Skerik, the enduringly saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast, has announced the first ever U.S. tour by his latest project, Bandalabra. The four-piece, Seattle-based unit also includes Andy Coe on electric guitar, Evan Flory Barnes on upright bass and Dvonne Lewis on drums. Earlier this year Bandalabra quietly released a digital exclusive debut album, Live At The Royal Room, via The Royal Potato Family, while playing a handful of shows around the West Coast. This September, however, fans in 17 cities across the U.S. will be given a proper introduction. The tour kicks off with a performance at the Seattle music and arts festival Bumbershoot before heading to the Midwest, extending to the East Coast and wrapping in the Rocky Mountains.
"I’ve always been inspired by Fela Kuti and Steve Reich, which sparked the idea to start a band built around rhythmic and minimalist concepts,” explains Skerik. "It’s not about soloing so much as creating a polyrhythmic weave with the four instruments. Music that is danceable but also interesting to listen to."
It’s a bold assertion, but one for which the music bears witness. Together, the quartet syncopates and snakes, floats free and snaps tight with hypnotic afrobeat rhythms, minimalist canons and improvised harmonics. There’s a duality that demands listeners both dance communally and get lost in its multiple dimensions of sound. Throughout the six improvisations on Live At The Royal Room, the foursome head into the deep unknown, creating music in the moment for over 60 minutes straight. Halfway through the evening, they hit upon the illest of psych grooves, appropriately dubbed "Beast Crusher." Here the visceral and cerebral become one and Skerik’s Bandalabra are born a fully realized vision.
Upcoming tour dates for Skerik’s Bandalabra are:
September 1 | Bumbershoot | Seattle, WA
September 6 | The Frequency | Madison, WI
September 7 | Abbey Pub | Chicago, IL*
September 8 | Garlic Festival | Cleveland, OH
September 9 | DBGB’s | Buffalo, NY
September 10 | Red Square | Albany, NY
September 11 | Cameo Gallery | Brooklyn, NY
September 13 | 8×10 | Baltimore, MD
September 14 | The Hot Spot | Waynsboro, VA
September 15 | Thunderbird | Pittsburgh, PA
September 16 | Stanley’s Pub | Cincinnati, OH
September 17 | Woodland Tavern | Columbus, OH
September 18 | Cosmic Charlie’s | Lexington, KY
September 19 | The Brick | Kansas City, MO
September 20 | Aggie | Fort Collins, CO*
September 21 | Cervantes | Denver, CO*
September 22 | Lazy Dog | Boulder, CO
*w/ Zach Deputy