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United Dope Front
Integrating the traditional idioms of jazz and funk with the more recent developments in the hip-hop and electronic dance worlds, the Dope Front generates a sound all their own—the members are such skillful and unselfish rhythmatists that the instrumental source of their undeniable beats can rarely be pinned down. Their sound is rooted in the ferocious drumming of Damien Hines and the hyperkinetic scratches and cuts of DJ Timbuk, all built on the indestructible foundation laid down by bassist Kurt Reber. Longtime musical compatriots Ben Senterfit and Javier Gonzalez seamlessly meld melodies and harmonies between saxophone and guitar while Jarad Astin provides textures and ripping solos on the Hammond B-3 and keyboards.
Live, the Front drenches their audiences in sound, melting one song into the next…launching into trippy improvisational flights…then coalescing out of nowhere into one of their signature themes. In a market saturated by funk music the Dope Front toes the line between ambient club sounds and the power of a live band experience.
Constant Elevation, the bands acclaimed second studio recording, has become an underground success, earning consistent rotation on KUVO, Denver’s respected Jazz station. The Dope Front have performed at the 2001 LODO Music Festival and opened for such acts as Spearhead, Roy Ayers, Original Parliament, Galactic, Jimmy McGriff & Hank Crawford, Deep Banana Blackout, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Currently The Dope Front is preparing to record a follow up to Constant Elevation in the spring of 2002. This hard working collective continues to grow, evolve, and redefine groove music. So open your ears and check this Dope out.
Jarad is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (1998), where he studied closely with Edward Simon (now the pianist for Terence Blanchard's group), and organist Trudy Pitts. His first project since moving to the Denver/ Boulder was the Workshop, an organ trio that included locals Tony Black (drums), and Jon Zangrando (saxes), for which a full-length record was produced. He then went on to form the Roots Jazz Element, a seven-piece group dedicated to composers. RJE has since formed the Colorado Jazz Composer's workshop, a weekly "performance" of works by local Jazz Composers held in Boulder, CO. Much in the tradition of the Jazz Composer's Workshop led by the late Charles Mingus, these shows are an open forum for Jazz composition and discussion, usually involving a weekly premier. Along with the CJCW, RJE has also recorded 2 full length albums, featuring all works written by its members.
Astin joined the United Dope Front in April of 2001, and is the proprietor of Modern Vintage Studios in Nederland, Colorado (home of the late-famed Caribou Studios of the 60's and 70's), where the RJE and Heavy G. albums were tracked and mixed. As well as his work in local clubs, Astin also has worked in the Liturgical music scene for three years, as an organist and music director.
Born in San Juan, Argentina Javier's family moved to the United States in 1971. As the son of a modern classical composer music has always been a large part of his life. The Greenhorns, Javier's first band was primarily a blues band. He has played in several groups since including Chitlin, the Narx (which included first collaborations with DJ Timbuk), and the Flowering. In 2000, Javier recieved his M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University. He has played with the late organ legend Big John Patton, who was a close friend and topic of his masters thesis. As a founding member of UDF, Javier incorporates his many influences which include: Melvin Sparks, Leo Nocentelli of the Meters, James "Blood" Ulmer, John Patton, Lonnie Smith.
Dameion Lee Hines started playing drums at the age of 16. He first received his instruction at Gateway high school. At Gateway, Dameion participated in marching band, a jazz band, and symphonic band. He later when on to march with the Blue Nights Drum and Bugle Corps in '94. Dameion went to college at the University of Southwestern Louisiana state to study a music media degree. Dameion is a full-time certified massage therapist and has been practicing massage for over two years. Dameion has played with a number of local bands and has sat in with some national acts like Ozomatli, the Derek Trucks band, All That, Sex Mob, and many others. Dameion plays drums for United Dope Front, Heavy G. and the Boogaloo Communicators and the Future Jazz Project. Dameion's mission is to make you dance like a crazy person and feel the funk.
Kurt Reber - bass
(No Current Bio Available)
Saxophonist/Guitarist/vocalist Ben Senterfit first tasted success with the a cappella group The Wayfarers in the late 1980's. He had an opportunity to perform in NYC with The legendary Persuasions, at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Sam Bush, & Bela Fleck, and with the Cleo Parker Robinson dance troupe. In the early 1990’s Ben helped to form hard edged funk act Chitlin with compatriot Javier Gonzalez before touring nationally with funk-rock band Zuba for a year and a half. In 1996 he began performing improvisational sessions with DJ Timbuk and fellow musicians which would later prove to be the building blocks of The United Dope Front. Throughout the 1990’s Ben has been involved in six full length releases and performed with or opened for such acts as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Maceo Parker, and Medeski , Martin and Wood. Most recently he Finished a solo effort of original material called 'Soulwave' which includes many of the musicians found within the United Dope Front Collective. Ben is currently a performance student at Lamont School of Music in Denver and an active member of United Dope Front and The Boogaloo Communicators.
DJ Timbuk’s family moved to the United States from Bahia Brasil before he was born, but it’s strong musical heritage still courses through his fingers. In 1996, Timbuk put together the Three Count Jazz sessions at the now defunct Blue Room in Denver. Along with Ben Senterfit, William Yale, Javier Gonzalez, and other regional musicians he began experimenting with improvisational DJ based music long before it became a staple in ‘Acid Jazz’ bands. Spinning Broken Beat, New Jazz, Two Step, Down Tempo and other progressive styles along with classic Afro Beats create a style unlike any other DJ. He seamlessly matches sharp technical skills with a sensitivity rarely found today to create an solid foundation of sound.
DJ Timbuk is currently spinning at hotspots in Denver and Boulder and a feature member of The United Dope Front. He has spun along side DJ’s such as King Britt and DJ Greyboy. His musicality and versatility on the turntables ranks him among the most talented DJ’s spinning today.
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