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"Turkuaz and London Souls at Mercury Lounge"

Review of Turkuaz from Mercury Lounge show in NYC's east village with the London Souls.. - Joonbug

"Turkuaz at Bowery Poetry Club"

Turkuaz, The funkiest of the funk returns to the Bowery Poetry Club

Please prepare to "get down" with Turkuaz, a band overflowing with the most soul and funk in the tri-state area. This funk orchestra will be returning to the Bowery Poetry Club, anticipating to sell out the venue for the second time in a row, on Friday July 10th, from 10:00pm - 4:00am. The Bowery Poetry Club is located between Houston and Bleeker (308 Bowery). For more information please call 212-614-0505 or visit our website: bowerypoetry.com.

With one goal in mind, there are no boundaries when it comes to Turkuaz. The louder and sweatier this Brooklyn bound band can get the audience, the more likely the Funk revolution will continue. Influences include Sly and the Family Stone, Willy Wonka, and Talking Heads as well as other Funkedelic legends. When it comes to Turkuaz, noise complaints and violent floor shaking is a requirement regardless of their settings. Turkuaz makes sure their audience leaves feeling good and wanting more, bringing the funk home with them.

After there sold out show at the Bowery Poetry Club last month, the streets were overcrowded with joyous fans ready to continue on the night. The bar demanded as the funk continued and progressed; the smell of funk lingered as the weeks went by after the show. Feeling withdrawal, the Bowery Poetry Club was forced to invite Turkuaz back for a second round.

Members of the band include: Dave Brandwein (composer/producer/guitar/ vocals), Taylor Shell (composer/bass), Mike Haziza (guitar/vocals), Greg Evans (drums/percussion), Greg Sanderson (saxophone), Joshua Schwartz (saxophone), Chris Brouwers (trumpet), Mat Davidson (organ, Jennifer Hirsh (backup vocals), Shane Allen (backup vocals)

Hosting between 20 and 30 shows a week the Bowery Poetry Club (BPC) is proud of our place in the lineage of populist art: the Yiddish theater, burlesque, vaudeville, beat poetry, jazz, and punk that gave the Bowery its name.
- Culture Mob

"Turkuaz finds it's groove at Cafe 939"

The applause for Turkuaz, a white-hot Berklee funk band, had barely died down inside Cafe 939 when its singers, Shane Allen, an 18-year-old freshman, and Jennifer Hirsh, a 21-year-old senior, found themselves beaming (in matching gold lamè) on Boylston Street.

* Photo Gallery An inside look at Cafe 939

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"Honestly, it's about time," said Hirsh, a music business major, of Cafe 939, the mostly student-run, all-ages music venue and coffeehouse that opened at 939 Boylston St. in December and launched its live music program this month. "I've been here for four years and they've really needed a venue like this. The [Berklee] Performance Center is difficult to get involved with unless you audition for a big show there. And the sound was better here than at any of the venues we've played."

Allen, a voice student from Los Angeles, nodded her head in agreement: "They're running it like a real venue."

And so they are - "they" being 15 Berklee work-study students plus event manager Jacqueline Indrisano and engineer Lauren Caso, a Berklee graduate who handled light and sound for the likes of Aerosmith and the Who during the eight years she worked for promoter Don Law.

Most of this month's shows at the club - where everything from booking bands to working the box office is handled by the students - have sold out quickly. Programming, which has included a mix of internationally known artists such as jazz saxophonist Miguel Zenón (a Berklee alum) as well as Berklee undergraduate groups like Turkuaz, runs Wednesdays through Sundays between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Meanwhile, "The New Brew," a free lunchtime concert series showcasing student performers, runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m.

"This is the space everyone's been waiting for," said event coordinator Sarah DeMatos, a 22-year-old aspiring singer from Mattapoisett. "You can [be under] 21 and still feel welcome here and get the club experience. We're trying to bring awesome music to anybody with open ears."

Tonight, Brooklyn indie-folk duo the Fiery Furnaces is scheduled to play the 200 person-capacity room. The Click Five headline the club tomorrow night. Because Cafe 939 does not have a liquor license, says Berklee talent buyer Kenny Czadzeck, "it puts extra pressure on us to book really good talent. Unlike other clubs who might just book a bar band because they know they'll sell a lot of liquor, we don't have that option."

