The River Run Rocks concert series comes to River Run Village in Keystone on Saturday, featuring music from Buckner Funken Jazz, Jakarta and The Nacho Men.
Buckner Funken Jazz
The afternoon of music starts at 1 p.m. with Buckner Funken Jazz, a blues-inspired, jazz-funk combo from Denver.
“The band started out at the beginning as a blues and jazz band, predominantly blues, and then we slowly changed it to funk because of monetary things,” said Rod “Buckylove” Buckner, band leader and trumpet player. “We make a little bit more money doing the funk and the jazz, so we’re doing the jazz and we mix the jazz inside of our music.”
Buckner said the band can rock a James Brown tune and throw jazz into the middle of it, mixing the two genres into a foot-stomping blend of grooves.
“We’ve been around for about 13 to 14 years, and we’re keeping it real,” he said. “Most of the guys in the band have lived through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, so we are truly an original funk band; we play it like it is.”
The band has a wide following of people of all ages because it’s easy to relate to the music of that era, Buckner said.
“We were talking about it just the other day,” he said. “The lyrics that are in the ’60s and ’70s said something — they really said something — and they put the music to it. Today, music is not saying too much to too many people; it’s just not there.”
The words of the likes of Odis Redding, Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes ring through when Buckner Funken Jazz covers the classics and also inspire the band’s original music.
“That’s what keeps me keeping on and putting this music out because people want to hear our music,” Buckner said, adding that the band gets a good reaction from audiences in the High Country.
“What we’re going to do is what we do, which is have a good time, have people enjoy themselves,” he said. “If they like to dance, we get them to boogieing; that’s what we do and we enjoy what we do.”
Following Buckylove and his band on the stage, and keeping the boogie beat moving, is another Denver act, old-school funk and R&B favorite Jakarta. Isaac Points, front man and bassist for Jakarta, said the band plays a mixture of everything.
“We’re primarily a funky dance band,” he said. “But we play all of it; we even throw in some salsa from time to time.”
Jakarta has played some pretty big events in the past year, including Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Democratic National Convention last September in Charlotte, helping it earn a spot as one of the top party bands in the state of Colorado.
Points has been playing music since he could crawl, training as a classical trumpet player from the time he picked it up in fourth grade and then moving on to the electric bass in junior high.
“I like doing the old school, some of the newer stuff — I just kind of have a feel for what people love to move and dance to,” Points said. “We read the crowd and see what they like; it’s always been that way. It’s one thing to play something you really like to play, if you really like playing it, and to see people really moving and grooving to it, that’s the icing on the cake.”
Jakarta has a sound that sticks out from a lot of other bands — “we have the horn section that adds the spice to it, you know” — Points said. He added that he loves the Summit County area and returning to play in the mountains.
“I have a lot of roots there,” he said. “My big brother had a house up in east Dillon back when nobody did back in the ’60s, so that’s always like a close retreat for me to Denver. … There’s always a great, warm response when we go up there. People appreciate good music up there.”
The Nacho Men
Closing out the music at Keystone will be The Nacho Men, a band that has rocked audiences for more than three decades with music ranging from street-corner a capella to swing and disco.
Nacho Men shows incorporate dance music, costume changes, choreography and humor, and the six-piece has played events ranging from weddings and corporate events to opening for Little Richard, The Temptations and The Doobie Brothers.
For more information on River Run Rocks, visit www.keystoneresort.com.