Boocoo plays dance party in Carbondale |

Boocoo plays dance party in Carbondale

John ColsonAspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

CARBONDALE Chris Bank – whose band, Boocoo, plays in Carbondale Friday – said the band’s roots date back to the Mount Sopris Jam Band at the Carbondale Mountain Fair six or seven years ago, kicking out the jams for a couple of thousand whirling dervishes for a couple of years running.And after evolving through several iterations in between, the core of that group – Bank, drummer Chris Goplerud and guitarist Joe Kelly – will make up the third installment in this season’s Jazz Aspen Snowmass 10-Spot Series at the Thunder River Theater in downtown Carbondale, starting at 8 p.m.The 10-Spot Series offers shows once a month in Carbondale, which cost a “ten-spot” ($10) for a ticket. The series began in September with a concert version of “Fiddler on the Roof,” as arranged by late jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, followed by the hot jazz quartet of Nelson Rangell.According to promoter Joe Lang of JAS, the series is “a chance for us to shake it up a bit – get something going with a downvalley audience [in] a very cool black-box space. It’s got great acoustics, and a cool personality.”Friday, Bank said, the plan is to play a rather eclectic selection of tunes, about a third of which will be originals by the band. Quoting Kelly, Bank said ticket buyers should expect “Latin, reggae, country and funk with rock ‘n’ roll gospel overtones in a blues basement.” The band will occasionally be joined by bassist Zoe Lasue, to give Bank a chance to move to the saxophone for certain songs.The gig, he said, will feature jazz influences but is “being billed as a ‘dance the tryptophane away, post-turkey party’ – a rhythm-and-blues dance party.”

In 20-odd years as a working musician in the Roaring Fork Valley, Bank has earned a reputation as an accomplished teacher of hopeful teenagers, and a member of several well-regarded musical groups and as talented on the bass guitar as he is on the saxophone, the recorder or multiple other instruments.Bank’s most recent gig has been with Boocoo (pronounced just like it’s spelled) at the St. Regis hotel bar, playing danceable tunes several nights a week for a mix of locals and tourists.He said the band has worked up a core of devoted dancing die-hards at the Regis, and predicted that some of them would show up at tonight’s show, where the seating will be arranged to provide room for dancing if the audience feels so inclined.The band’s name, Bank said, is a reworking of the French word “beaucoup,” which he noted can be taken a couple of ways.For one, he said, “beau means beautiful, and coup means a takeover, so it might mean a beautiful takeover of the audience.” But, perhaps more conventionally, it means “a lot, which could mean a lot of bullshit on any given night.”

Still, he said of the name, “It’s in the Scrabble dictionary, so we’re going for it.”

The other members of the band, Bank said, also have been around for years. Goplerud, the drummer, for example, has played with blues-rock veteran Howard Berkman, as well as with the valley’s jazz mainstay, Walt Smith, not to mention time spent with guitarist Kelly’s other band, Smokin’ Joe and the Gypsies. Kelly himself, Bank said, was with R&B legends Ike & Tina Turner and did a turn with Bill Withers (“Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me”), in addition to joining Lasue’s Latin-flavored group, La Gitanos (Spanish for Gypsies), which morphed into Smokin’ Joe and the Gypsies.

Bank said the band again will be playing three nights a week through the upcoming ski season at the St. Regis, on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.The next show for the 10-Spot Series, in December, will feature another longtime local band, Big Daddy Lee and the Kingbees.John Colson’s e-mail address is

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