Orcas Horns to offer New Year’s dance party

It’s hard to keep those toes from tapping when Orcas Horns starts playing its unique style of jazz funk.

“We play good, clean, funky stuff. You can’t sit still,” according baritone saxophone player Gregory Books.

The group will perform at Odd Fellows on New Year’s eve from 10 to 1 p.m. The all-ages dance will feature songs from the ’60s and ’70s.

This will be the band’s second concert since its official formation this summer. Orcas Horns was the warm-up group for the Halloween dance at Odd Fellows, but ended up playing the whole night after the other band pulled out.

“People were bowled over to hear such a powerful, horn-based dance band,” Books said.

The musicians have been playing off and on for several years, but came together at the most recent One World concert. They named themselves the Orcas Horns, but feature “the greatest rhythm section in the universe,” Books says.

Trumpet player Steve Alboucq is the band leader and does all the arranging.

“What he can do is astounding,” Books said. “He has a huge library of music on his computer and he is able to write out the parts for each us. We can learn three or four songs a night. He is an excellent band leader, Zen-like: able to lead without leading.”

Other members include keyboard player Martin Lund, Al Bentley on tenor sax, Emily Miner on alto sax, Dimitri Stankevich on tuba and trombone, bass player Bruce Russell, drummer Tony Morales, and vocalist Gene Nery. Miner is a student of jazz legend Willie Thomas, who also occasionally plays with the group.

At the New Year’s dance, the band will perform classics by Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Tower of Power, the Commodores, and more. Orcas Horns has hired two professional musicians from Seattle for the gig: keyboardist Chris Morton and drummer Brian Kirk.

Tickets are $12 in advance at Darvill’s or $15 at the door. Space is limited, so the band recommends that concert goers should get their tickets early.