Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

  • When: November 11, 2017 Time: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Where: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
  • Cost: $25 - 85 Plus Applicable Service Fees
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Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

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Want to play with a legend? Join international blues artist Otis Taylor in his home town of Boulder, Colorado—the city nestled between the mountains and reality—for the extraordinary Trance Blues Jam Festival. Unlike traditional music festivals where the audience is mostly passive, you are the rock star at the Trance Blues Jam Festival (TBJF). TBJF encourages and inspires people to be active participants. The point is to create music together. Led by Taylor’s infectious mastery, fed by his band’s passion, and wed with your musical expression, the trance jam is where you get to live your musical dreams.

The TBJF is designed for players of all types, all ages, and all ability levels to join in. It’s all about creating music together, not someone showing how well they can shred the guitar. It doesn’t matter what you play. Last year’s festival included vocalists, guitars, harmonicas, oboes, banjos, flutes, cellos, drums, violins, recorders, tambourines, maracas, mandolins and more.

The festival kicks off with a professional jam on Saturday, November 11th,  with workshops during the day leading up to the Grand Jam in the evening. Fans and spectators are welcome at all events (with the purchase of a ticket, of course!).

All Saturday events are held at eTown Hall in Downtown Boulder (1535 Spruce Street).

Workshop participants will join with Mr. Taylor and the Visiting Artists for both the morning and afternoon sessions. The evening performance will feature the Visiting Artists. Participants will find a wide variety of dining options available for lunch and dinner in Downtown Boulder.

Saturday Night:

Evening Performance with Otis Taylor the Visiting Artists and Select Participants 7-9PM

The highlight of the weekend will begin at 7PM as Mr. Taylor, the Visiting Artists and select participants take the stage at eTown Hall for the evening performance. Evening-only passes include audience admission to the performance. During the workshops, Mr. Taylor will invite some participants to bring their instruments and join him on stage during the evening performance. All workshop participants will be admitted to eTown Hall for the performance.

Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor - eTown

With Otis Taylor, it's best to expect the unexpected. While his music, an amalgamation of roots styles in their rawest form, discusses heavyweight issues like murder, homelessness, tyranny, and injustice, his personal style is lighthearted. "I'm good at dark, but I'm not a particularly unhappy person," he says. "I'd just like to make enough money to buy a Porsche."

Part of Taylor's appeal is his contrasting character traits. But it is precisely this element of surprise that makes him one of the most compelling artists to emerge in recent years. In fact, Guitar Player magazine writes, "Otis Taylor is arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time." Whether it's his unique instrumentation (he fancies banjo and cello), or it's the sudden sound of a female vocal, or a seemingly upbeat optimistic song takes a turn for the forlorn, what remains consistent is poignant storytelling based in truth and history.

Brandon “Taz” Niederauer

"Taz" Niederauer - eTown

Fourteen-year-old guitarist Brandon Niederauer is living proof that dreams really do come true. Having played in the most legendary rooms in American with some of the most prominent musicians of our time, the young guitarist/singer/songwriter has built up quite the reputation is the music world, welcoming the nickname “Taz” amongst fans and peers alike.

It started when Brandon watched the movie School of Rock at eight years old. Also inspired by his father’s record collection, he instantly realized he wanted to play guitar. Four years later, he was cast as the principle role of guitarist “Zack Mooneyham” in the Tony Award-nominated Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway production, School of Rock the Musical at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Living in New York City welcomes great opportunity for Brandon to play with some of his most idolized musicians. He’s had the brilliant experiences of playing with members of the Allman Brothers Band including Greg Allman, Butch Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Oteil Burbridge, as well as other notable musicians such as Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, Slash, Jon Batiste, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Gales, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Dr. John, Otis Taylor, Gary Clark Jr. Col. Bruce Hampton, Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., Robert Randolph, Karl Denson, Doug Wimbish, John Popper, and, and countless others. He has also played with Umphrey’s McGee, Scorpions, Dumpstaphunk, The Revivalists, Galactic, and so many more.

CJ Chenier

C.J. Chenier - Tranceblues Festival - eTown

C.J. Chenier, a Creole born and raised in an indigenous American culture with its distinct language, cuisine and music, delivers a soulful vocal and accordion! Chenier, a GRAMMY® nominated world renowned musician and recording artist, has performed alongside many internationally recognized artists including his GRAMMY® awarded father, Clifton Chenier “The King of Zydeco”, Paul Simon, Joe Sample and Ray Parker, Jr., The Gin Blossoms, and John Mayall. He has appeared on the Jon Stewart Show, CNN and was featured on VH1 and Entertainment Weekly.

C.J. has exhibited his musicianship at many large festival venues such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Austin’s SxSW Music Conference. In addition to a GRAMMY® award nomination in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category, C.J. has received many major awards inclusive of the Living Blues Critics’ Poll Award, Indie Award (from AFIM) for Best Zydeco Album, Coups de Coeur (Blows of Heart) Blues Category Award from l'Académie Charles Cros (France) and Best of the Beat Best Zydeco Album (Offbeat Magazine).

Damon Fowler

Damon Fowler - Tranceblues Festival - eTown
After spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler is back with his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, Sounds of Home. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab's rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date. The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener, and the stories told in his songwriting here - sometimes in collaboration with long-time writing partner Ed Wright and Benoit - exhibit a combination of depth, grace and humor very few of his contemporaries can match.

