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Eufórquestra returns to IC

BY JORDAN MONTGOMERY | SEPTEMBER 01, 2011 7:20 AM

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Stopping in Iowa City whenever possible is essential to Eufórquestra, because the town is the band’s birthplace.

“It’s always like a big reunion,” percussionist Matt Grundstad said. “We have a lot of friends and family in Iowa City, we have a lot of fans who have supported us — it’s always a good time to come back and see everybody.”

The band will play a show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Admission is $10. The group will also perform in the Friday Night Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. on the Pedestrian Mall fountain stage for free.

Eufórquestra, a seven-man group, creates a fusion of Afrobeat, reggae, dub, funk, rock, soca, and highlife with drums, percussion, bass, keyboard, guitar, and two saxophones, employing sounds from the Caribbean, South America, West Africa, and more.

Grundstad said the members were active in the Iowa City live-music scene during college and created Eufórquestra in the late-90s. They were playing in different bands, but after meeting at jam sessions, they decided to form a group.

Now based in Colorado, Eufórquestra averages 120 shows per year. The members are influenced by countless artists from all over the world, Grundstad said.

The band has played with such artists as Page McConnell of Phish and Kyle Hollingsworth of the String Cheese Incident.

“We always get some good advice from guys like that; it’s always cool to hang out with people who have done the things that we aspire to do,” Grundstad said. “Someone like Page McConnell, if he’s having fun playing our songs, then that’s a pretty big compliment.”

When Eufórquestra is not touring, it can be found in the studio mixing tracks for its albums. Its latest effort, Soup, can be downloaded for free from the band’s website, www.euforquestra.com.

The band might release a live album with tracks from shows in Iowa and Colorado, Grundstad said, and it should be available soon.

Despite their relentless tour schedule and work in the studio, the Eufórquestra members have their fans in mind, Grundstad said.

“[We’re] revamping our songs and trying them out different ways based on how the crowd reacts,” he said. “That’s how we decide how the songs are going to go. If people like certain things, then we keep it, and if they don’t, we’ll try something else and put a slightly different spin on the tune. Our whole goal is just to make people dance. We play a lot of different genres, but it’s all really danceable music. That’s how we judge whether or not we’ve done our job: If the crowd dances, then we’re doing our job.”


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