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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Turtle House to swing easy with jazz

Jazz music to be featured at upcoming house show

It’s Saturday evening, Feb. 28, 2015. You’ve parked your bike at 217 2nd Street, and you walk past the garden beds, picnic tables, homey-porch and balcony donning a decorative and historic turtle shell. You hear those familiar jazzy beats that you came for resonating deep within the house and you follow your feet to the left, hungry for those groovy feels. You find yourself in the roomy basement, filled with smiles, hors d’oeuvres and good vibes. With your belly full of beverages, your shoulders start swaying, as you realize without a doubt that is the place for your Saturday evening.

Davis’ own “Turtle House” is proudly hosting a live jazz night this weekend. Featuring tunes by Deep Mushroom, Liz David and Friends, F Street Stompers, GRIFFITH and Dank Ocean.

The first three bands are going to be playing in the basement of the Turtle House and will move outside onto the porch later in the evening for GRIFFITH and Dank Ocean.

Fourth-year NPB major and one of the hosts of the event, Akshay Prabhu, describes Liz David and Friends to be a “trio that plays your typical standard jazz,” and the F Street Stompers as a more “ragtime blues-y band; they’re not quite jazz but they’re the same era – they’ve got a washboard and a banjo and an upright bass.”

“The second two bands are really high energy and very fun… we’re moving outside to make room for more people and to facilitate more dancing,” fourth-year plant bio major and another host of the event, Sam Reisman, said. “GRIFFITH is a seven-piece jazz combo through the jazz department, and they play a lot of standards that have been rewritten to amp up the tempo and include seven or eight people. They swing really, really hard.”

Scott Dunbar, UC Davis graduate and bassist of Dank Ocean, said that their sound is a “more contemporary, jazz-influenced sound with Latin fusion and a wide range of instruments.” Dunbar said he is is very excited about this show because not only is it a return to the first venue they ever played at, but it’s going to be the first show they have played since they have actually recorded (which he added will be available for purchase soon).

“[Because of all our practice for recording] we’re playing better than we’ve ever played before […] and there’s no where better to bring that [sound] to than the good people of the Turtle House,” Dunbar said.

What is it, though, that is so great about seeing a show at the Turtle House? According to Reisman , the residents at the Turtle House love hosting shows for many reasons.

“[They have got] the venue for it — the basement and the front yard — [they’ve got] a landlord that is supportive of it as long as they’re responsible and considerate of their neighbors and the Turtle House actually has a long history of being involved in the Davis music scene,” Reisman said.

Besides just being a jazz-fan that wanted to bring some funky magic to the close-knit town of Davis, Prabhu’s inspiration for this event came from wanting to strengthen the community through fun and memorable events.

“Everyone comes together on that day and sets up and decorates and everything; it’s a really great bonding experience,” Prabhu said.

Prabhu and Reisman both expressed a particular fondness of house-show culture, because of the intimate and relaxed environment it fosters.

“It’s so fun to actually get to hang out with the artist that you just enjoyed and [also] meet artists that aren’t super popular; and you can let them crash on your couch afterwards,” Prabhu said.

According to Prabhu and Reisman, if you come out on Saturday, you’re in for great music, great vibes and great food. Even if you don’t know anyone at the show, Dunbar believes you will not want to miss out.

“There’s good people living there; everyone’s very welcoming and open,” Dunbar said.

If you plan on attending, the hosts ask that you please come to the early parts of the show at 4:30 p.m. to see the first musicians and to please leave by 9 p.m. in order to respect their neighbors. More information on the event can be found on their Facebook event page. Swing ya later.



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