Damon sets the standard for what is to come on the first track, "Thought I Had It All." It's an introspective, brooding tale shot through with razor sharp, frenetic guitar leads. Other songs like the title cut and "Where I Belong" flow in an easy Southern groove. Damon offers up two covers, peppering Johnny Winter's "TV Mama" with slithering slide guitar runs, and doing a great version of Elvis Costello's "Alison." The country tinged "Old Fools, Bar Stools, And Me" offers a poignant take on a familiar theme. "Do It for The Love" is a sweetly contemplative ballad featuring the lyrical counterpoint of Damon's lead guitar and Tab's pedal steel. The album closes with an inspired, finger-picked rendition of the traditional gospel song, "I Shall Not Be Moved." As with Damon's legendary live performances, Sounds of Home takes the listener on a tour through the rich traditions of American roots music, presented by one of its foremost practitioners.

Cassie Taylor hails from Colorado and arrived on the music scene of Memphis is 2009. Combining a compelling mix of music, theater, fashion and modeling into her repertoire, Cassie is an ambassador of blending the arts. Cassie is the daughter of renowned bluesman Otis Taylor and toured in his band for seven years as bassist and backup vocalist. She takes her passion for the blues seriously by serving on the board of directors of The Blues Foundation. Staking a claim as a musician in her own right, her songwriting is a new kind of blues which explores the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something woman. Using pop vocals and deeply-rooted blues bass lines, Cassie is leading the new generation of blues artists.

Marcella Simien is in the core of Memphis tradition- different roots influences in idiosyncratic and unexpected ways. She is one of the most interesting artists to emerge on the Memphis scene in years.” -Chris Herrington, GoMemphis, Memphis Commercial Appeal. What does a smile sound like? Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, Simien grew up onstage with her father, two- time GRAMMY award winner Terrance Simien. In 2009 she moved to Memphis to attend the Memphis College of Art. In no time she was back onstage, delighting audiences with a sound born from fusing elements of her Creole heritage with the angelic grind of Memphis soul.

Anne Harris is a singer-songwriter, fiddler and indie recording artist whose "songs frequently sound born of a spiritual awakening" (Chicago Tribune.) Her "original sound and voice" (Bruce Hornsby) channels influences "from Celtic to African to American folk/rock" (Chicago magazine.) "Gravity and faith," the latest of her four studio records, exudes a revealing honesty and deep-rooted strength, with her signature, fiddling and string arrangements comprising a compelling sonic embrace. Anne is thrilled to be performing with Otis Taylor for selected tour dates.

Larry Thompson is a highly acclaimed drummer in great demand as a performing and recording artist. He has worked in many different genres of music and has performed in almost all music venues including the blues with John Mayal, John Lee Hooker and Elvin Bishop, heavy rock with Tommy Bolin, Wall of Windows, and Body House, live radio and Television shows like E-Town on National Public Radio, classical shows with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the CSSO featuring Steve Barta and Wind Machine with The National Repertory Orchestra.

Rex Peoples most recently awarded Best Blues Singer by Colorado Blues Society 2014.Singing since age 2 and professionally for over 35 years.A singer, song writer, educator and nationally known recording artist. In addition to teaching at The Music Lesson Place, Rex also teaches at Golden Music Center. A member of the Colorado Blues Society and Blues in the Schools educator for over 12 years.

One of the sweetest voices here in Colorado belongs to vocalist Rex Peoples. I first met Rex as part of African Wind when they performed at an acoustic festival the Phoenix Blues Society produced back in 2006, so Rex and I go way back. He and his amazing band, X Factor, just got back from Memphis, representing the Colorado Blues Society at the IBC, and they were able to record a killer record, Fried Food / Hard Liquor, in time for the big event. It’s smooth as silk so let’s give it a spin.

Todd Edmunds is a bassist and sousaphonist from Augusta, Georgia. He has performed in a wide variety of musical situations. His exposure to the blues circuit came as a five year stint as full time bassist for Jason Ricci & New blood. He is a life long student of music with a foundation in jazz.

Brian Juan grew up in Vernon, New Jersey and has played keyboards with dozens of Front Range acts since moving to the Colorado in 1996.  He's played arenas with jam bands while dressed as a robot, salsa danced badly while touring the country with a dozen people in an RV, backed up a handful of international recording artists, and worked as a comedian in an all-request piano show.  He is also a 2014 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a practicing Family Physician.  Dr. Juan is finishing residency, planning a wedding, studying for his boards, moving to the suburbs, and raising an increasingly terrifying but consistently awe-inspiring teenage daughter.  He has appeared on stage and in the studio playing Hammond Organ and piano with the Otis Taylor Band since 2003.

Cellist Beth Rosbach has resided in Colorado since 2001. Known for her musical versatility, Ms. Rosbach has performed with orchestras and chamber music groups throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. She has appeared on stage with musicians as diverse as cellist Lynn Harrell, pop and electronic musician Moby, and newgrass band Railroad Earth. Ms. Rosbach has played on dozens of recordings for bands in Colorado, including noted Denver singer-songwriter Covenhoven. In 2016 she performed in a faculty recital at the University of Colorado-Boulder featuring the music of Pulitzer Prize finalist Carter Pann. In 2011 Ms. Rosbach founded Sphere Ensemble, the Denver-based string chamber group noted for its 21st century take on classical music. She is an enthusiastic advocate for musician wellness, including studies of the Alexander Technique.