Indrisano, a veteran of Boston's nightlife who used to book the legendary Rat in Kenmore Square, describes her job as that of "fairy godmother." She feeds off the youthfully endless energy of her students, as well as the bustling atmosphere of Cafe 939.

"I'm the luckiest girl on earth," said Indrisano. "I've been to so many shows in the city and nothing aggravates me more [than] when I'm trying to listen and people are turning their backs on the show and starting their own party, and not even paying attention to the band. Here the music is the show and not the cocktails."

Berklee president Roger H. Brown is impressed with how students have run both the Cafe 939 club and the coffeehouse attached to the venue. "I'm in love with it so I'm a little irrational," said Brown, who regularly drops by the cafe. "The dream now is to get great [musicians] in here to do clinics and workshops. If we play our cards right, maybe on a night they don't have a show, they'll come over."

Too often, said Brown, "the star musician is in this hermetic bubble and goes back to the Ritz after their concert. Maybe we can get them to swing by here instead, and do a short set."

Czadzeck believes a crucial component of Cafe 939's success boils down to that old axiom: location, location, location. "There's lots of nightlife around here but there's no live entertainment, music or otherwise," said Czadzeck.

"So, in addition to us being the only all-ages club in the city, even if you are over 21, you can come here, see an early show, and still go out on the town. With the foot traffic outside, people see the party going on inside and want to come check it out."

Indeed, on the balmy spring evening that Turkuaz performed, the sleek but warm red-walled room filled up fast. No one bothered sitting on the couches that lined a wall of windows looking out onto Boylston Street, opting instead to crowd close to the performers. A phalanx of strategically placed stage lights flooded the band, soaked the sumptuous red velvet curtain stage backdrop, and bounced off the brass of the horn section.

By the time Turkuaz tore into an exuberant, radically reworked version of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" - sounding like Chic crossed with the Average White Band - the dance floor had become one massive groove, rippling with energy and smiles.

"It's a shame," said Lily O'Brien, a senior music business major, "that we have to graduate." - Boston Globe

"Photos - Turkuaz @ The Bowery Poetry Club | NYC"

After having an incredible time during their set and naming them one of my Best of CMJ 2008, it was necessary that I caught a Turkuaz show again--outside of the CMJ realm. So on Friday night, when the Brooklyn-based funk group was playing the Bowery Poetry Club, I was so front-and-center that my knees bumped the stage when danced. And dance I did, all set long.

My second Turkuaz experience turned out even better than the first, probably because it was Friday night, people were imbibing and the inner funk dancer in everyone was primed to make an appearance. But what struck me most about the band at Friday's show wasn't necessarily what a good time everyone was having. This is a band that truly understands funk. Funk as a form, as a style, as a way of making music. Their original numbers have a creativity in the melodies--and that ever important funk bass line--that makes me love the songs, but also respect the band.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised--most of these kids are from Berklee, but Friday's set gave me a taste of what I felt was the ultimate moment that I knew I'd soon be a staple at Turkuaz gigs. During the set, they did three cover songs: Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Ain)", which wasn't such a stretch genre-wise. "Slippery People" by The Talking Heads, which they breathed new, unbelievable life into, and the Rolling Stones classic "Beast of Burden". Each song, but particularly "Slippery People" and "Beast of Burden," belonged to Turkuaz. It wasn't the old here's-a-song-you-know-and-can-sing-to thing. It was, here's this song you know, but here's how we do it around here.

I like the charisma, the attitude, the confidence they bring to the stage and I like the mixture of musical intellect with the true understanding of the dynamic of a crowd, of how to entertain and how to infuse music with those funk principles. I like Turkuaz. And they do have a new album, Dollar Bill, on Galaxy Smith Records, but as far as I'm concerned, they must be seen live.
- Elizabeth Cawein, www.thetripwire.com


Dollar Store - 2007
Dollar Store 2 - 2010 (Coming Soon)



Turkuaz is comprised of Brooklyn's funkiest and brightest. The two founding members, Taylor Shell and Dave Brandwein, met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Joined by musicians from all over the country, they are now kicking things into high gear with their 11-piece high energy funk band. Influences range from the Talking Heads to James Brown - P-funk to Jamiroquai - creating a show which is an eclectic mix of funk influences and sounds from all over the board. The end result is a good time to say the very least. Turkuaz is certainly more than your average funk band, bringing catchy vocal hooks and raw grooves to the table. When the group takes their party to the stage it certainly is a spectacle to be remembered.