Dr Funkenstein & The Groove Surgeons have been playing at The Old Drum, Petersfield since November 2016. We initially started with an evening focused on Latin music styles, incorporating acoustic instruments, rhythm sections and so forth. Quietly that has evolved to the birth of Dr Funkenstein & The Groove Surgeons. Although still fundamentally jazz led, musicians playing this style are easier to come by and the captivating atmosphere created by Jazz Funk and Soul Music has led the owner of The Drum, Maria Solovieva to decide to increase the number of nights that we play. The objective is to make The Old Drum a place within Petersfield in which high quality, jazz led music is played every weekend.
Getting started on this project, we are initially going to be playing three weekends a month. The dates as they stand today are:
- 2nd Saturday of month
- 3rd Friday of month
- Last Friday of the month
Initially, these evenings will be performed exclusively by Dr Funkenstein & The Groove Surgeons – acting as the house band. Our intention is to keep the Fridays as the night that The Groove Surgeons perform while Saturday nights will evolve over time to include well known name musicians who may play solo, as part of their band, or with The Groove Surgeons backing them.
The Old Drum is now informally known as Groove HQ. It’s the place where we create a great atmosphere, playing sophisticated music for the more discerning listener. This isn’t noisy pub band territory, robotically bashing its way through a bunch of covers in an overplayed, loud fashion. It’s all the place where we will introduce new tunes before we take them on the road to other venues and functions. It is the melting pot where we form ideas, test those ideas with you the audience and build our sound.
The core format is myself, Julian Bradder on Guitar, Jody Smith aka Dr. Funkenstein on Keys, Chaz Collett on Bass and Jerry Marques on drums. We then have a roster of highly talented musicians within the brass section who will play on different evenings. These include the very best brass players in the region including Steve Grainger (Culture Club) on Sax, Alex Forsyth on Sax and Flute, town born and bred trombonist, Joel Knee and experienced Trumpeter and Composer, Stewart Prosser. In addition, you may see myself, Jody, Chaz substituted from time to time by other musicians, which helps to create different dynamics and listening experiences. These include Josh Woodward on Bass Guitar, Dave Moore on Guitar, Chris Walmsley on Keys and Andy Sturges on Drums,
We are adding new tunes to our repertoire each month helping to keep the event fresh and current. Because of the jazz led nature of the music we’re playing the repertoire in itself will constantly evolve – we find new ways to dance the tune that may occur through planning or indeed through spontaneous communication between the musicians on the evening.
This is an exciting time. In my memory at least, Petersfield has never had such a high quality music product performed to such a high standard by the same musicians. And this, with the exception of events such as The Petersfield Festival is the only place you will see us play in the town.
We are working on the overall project while we get started. This means that The Old Drum is looking to provide a tailored, contemporary tapas menu together with it’s usual gastro-dinner options.
We really want to make this a success, providing a valuable source of regular cultural entertainment within Petersfield that will not just be about The Groove Surgeons but also about giving people living within the region the opportunity to see some of the best contemporary music talent.
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