Funk band Stig plays Justice Snow’s and plans a move to Colorado |

Funk band Stig plays Justice Snow’s and plans a move to Colorado

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times
Stig, a five-piece funk band of Berklee School of Music students, is making its local debut at Justice Snow's on Sunday.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

Who: Stig

Where: Justice Snow’s

When: Sunday, Jan. 8, 9 p.m.

More info:

The Boston-based funk band Stig is playing its first Aspen show this weekend. But it’s unlikely to be the last.

This adventuresome five-piece of Berklee School of Music students is planning to move west and settle on the Front Range later this year after its members complete their studies.

Stig headlines Justice Snow’s on Sunday. The band used its winter school break to go out on its first tour of the West, playing shows in Arizona, New Mexico, California and here in Colorado

The short tour includes four Colorado stops — Aspen, Breckenridge, Denver and Boulder — and presages the band’s plan to make Colorado home. They’ve seen the footholds and followings that likeminded funk bands have found in Denver — where, as Gov. John Hickenlooper is fond of reminding us, there are now more live music venues than Austin or Nashville — and in the music-mad towns of ski country.

“It seems as though it’s really popping as far as music and arts and recreation goes,” Ryan Stigmon, the band’s saxophone player and frontman, said this week from a stop in Phoenix. “We play funky, energetic music. So we thought it would be the right move.”

A Flagstaff, Arizona, native, Stigmon is 21 — the oldest of his bandmates is 23. They’ve already gained a following in the northeast, playing weekends around Boston and New York. But this is their first proper tour and — for a few bandmembers — their first time visiting the Rockies.

“It’s crazy because it’s all so new for all of us,” Stigmon said. “There’s a lot of new experiences happening, collectively and individually among the five of us. It’s super refreshing to go and play music after spending the day checking out things that nobody’s ever seen before.”

Stigmon and keyboard player Thomson Knoles are boyhood friends from Flagstaff who’ve been playing together all their lives. At Berklee they formed Stig, surrounding themselves with talented classmates of disparate musical tastes — their passions range from Phish and the Grateful Dead to jazz, bluegrass and math rock. You can hear these perspectives in their songs — they only play originals and they write as a group — where a funk groove might give way to a snarling distorted heavy metal guitar solo or a smooth bit of Coltrane sax or something in between. But it’s all filtered through feel-good funk and played with the freewheeling abandon you would hope to hear from a bunch of very young, very talented musicians in the act of discovery.

“It’s coming from all sides of the musical spectrum,” Stigmon said. “The common thread is making people feel good. Through all those genres that we’ve come from, we’ve found a common ground in dancing, in moving to the rhythm of the music.”