Gumbo le Funque to perform at Cajun Crawfish Boil in Breckenridge |

Gumbo le Funque to perform at Cajun Crawfish Boil in Breckenridge

Summit Daily staff report

Denver's only New Orleans-inspired funk band comes to Breckenridge on Friday, June 5, to infuse the National Repertory Orchestra's second-annual Cajun Crawfish Boil with the music of the Bayou. Established in 2011, Gumbo le Funque is a Colorado band influenced by the entire tradition of the second line and traditional jazz, as well as the power funk that oozes forth from New Orleans.

The band's five core members represent a wide variety of musical styles. Bandleader Jason Justice is a saxophone player, educator and arts activist from Denver. He co-founded and managed an educational jazz festival at Denver's Metro State College and brings his skills as a saxophonist and vocalist to Gumbo le Funque's performances.

Guitarist Chris Anton, bassist Chris Harris and drummer Chris Beers have performance experience in styles ranging from blues, soul and jazz to rock, reggae and salsa. Manager and backup vocalist Andrea Merida is a classically-trained vocalist whose performance history includes challenging operatic roles.

In a 2014 review of the band's first release, Marquee magazine's Brian F. Johnson wrote, "From the super horn-heavy openers 'Funquey Gumbo' to the sultry soprano sax on 'Riff With It' to the melodic, vocally driven 'Make It Grow,' Gumbo lays down a party soundtrack that is well-played, intoxicating in spirit and sounds like something that could be spilling out the doors of Tipitina's on a muggy summer night."

Gumbo's first two studio recordings, "Funky-Dangerous Party Music," volumes 1 and 2, were released in August and December 2014, respectively, and are now available online at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play and Bandcamp. A new release titled "Partygras" is now available during all live shows. This CD is a compilation of live, in-studio performances recorded at KUVO 89.3 FM in Denver during 2014 and 2015.

The Cajun Crawfish Boil will benefit Breckenridge's National Repertory Orchestra, which kicks off its 56th annual season on Saturday, June 13. The event will take place at the Mountain HOPE Foundation Barn in Breckenridge, with festivities beginning at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $30 and include Bayou-style food from The Lost Cajun restaurant, along with drinks and tastings provided by other favorite local institutions. The evening will also feature a silent auction, with items including Vail Resort season passes and tickets to Disneyland.

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For tickets and more information, call (970) 453-5825 or visit

If you go

What: Cajun Crawfish Boil with Gumbo le Funque, a fundraiser for the National Repertory Orchestra

When: 6 p.m. Friday, June 5

Where: Mountain HOPE Foundation Barn, 86 Gold Hill Road, Breckenridge

Cost: $30 in advance or $40 at the door (includes food)

More information: Call (970) 453-5825, or visit