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Robert Walter's 20th Congress

Jazzy funk from the Hammond B3 master!

Robert Walter's 20th Congress

Tezeta Band

Thu, January 10

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$18.00 - $20.00

This event is 21 and over

Robert Walter's 20th Congress
Robert Walter's 20th Congress
A founding member of the seminal groove band The Greyboy Allstars, organ, keyboard and synth sharp- shooter Robert Walter splits his time between his own 20th Congress, Greyboy, and a robust film soundtrack career in Los Angeles.
Initially formed as the backing band for rare groove luminary DJ Greyboy, The Greyboy Allstars quickly became a longterm project for Walter with a string of critically acclaimed albums, world tours. The band quickly became home to some of the most revered players on the modern music scene.
The Greyboy Allstars' success also served as a platform for the band's individual members to launch highly successful and substantially diverse solo careers. To flex his desire to compose in a way that was just outside of Greyboy's wheelhouse, Walter formed 20th Congress and recorded and toured heavily through the late '90s and '00s.

The band featured a rotating cast of players over the years including Stanton Moore, Joe Russo, Will Bernard, and Cochemea Gastelum. The current iteration of 20th Congress includes a new crew of brilliant improvisers and genre-bending virtuosos. Drummer Simon Lott (Kool Keith, Charlie Hunter) is a longtime collaborator who brings a refreshing unpredictability anchored in deep-rooted New Orleans rhythms. Bassist Victor Little (Billy Preston, Charlie Musselwhite) started sitting in with the band on a series of West Coast gigs and gradually became essential to the evolving sound. Guitarist Chris Alford (Cassandra Wilson, Mike Dillon) has worked extensively with Lott in New Orleans, bringing a baked-in chemistry that has mutated into the infectious sound of this incarnation of the 20th Congress.

He has been a fan of Science Fiction since he was a child and several of his fantastic notions have found their way on the latest release from Robert Walter’s 20th Congress entitled Spacesuit (available September 21); a collection of futuristic sounds, danceable songs, and inspirational musicianship.
Whereas previous 20th Congress albums found Walter delving deep into the wellspring of his most formative influences: hip-shaking vintage soul, window-rattling '60s-'70s funk, and the sounds of classic organ jazz, Walter switched his source of inspiration for this latest effort from digging through the crates to gazing speculatively skyward, imagining new worlds rather than emulating classic records. The results lose none of the explosive funk and soul grooves that Walter has become known for, but it takes those sounds into outer space, blending inspiration from science fiction movies, comic books and art with wide- ranging influences encompassing everything from Dub Reggae to Krautrock to early jazz-rock fusion.

A brilliant improviser with a gift for riveting hooks and unstoppable grooves, Walter set out to create songs that blur the line between the composed and the spontaneous; an album with a narrative arc that isn’t tethered to concrete ideas. He uses a full arsenal of keyboards, synths and electronics and draws together the varied aspects of his career, from his film soundtrack work with Michael Andrews to his free- ranging improvisational excursions with the likes of genre jugglers like Marco Benevento, Skerik and Mike Gordon.
Tezeta Band
Tezeta Band
Tezeta Band is the sound of nostalgia and sweaty soulful dance music. It is part jazz, part soul and part ancient Ethiopian melodies blended with the R & B music of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It comes from a period when the influential sounds of James Brown, Jackie Mittoo and John Coltrane melted together with Ethiopian tradition in the hot clubs and lounges of Addis Ababa.
Tezeta Band’s inspiration is the Golden Age of Ethiopian Dance Music that produced legendary Ethiopian musicians such as Tilahoun Gessesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Seyoum Gebreyes, Alemayehu Eshete, and Mulatu Astatke. These artists combined revolutionary sounds and ideas into a powerful Ethiopian soul sound.

Tezeta Band (pronounced tih-zeh-tah Band) consists of reunited members of Portland’s Original all live Hip-Hop crew The Five Fingers of Funk; Talbott Guthrie/drums, Ted Hille/ Saxophone, Tim Cook / Keyboards. Curt Bieker/Trombone & Josh Prewitt/ Trumpet, with the help of Brent Martens (From Asylum Street Spankers, Martens Combination, and Duo Royale), and Bassist John Teagle.

Since 2008, Tezeta Band has brought their high energy seven piece Ethio-Soul Revue to clubs across the Northwest, including Mississippi Studios, The White Eagle, the Doug Fir lounge, Goodfoot & The Secret Society. Tezeta Band has been honored to perform with and open for Ethiopian Music legend, Mahmoud Ahmed numerous times and have also shared the stage with the great Aster Aweke & Vieux Farke Toure. In 2013 Tezeta Band also played on the popular Public Radio Program Live Wire. Their music was also used in the award-winning independant film “Zemene” which is currently touring art-house cinemas.

Tezeta Band released a self-titled 5 song EP in 2010 and is currently looking to finish a full length LP by the end of the year. A few of their songs have also made their way onto local Jazz station KMHD and indy radio programs and podcasts throughout around the world. In 2011 Tezeta Band caught the ear of famed music archivist Francis Falceto and was included on the internationally released compilation Noise & Chill Out a record that also included tracks from Either/Orchestra and Kronos Quartet. Tezeta Band also appears on Trinkont Records’ compilation Beyond Addis appearing alongside Budos Band, Heliocentrics & Whitefield Brothers.