Lucky Chops brings the funk to Ridgefield
Lucky Chops, featuring Josh Holcomb, Daro Behroozi, Joshua Gawel, Raphael Buyo and Charles Samshas, has embraced a high-energy brassy funk sound since forming in New York City in 2006, getting its start playing on the streets and in subways. The band will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse Oct. 11. Andrea Valluzzo spoke with Holcomb about the upcoming show.
Andrea Valluzzo: How did the band and the name come about?
Josh Holcomb: We were all in high school together in Manhattan at the LaGuardia Arts High School and we would just jam after class … whether it be rock, pop, funk or whatever styles we were not playing in our classes. We struggled for a long time to come up with a band name; because we would play so much on our brass instruments, and in jazz, the word chops is a slang for lips so we would hope for lucky chops to have the endurance to make it through one of our shows.
AV: How do you describe your sound?
JH: It’s just a high energy, joyful, uplifting music that is all instrumental and we try to just have the music be super powerful that hits directly to people’s soles and also the soles of their feet — makes them dance.
AV: What’s it like to go into schools now to do music education?
JH: It’s very special to us because we all got our start through the New York City public school system. In some of the schools we went to, they no longer have music programs. We feel doubly strongly that it’s one of our goals to inspire the next generation of future musicians.
AV: What’s a typical day like for you?
JH: A little bit of everything. Yesterday, we were in the recording studio for 13 hours and today we are about to do the same thing. We find time to practice our instruments at some point during the day, and then we have a group rehearsal for about three hours most days and that’s when we are home. But when we are out on tour, our days are totally different and we are doing performances in different cities and countries every day.
AV: Where do you find your inspiration?
JH: From really the entire world, since to me music is such a beautifully, universally communal language that all cultures throughout human history have shared with each other. Since we are instrumental, we don’t have the limitations of a spoken language, so we speak in a universally understood instrumental language, which is really cool to see how it can bring different cultures together.
AV: What can audiences at the playhouse expect?
JH: A lot of energy, it will be pretty loud but very welcoming. It might be an unusual experience but we try to make it very joyful and we build a community and we all are having a good time.
AV: How do you integrate music of the past with your music today?
JH: We try to bring little bits and pieces but infuse it with a modern beat or the modern energy of a rock band or a DJ. We throw in a little vocabulary from music of the past and by doing so hopefully we expose audiences to awesome music of the past and giving it a fresh paint job.
AV: What music are you listening to?
JH: I listen to a lot of Brazilian music from the 1920s called Choro. That is really fun because it very closely resembles American jazz and has the same elements of African slave influence, European harmonies and native Indian musics from the peoples of Brazil.