The Tao Jones
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The Tao Jones

Band EDM Funk


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"Boulder Based Powerhouse Plays in Vail"

Pete Fowler
Special To The Daily

VAIL - The Lord himself appeared, parting the skies and coming down to earth to hold audience with all. He left behind a medallion on which the words "The Tao Jones" were printed. From this day forth, The Tao Jones' musicians knew that this must be their band's name.

This story of a friend's dream sounded made up on the spot by bassist Sean Mahaffey, but it shows the band's playful side. They like to be clever and have fun. Just look at their name.

Many of the six-piece group met each other on campus at CU Boulder. Taking in the town's vital music scene, the group decided to give it a shot. They began playing around town in various incarnations. The Tao Jones has been together a little over a year, and they seem to be making waves along the Front Range.

The band goes for a big sound in the school of Herbie Hancock and John Scofield. It features keys, guitar, drums, bass, sax, trumpet, and vocals.

"It's a powerhouse, very large sound," said Mahaffey.

The Tao Jones covers some favorites, but mostly plays original material. Their musical philosophy revolves around playing classic songs in their own personalized style by blending in many modern sounds. The group also has a bit of an electronic edge.

"If we cover a song, it's still the same song, but it's in our style," said Mahaffey. "We've tried to blend it with modern sounds from rock and tech======no."
- Vail Daily

"The Tao Jones band returns to Mahogany Ridge"

By Mike Lawrence

Steamboat Springs — Taoism is all about finding constancy in a life of continuous, swirling change.

For the past two years, The Tao Jones band has done just that. While playing shows across the West and in Steamboat Springs since 2005, the group has dropped members, added members, explored different styles, found new rhythms and tried new songs.

But one thing has remained the same — a jaw-dropping, body-rocking, good time of a show.

The five-piece band includes Jake Ball on trumpet, Danny Meyer on saxophone, Christian Mockett on guitar, Sean Mahaffey on bass, and Zack Scott on percussion. The Tao Jones uses jazzy horn riffs, strong percussion and innovative guitar work to create a sound that, in their own words, takes show-goers “on a funk-inflected odyssey across the musical landscape.”

“The horns bring a little bit of nostalgia combined with new electronic sounds. You can use any words you want to describe our music,” Mahaffey said in January before the band played a Steamboat show. “Our key focus is we like people to dance, move and shake it.”

The Tao Jones returns to the ’Boat with a Saturday night show at Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill.

This show is part of a summertime swing through Colorado and Wyoming, which takes the band to the Mishawaka Funk Festival in Bellvue on Friday night and then to locales including Telluride, Durango and Boulder after the Steamboat show.

“We throw a hell of a party every time because we’re not afraid to get down and dirty,” Ball said. “We bring the old with the new … there is an old jazz element mixed in with a modern day kind of sound.” - Steamboat Pilot & Today

"Music to make you move"

Steamboat Springs — The Tao Jones bassist Sean Mahaffey will celebrate his birthday Saturday night at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, and the whole band is bringing the party.

“We throw a hell of a party every time because we’re not afraid to get down and dirty,” said Jake Ball, The Tao Jones’ trumpet player. “People will say afterwards that we killed it at the bar and (that) they partied all night.”

But it’s not all fun and games for band members. They recently went back into the studio to produce a new album.

“We just did the CD less than a month ago, and it still smells like a studio,” Ball joked.

Each band member contributes to the songwriting — a blend of genres the band describes as “modern funk, jazz, electronic and ‘zapped out’ rock.” “Zapped out rock” is a term coined by Frank Zappa.

“We bring the old with the new,” Ball said. “There is an old jazz element mixed in with a modern day kind of sound.”

“The horns bring a little bit of nostalgia combined with new electronic sounds. You can use any words you want to describe our music,” Mahaffey added. “Our key focus is we like people to dance, move and shake it.”

“The more bodies there, the better the night will be.” Mahaffey said. “The audience is just as much a part of the music and definitely helps in the creative inspiration, and inspire us to play greatly.” - Steamboat Pilot & Today

"The Tao Jones is out of Control"

By Chris Clark

On the Bill

The Tao Jones performs with Control at 9 p.m., Thursday, May 10, at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399.

Boulder has long been known for its plethora of up-and-coming live bands that call the friendly Front Range home. In years past, the countless collective gravitated towards the crystal-toting twirlers (think String Cheese Incident and bluegrass enthusiasts Yonder Mountain String Band), but today's scene leans more on the live electronic side. While rock acts like Rose Hill Drive and Dinosaur Jr. continue to call the land of Boulderites home, fresh, young acts such as The Tao Jones and Control offer the area a slice of futuristic flavor not commonplace among the area's local bands.

The Tao Jones exhibits a specific talent for controlled instrumental chaos, which showcases the dexterity of its horn section and the backing of a tight-knit rhythm core, producing funk-filled anthems that are sure to get the body moving. With each performance, the band's sound becomes more defined, as they enrich their funk with jazz and even Latin-colored hues.

Another Boulder band full of promise, Control is a rather clustered presentation. Their music portrays a combination of modern electronics and live instrumentation meshed together through a unique incorporation of two diverse musical worlds. What results is an experimental brew of sound where technology meets musicianship.

Matthew Stafford, Control's drummer, explains it as, "We get really weird and expand an idea. It lets us experiment by incorporating live instrumentation with electronics. We're doing something that's progressive. Everyone can listen to it their own way and feel the way they want to. It hits each person differently—that's what we strive for."

Tonight, two of the area's most promising young bands come together at the Fox Theatre. With graduation rounding out the weekend, this event offers college kids and the community alike an opportunity to support local music while getting a little sweat on. - Boulder Weekly


Still working on that hot first release.



Out of the madness that is the Boulder music scene, The Tao Jones has emerged as one of the premiere acts to see along the front-range. The band performs with the tightness and on-stage collective consciousness of seasoned professionals.

The Tao Jones is a wild rollercoaster ride, taking you on a funk-inflected odyssey across the musical soundscape. These thoroughly capable performers grab you by the ears and don't let go until it's over, drenching you in a cascade of nimble guitar licks, intricate bass and drum rhythms, and horns that never run out of notes.

The Tao Jones is fronted by a virtuosic horn section comprised of Jake Ball on trumpet and saxophonist Danny Mayer. The melodies the duo creates are complimented by the clever guitar work of Christian Mockett. Add the powerful drumming of Zack Scott and the deep and hypnotic bass grooves of Sean Mahaffey and the end result is nothing short of an earth-shaking funk performance. Now with the voice of Kolby Morris in the mix, this band is unstoppable