine (guitar), and Joel Searls (bass) first began their journey of musical experimentation together. Though they found inspiration in influences like Primus, Rush, Yes, and Frank Zappa, the trio was also firmly immersed in the modern jam band scene, sparking their move to Colorado’s Front Range.
Colorado proved to be a receptive audience for the group’s unique brand of progressive rock. Genetics has spent the past handful of years playing shows all over the Front Range of Colorado, the Midwest and British Columbia, Canada including opening for the likes of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Lotus, The String Cheese Incident and have shared the stage with Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company), Roosevelt Collier, Garaj Mahal and are occasionally joined by their fifth and honorary member, percussionist Chuck Morris (Lotus).
In 2015, the band released their first full-length album, Dr. Spookymuffin, which showcases the group’s affinity for intricate, linear songwriting and orchestral progressions. In addition to debuting their first album, Genetics added a new member to the lineup, Phil Johnson, on the keyboards. As a result, the band’s already-eclectic sound continues to diversify and evolve with the addition of searing synth solos to the improvisational mix. The four-piece skillfully melds progressive rock, funk, psychedelic, and metal for a hard-hitting sound that’s hard to describe but always surprising, captivating, and even thought-provoking. Audiences continue to be won over by Genetics’ high-energy compositions and impactful stage presence. As the group nears completion on their very own studio, they’ll be poised to record and release a slew of brand new albums and material!
Live-looping meets House meets Breakbeat meets Electro-Funk meets Drum & Bass meets Trip Hop!
Hammond organist Joe Doria brings together some of the best of the NW music scene to create a powerful and jaw-dropping funk and jazz sound like you’ve never heard, exhibiting a mix of stellar musicianship, seasoned songwriting and deep groove where no musical stone gets unturned. McTuff is a movin’ and groovin’ adventure that you will not soon forget, featuring the impeccable Andy Coe on guitar and the incredible Tarik Abouzied on drums.
McTuff began in 2008 as an ode to jazz organ greats Jimmy Smith and Captain Jack McDuff, and has since evolved into a versatile and exciting group that has performed across the nation. The band has two albums under its belt, their 2009 release McTuff Vol. 1 and their 2011 follow-up McTuff Vol. 2: After the Show, with a third slated for release in Spring 2015.
McTuff has performed at Bumbershoot, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, as well as festivals and venues all over the US. The band has also held a residency at Seattle’s legendary Seamonster Lounge for over five years. Their Tuesday night show has become regular stop for local and traveling musicians including Skerik, Allen Stone, Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), G Love (and Special Sauce), Blake Lewis, Kevin Sawka, and many others.
GD/BC is British Columbia’s Tribute to the Grateful Dead!
The Unfaithful Servants have quickly gained a reputation on Vancouver Island as a must-see act. With an exciting approach to traditional Americana, folk, bluegrass and country music, the group serves up explosive instrumentals and compelling story-telling, and draw their audience into an entertaining and memorable musical experience. Formed in the fall of 2016, the band released their debut album “Dylan Stone and The Unfaithful Servants” soon after, and in turn garnered the attention of local music lovers and music industry. 2017 performances included an opening slot for Canadian folkie and Juno winner Lisa Leblanc, the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and the Canada 150 celebrations in downtown Victoria. With each performance, their reputation as a band to watch grows.
The credits and resume of The Servants members are impressive, but it is the chemistry of the group and the skill of their individual musicianship that propels their live performance. Sharing vocal harmonies around a single microphone is an integral part of their blend. Their original writing, from electrifying mandolin and fiddle instrumentals to heartfelt songs, combines well with deftly arranged covers from folk, rock and traditional repertoire.
Using the rich musical landscape of Vancouver, B.C. as their muse, Baked Potato has been wowing audiences throughout British Columbia since 2005 with their unique brand of psychedelic afro-funk. Their undeniably energetic live shows are always executed with unbridled energy and tightness, the sounds shifting from spiritual and meditative to jubilant and energetic, from dark dance floor burners to spaced-out waves of ambiance. Their repertoire consists of an eclectic and rich blend of slamming, polyrhythmic originals that seamlessly fuse elements of afro-beat, prog-rock, funk, disco, jazz and psychedelia along with a smattering of obscure covers ranging from Greyboy Allstars to Pink Floyd to Paul Simon to Sugarloaf to Phish.
Baked Potato plays with passion and fire. They love what they do and it pours out of them through their music and stage antics. Whether you’re up for a laid back groove or a hard bumping beat, this highly energized funk machine brings the Dance Party!
During his teen years, Naryan began exploring his roots by traveling to India and soon learned the styles of Classical Indian music. Through his travels, he learned to borrow concepts and styles from many world traditions. His main instruments are hammered dulcimer (santoor), sitar, and hand percussion.Naryan has performed with and/or shared bills with Max Creek, Rob Wasserman, Toubab Krewe, The Heavy Pets, Consider the Source, Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident), Steve Molitz (Particle), and Family FUNKtion and the Sitar Jams. He has also recorded with the world renowned North Indian Classical vocalists V.J. Kichlu and South Indian percussionist T.S. Nandakumar. Naryan has performed on over 15 independently released recordings and has toured the United States and Canada as a performer.
Naryan is also the founder of epoch music located in Western New York. The label is dedicated to refined sounds and celebrates diversity through world traditions, electronics and all things unique. Naryan is also head engineer of epoch music’s own recording studio, Ananda Kharakhane.
Trumpeter and vocalist, Jennifer Hartswick is one of the most exciting performers in music today. She exudes confidence and joy and brings her own refreshing spirit to the stage every time she performs. Jennifer’s music is honest, soulful and comes with a maturity far beyond her years.
Hartswick is an original member of the Trey Anastasio Band and has recorded/shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Phish, Christian McBride, Tom Petty, Aaron Neville, Carlos Santana, The Rolling Stones, Big Gigantic, Dave Matthews and countless others.
Jennifer’s live performances are renowned as spontaneous, joyful and contagious. Her natural charisma and sincerity shines through, and each performance is a celebration of musical collaboration. And whether she is wailing on the trumpet or singing an intimate vocal solo, her performance is all part of a single seamless instrument, one that is played not only with astounding technical proficiency, but also with sensitivity, conviction and heart.
Possessing a voice as cool and crystalline as an Alpine stream, Natalie Cressman is a rising singer/songwriter and trombonist who draws inspiration from a vast array of deep and powerful musical currents. Her new five-song EP Traces reveals her latest evolution, a sleek and sensuous electronica-laced sound with even a trace or two of dance floor sweat.
Steadily evolving in many directions, the 25-year-old Cressman has already put down deep roots in several overlapping scenes. A prodigiously talented New York City-based trombonist, she’s spent the past seven years touring the jam band circuit as a horn player and vocalist with Phish’s Trey Anastasio (and recently played with Phish at Madison Square Garden). Deeply versed in Latin jazz, post-bop, pop, and Brazilian music, she tapped the interlaced traditions on her first two solo albums, 2012’s Unfolding and 2014’s Turn the Sea.
The Traces EP follows on the heels of 2016’s Etchings in Amber, a gorgeous duo album with guitarist Mike Bono that introduced Cressman as a formidable musical force without her horn. While the project focuses on songs featuring lyrics she wrote for several Bono compositions, Cressman also wrote words and music for three of her songs, contributing to the atmospheric suite of jazz-inflected, genre-bending tunes.
Jason Hann is the percussionist for The String Cheese Incident and live producer for EOTO!
ELEMENT MUSIC FESTIVAL 2017 LINE-UP
Element Festival is Sponsored in part by Lifebites!