Legendary saxophonist Karl Denson will bring a little bit of funk and a whole lot of jazz to York City this Sunday when he takes the stage at the Strand-Capitol in York with his band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe.
Denson's career spans nearly three decades, including his early years as a member of Lenny Kravitz's band. He says he initially wanted to branch out on his own to take control of his schedule, but has also enjoyed the creative freedom of performing with his own band.
Projects: That doesn't mean Denson has slowed down, however. In addition to his rigorous touring schedule - he plays more than 200 shows per year - Denson divides his time between multiple projects and collaborations including boogaloo band The Greyboy Allstars and reggae group Slightly Stoopid.
"It's fun to be able to do different things all the time," Denson says. "It helps you to keep your ears open."
Denson describes KDTU's sound as "jazzy, rocky" fun that's definitely "high energy." The show, he says, should get people moving.
'Jam band': KDTU shares the bill with progressive rock band moe. On the surface,the jam-rock and funk-jazz pairing may seem a bit unusual to some at first, loosely centered on the jam band crowd. The term "jam band," however, is one that both groups are reluctant to embrace wholly.
"I think it's a misunderstood term," Denson says. "It's got roots in improvised music - stretching forms and taking our time getting where we're going - and I think that makes it true to jazz, too."
moe. guitarist Chuck Garvey says the name jam band has always been a "weird thing." When the group began playing, it hadn't been coined yet. Their music, he says, was "everything but the kitchen sink." As the festival scene of the late '90s exploded, groups that were stylistically different got mixed in, he says, and the jam band scene became a "bunch of people who really have a broad appreciation of music."
Garvey says when different music worlds collide - like jazz and rock - it's a really good thing.
Fresh: Denson says improvising helps to keep the music at the shows fresh and is true to traditional jazz form.
Denson, who lives in San Diego with his family, says he's looking forward to visiting York for the first time - even if it is blanketed in snow and freezing temperatures.
"I can handle the cold," he says. "I'm a good cold-weather visitor."
-Digital editor Sean Philip Cotter contributed to this report. Reach Amy Peiffer at email@example.com.
See the show
moe. comes to York with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St., York.
Tickets: $38. Information: 717-846-1111 or www.mystrandcapitol.org.