The Vermont Cynic

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Funk band takes over Higher Ground

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A local Burlington venue was taken over by funk junkies last Friday.    

Turkuaz, a nine-piece band from Brooklyn, brought their “powerhouse” funk to Higher Ground March 25. The band released their latest album, “Digitonium,” Oct. 2015.

Fans gathered near the stage, cheering as the band opened with “Bubba Slide.” Listening to such an irresistibly groovy sound, the crowd couldn’t help but dance.

Changing stage lights of all colors illuminated the venue as balloons bounced around the crowd for fans to hit to one another.

Although the venue was full, there was still enough space for dancing; almost no one was standing still.

The band members were just as energized by the music as the fans. Singers Shira Elias and Sammi Garett were dressed in neon pink and yellow, swayed to the music as they sang. Even guitarist Dave Brandwein was decked out in bright red apparel.

Photo courtesy of turkuazband.com

Photo courtesy of turkuazband.com

It was captivating to watch each band member as they performed. Hot Chocolate’s 1970’s hit “Everyone’s a Winner,” was played as good, if not better, than the original.

“The Generator” and “Digital Love” exhilarated the crowd with their groovy and fast paced beats. During “Monkey Fingers,” the audience was encouraged to clap and sing along.

As Turkuaz jammed through their second set, drummer Michelangelo Carubba played a powerful solo halfway through “20 Dollar Bill.” The crowd watched in awe as Carubba’s technique and raging style were center under the spotlight.

“It was a funkadelic throwdown with band members old enough to be parents,” senior Max Burstein said. “The crowd was full of smiling faces and college students in funky outfits, it was an exhilarating experience.”

Encoring with “The Ballad of Castor Troy,” which got the crowd to dance and sing along, was a great way to wrap up such a lively performance.

Through their warm interactions with the crowd, Turkuaz created an intimate experience for such a spacious venue. The band and crowd fed off each other’s enthusiasm, creating an electrifying experience.

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Funk band takes over Higher Ground