Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

Otis Taylor’s Tranceblues Festival & Jam Workshop

  • When: November 10, 2018 Time: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Where: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
  • Cost: $30 - 85 (Plus Applicable Service Fees)
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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 - Trance Blues Festival - 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. On his sixth CD, Double V, Taylor unleashes intimate tales as he produces an aural excursion inspired by an unconventional childhood.

Otis Mark Taylor was born in Chicago in 1948. After his uncle was shot to death, his family moved to Denver where an adolescent's interest in blues and folk was cultivated. Both his parents were big music fans; "I was raised with jazz musicians," Taylor relates. "My dad worked for the railroad and knew a lot of jazz people. He was a socialist and real bebopper." His mother, Sarah, a tough as nails woman with liberal leanings, had a penchant for Etta James and Pat Boone. Young Otis spent time at the Denver Folklore Center where he bought his first instrument, a banjo. He used to play it while riding his unicycle to high school. The Folklore Center was also the place where he first heard Mississippi John Hurt and country blues. He learned to play guitar and harmonica and by his mid-teens, he formed his first groups – the Butterscotch Fire Department Blues Band and later the Otis Taylor Blues Band. He ventured overseas to London where he performed for a brief time until he returned to the U.S. in the late 60s. His next project became the T&O Short Line with legendary Deep Purple singer/guitarist Tommy Bolin. Stints with the 4-Nikators and Zephyr followed before he decided to take a hiatus from the music business in 1977. During this time he established a successful career as an antiques dealer and also began coaching a professional bicycle team. They ranked 4th in the nation and were known for having two of the best African-American riders in the country.


Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

Born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous front man Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee) dedicates his latest release Time Is Coming (on Blues Bureau International) to the indigenous youth and all young people on the indigenous reservations.

Mato Nanji’s father, the late Greg Zephier, Sr., was a well-known and highly respected spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council. In addition to this leadership role, he was an accomplished musician and a member of the musical group, The Vanishing Americans. Formed by Greg and his brothers in the ‘60’s, The Vanishing Americans toured nationally and shared bills with such legends as Bonnie Raitt. Besides being heavily influenced by the music his father and uncles were making, Mato was exposed to Greg’s vast collection of blues records by legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King. Consequently, Mato embraced and began utilizing his own musical talent at a young age. With the experience, love and wisdom of their father to guide them, Mato, his brother, sister and cousin formed the band Indigenous while in their late teens.


Chuck Campbell

Chuck Campbell - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

Considered one of the great innovators in Sacred Steel music, Charles “Chuck” Campbell sets himself apart by being one of the most humble and helpful leaders in urging and encouraging young people everywhere to cultivate their own gifts and talent in music. This should come as no surprise, as he himself was excited to learn about playing the steel guitar at the age of 5 at his church’s national meeting. By age 11, he soon discovered that he had a rare gift and surrounded himself with music greats in his church and in the industry by studying their methods and styles. He understood early to be great he had to hone his skills with discipline and commitment. By doing so, he was destined to develop his own personal style and make an impact for generations to come.


Jason Ricci

Jason Ricci - Trance Blues - eTown

Jason Ricci is one of the most popular harmonica players on the planet today. Listed in almost every top ten list of players on the internet today Jason Ricci is a polarizing force always in the spotlight and on the tips of critics, artists and fans tongue's everywhere. Through two-plus decades of endless touring, TV appearances, recordings, and the internet Jason Ricci's style of playing is so revolutionary and influential that there exists an entire younger generation of players imitating his music, clothes, gear, and even stage presence. Nicknamed "Moon Cat" (a street name he once used in Nashville and New Orleans to avoid police detection) Jason has been an almost constant force for decades in the studio, festivals, club dates, and press. Love him or hate him, through performing, singing, songwriting, teaching, harmonica playing and activism in the fields of L.G.B.T., mental health, and addiction, it is not an overstatement that this young, white, queer, skateboarding, punk rock-loving, multiple convicted felony having Moon Cat from Maine is currently changing world through music and education.


Cassie Taylor

Cassie Taylor - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

Cassie Taylor, the oldest daughter of Otis, provided backup vocals on White African when she was only twelve years old. She also appears on Respect The Dead and Truth Is Not Fiction. She continues to perform with the Otis Taylor Band, playing bass and singing backup vocals.

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.


Harry Tuft

Harry Tuft - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

Harry Tuft started his singing career with the Dartmouth College Glee Club. Listening to recordings by Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, and Bill Broonzy, he quickly took up guitar, and upon graduation was a regular in the Sunday "hootenannies"s at the legendary Gilded Cage Coffeehouse in his native Philadelphia. Skiing in Colorado led to gigs in Georgetown and Aspen, and a permanent move to Denver, where he opened the Denver Folklore Center. While running the music store, Harry engaged in a series of musical endeavors. He was a radio disc jockey on a 70's free-form radio station, he has sung and recorded with Steve Abbott and Jack Stanesco in the popular Denver band, Grubstake, and he also did numerous jobs as a soloist, and with a variety of free-lance bands. In 1978 he recorded his first album, Across The Blue Mountains, for Folk Legacy Records. “This was a classic folk album that featured traditional music and a half dozen songs by contemporary singer-songwriters.”

