Powerfunk to the Power of Powerfunk – That’s Turkuaz

Dave Brandwein is ready to take his traveling show on the road again, as Turkuaz embarks on a tour with two main legs plus two dates on their New Year’s run, four dozen shows. The nine-member funk army kicks off at Humboldt Brews in Arcata CA on Tuesday, September 12th. This first leg marches up and down the West Coast and into Colorado, including stops at  the Whale Rock Music Festival and Joshua Tree Music Festival.

Dave Brandwein

The second leg commences in Charlottesville and tours the East Coast from Maine to Georgia with several Midwest stops as well, plus a quick sprint back to California for the Hangtown Music Festival.

Sinkane will join Turkuaz for 13 shows on the first leg. Con Brio will play several shows in Virginia and North Carolina, and the Suffers are along for 18 shows of the second leg. And the Pimps of Joytime accompany the Brooklyn purveyors of powerfunk for the shows on December 29th and 30th.

Greg Sanderson
Chris Brouwers of Turkuaz

Turkuaz are Dave Brandwein, guitar/vocals; Taylor Shell, bass; Craig Brodhead, guitar/synths; Michelangelo Carubba, drums; Greg Sanderson, saxophone; Joshua Schwartz, saxophone/vocals; Chris Brouwers, trumpet/keyboard; Sammi Garett, vocals/percussion; and Shira Elias, vocals.

Sammi Garett
Shira Elias

They thrill every time they hit the stage. The splash they made when they opened Jam Cruise in January was seismic:

Speaking of Jam Cruise virgins, the band opening the cruise on the Pool Deck stage was Turkuaz. I don’t think I know enough sports metaphors to adequately describe the majestic performance that the nine-member band put on.They set the bar incredibly high for the remainder of the cruise. They just came scorching out of the gate and never let up. There was even an awesome avant section at one point.

Turkuaz is a colored band. And by that I mean that the baritone player wears purple, the tenor player wears red, the trumpet/keyboard guy wears black, and so forth. Visually, it is deluxe. And the key word about Turkuaz is: FUN. As Pat says, “Friends don’t let friends miss Turkuaz.” And the ladies on vocals, Sammi Garett and Shira Elias, were brilliant, and we got to hear them often throughout the cruise.

Dave Brandwein, Sammi Garett & Shira Elias of Turkuaz

Their recent stop at The BIG What? in Pittsboro NC had precisely the same effect:

Turkuaz brought its nine-member “powerfunk” invasion to Pittsboro, and from first note to last it was a magical, magnificent performance. A Turkuaz set is a head-on collision with pure joy, powerful funk pouring out everywhere, washing away cares and worries, at least for the moment. Dave Brandwein’s troops are a true force of nature, and they let it all out at The BIG What?

Joshua Schwartz of Turkuaz

By the time Joshua Schwartz stepped away from his baritone sax to belt the Barkays’ “Holy Ghost,” a full-on dance party had broken out. “Don’t Tell Me” highlighted more of the bands amazing vocals with Brandwein trying to keep up (fact: nobody can) with Sammi Garett and Shira Elias. The song featured great solos from Chris Brouwers on trumpet (he also plays keyboards), Greg Sanderson on tenor, and Schwartz on bari. Later, Brandwein had a superb guitar solo along with magical space bass courtesy of Taylor Shell. After a long instrumental jam, the set closed with a rousing take on “Space Captain,” the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour tune.

“Friends don’t let friends miss Turkuaz.” PERIOD.

Sammi Garett & Shira Elias of Turkuaz