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The best kept secret in music


"Boulder big-sound powerhouse plays the Sandbar"

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 seven-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 jazz-funk sound in the school of Herbie Hancock and John Scofield. It features keys, guitar, two percussionists, bass, sax and trumpet.

"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 older jazz-funk in their own personalized style and 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 techno."

The Tao Jones will play at The Sandbar on Friday at 10 p.m. Expect a high-energy show.

"Come to dance. Come to party. Come to have a good time," said Mahaffey.

- Pete Fowler - Vail Daily News

"Rooted in jazz but growing branches in every direction"

The Tao Jones doesn't have a frontman. The music is passed from band member to member, and each takes his turn holding and changing the form of the song.

The keyboards spend as much time on the front of the stage as the trumpet or the bass.

With each solo, they add mass to the bare bones of the original song.

It's a band style straight from the pages of jazz.

Although The Tao Jones' music is rooted in jazz, its songs are original, and its sound wanders in and out of influences from Africa, Brazil, Cuba and New York in one night's set.

Based in Boulder, The Tao Jones is becoming a Steamboat Springs stage regular. Local music lovers already know percussionist Jeff Lane and keyboard player Adam Williamson from their other band, The Menagerie.

This will be The Tao Jones' third time playing Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill. It's a small stage for a seven-piece band, but they love it.

"We love the atmosphere at Mahogany Ridge," Williamson said. "It's more than just another night of working for us."

The group came through town in July, but members promise that even if you've seen them before, you haven't seen them yet. The band is prolific, writing two or three new songs a week.

"We probably have 10 new songs (on our set list) since the last time we played," Williamson said. "I know it's hard when you haven't heard of a band before to go to the show, but we hope people come out and give it a chance. We promise they'll have a good time."
- Autumn Phillips, Pilot & Today Staff / Steamboat Pilot


(2005) Gimmie Your Wallet (EP)
(2007) EP


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Tao Jones is a 5-piece jam enterprise devoted to two things: burning brand new pathways through an ever-changing musical landscape; and making audiences straight get down.

Since its inception The Tao Jones has managed to rise and hover above the bustling chaos of the Boulder, CO music scene. Their blend of rock, jazztronica, and explosive funk creates a high-energy live performance that leaves fans wide-eyed, sweaty, and wanting more. Says trumpet player Jake Ball: “Intensity in ten cities, baby, that’s the only way to play!”

The Tao Jones has both headlined and shared countless stages across Colorado in venues ranging every size, including Boulder’s Fox Theater, Boulder Theatre, the Aggie, the Bluebird, Cervantes’, Trilogy Lounge, and Mishawaka Amphitheatre. Most recently the group has shared the spotlight with such other touring acts as Lotus, Outformation, Phix, D.J. Harry, Eric McFadden Trio, The Lee Boys and The Pnuma Trio.

The combination of high energy, inventive songwriting, and stellar musicianship which the band displays translates a typical live performance into a unique musical experience. With a fan base that seems to be growing by the hour, The Tao Jones has nowhere to go but up.