In 2012 popular demand and his own musical ambitions led to his current album, Treasures Untold. "I retain a keen interest in ballads, traditional and contemporary, unaccompanied and with instrumentation. I continue to respond to songs new to me, with an eager desire to learn them. As a result that album is a mix of folk, country, R & B and the “Great American Songbook,” a mix which I continue to expand on today.


Rex Peoples

Rex Peoples - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

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.


Larry Thompson

Larry Thompson - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

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. He has also toured with folk artists like Glen Yarbrough and The Limelighters, rock artists like Iain Mathews, and performed with jazz artists like Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Valentine, and Robin Ford to name a few.

Larry’s extensive recording credits, numbering nearly 400 records, include John Denver, Dan Fogelberg, Otis Redding, Jeff Muldaur, The Bette Midler Tribute, Peter Kater, Dotsero, Jill Sobule, and Wind Machine.

Larry’s talent is sustainable. He has performed live stage shows some running months at a time among which a sampling are “The Great Tap Dance Revival” starring Gregory Hines and a host of the world’s greatest tap dancers, the award winning “Bubbling Brown Sugar”, Man Of La Mancha, and Danny Holgate’s “Broadway In The Parks”.


Todd Edmunds

Todd Edmunds - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

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 of virtually non-stop touring as the bassist for Jason Ricci & New Blood. Todd is a life long student of music with a foundation in jazz. As the unofficial house bassist for the Boulder Outlook Hotel, Todd has anchored both blues and jazz shows and is a crowd favorite.


Brian Juan

Brian Juan - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

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 handful of people in an RV, backed up some international recording artists, and worked as a comedian in an all-request piano show. He is also a board certified family physician who is newly married, fully transitioned to the suburbs, and only sometimes overwhelmed raising an increasingly terrifying but awe-inspiring teenage daughter and two high energy, Star Wars-loving stepsons.

Dr. Juan performs live music with various bands in the Denver/Boulder area continues to spread rumors about his unfinished solo album (it's a magnum opus). He has been practicing traditional hot yoga for over 20 years and recently began training for a return to triathlons - with the intention (for now) of finishing, not winning. He maintains a healthy relationship with superhero comic books and awaits the now-annual release of new Star Wars movies with bated breath. He supports Virtual Reality but still enjoys camping without Wi-Fi.

Brian has appeared on stage and in the studio playing Hammond Organ and piano with the Otis Taylor Band since 2003.


Beth Rosbach

Beth Rosbach - Trance Blues Festival - eTown

Cellist Beth Rosbach has resided in Colorado since 2001. Known for her musical versatility, Ms. Rosbach has performed with bands, orchestras and chamber music groups throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. She has appeared on stage with musicians as diverse as bluesman Otis Taylor, cellist Lynn Harrell, pop and electronic musician Moby, and newgrass band Railroad Earth. Ms. Rosbach has played on dozens of recordings, including noted Denver singer-songwriter Covenhoven. 2017 saw her debut as a composer when she performed her music in a collaboration with Winifred Harris Productions' original modern dance work, "How to Tame an Elephant." In 2016 she performed in a faculty recital at the University of Colorado-Boulder featuring the music of Pulizer 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.

Ms. Rosbach holds cello performance degrees from The University of Colorado and The University of Oklahoma. She maintains a flourishing private teaching studio in Boulder, and currently performs across the U.S.


Anthony Salvo

Anthony Salvo - eTown

Jazz violinist Anthony Salvo has been composing, teaching and performing on Colorado’s front range for over 22 years. Steeped in much of the world’s musical cultures, as well as embodying an extensive knowledge of classical and jazz idioms, he revels in bringing new and exciting energy to roots traditions in a jazz setting. He is a free jazz improviser, gypsy jazz violinist, a crossover fusion musician in Indian, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, and African music, as well as a teacher and composer. He runs a full Suzuki teaching studio in Boulder, and his compositions from his CD, Finding Sanctuary, have been featured in a recent collaboration with Sound Circle, an 18 person women choir, as well as in many theater productions and films. Fortunato is his latest and most exciting project.


Nick Amodeo

Nick Amodeo - eTown

 

Nick Amodeo is an in demand multi-instrumentalist who is adept at a wide variety of musical styles. Nick has had many highlights over his 20+ year career as a musician. He won the prestigious Rockygrass mandolin contest, has been featured on several award winning albums, toured extensively and has taught music throughout all levels of academia. He first joined the Otis Taylor Band in 2005 playing guitar and mandolin. In 2010 he rejoined the band playing bass. Currently Nick plays mandolin for Otis as needed.