New Orleans musicians head to Dillon |

New Orleans musicians head to Dillon

Junko Beat will play Lake Dillon Tavern on Saturday, May 28 at 9 p.m.
Special to the Daily |


What: Junko Beat

When: Saturday, May 28; 9 p.m.

Where: Lake Dillon Tavern, 119 La Bonte St., Dillon

More information: (970) 468-2006

New Orleans musician Chris Lacinak has been frequenting Colorado on tours for more than a decade, even living in Nederland and Boulder for a stint after Hurricane Katrina. Growing up in a musically rich environment such as New Orleans, he remembers his start on little plastic organs at the age of 3, switching to the pots and pans at 7. After getting his first drum set at age 12 or 13, playing music was ingrained in his soul. He began playing gigs around New Orleans at 16, and spent several years on Bourbon Street, performing everything from country western to funk.

In the ’90s, Lacinak spent 10 years playing and teaching in New York before coming back to New Orleans. After Katrina, he moved to Colorado for a stint, back to New York and spent a little time in L.A., before moving home a few years ago.

The drummer has played with artist such as Henry Butler, Tab Benoit’s Voice of the Wetlands, Papa Mali, Eric Lindel, Vince Herman and others. The musician is now focusing on Junko Beat, his newest project.

Junko Beat recently released their first record, “Jamkronic,” and have been touring in support of it. The record has a collection of different musicians on it.

“Junko Beat is kind of an open door in a sense, people come and play and I have a couple of bass players that I work with,” he said.

With Junko Beat, he is able to use an electronic drum sample pad that enables him to bring parts of a studio live onstage with him, using it to play pre-recorded keyboard parts while drumming.

The group consists of Lacinak, Seguenon Kone, who is from the Ivory Coast of Africa, on djembe and percussion, Will Snowden on cello, Jon “Blackdog” Rodnell, of Eldora, on guitar, and Hunter Roberts, of Denver, on bass. Junko Beat will play Saturday, May 28 at Lake Dillon Tavern at 9 p.m.

Before their show in Dillon, Lacinak caught up with the Summit Daily News in between sets of a gig at the French Market Café in New Orleans.

Summit Daily News: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Chris Lacinak: It’s funky New Orleans with some world eclecticism, jamtronic.

SDN: So do you find inspiration in any of the jamtronic bands?

CL: Not really, I’m a veteran, I’ve heard a lot of music in my life … I actually like some classical, so there is a bit of influences of that. We actually do a version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony funky. … With the cello, it makes it easy to do those types of melodies to that style. We like to keep it funky. I like to think that if you were out in the woods or something, and you heard some crazy groove drumming going on in the distance, and wondering what is that, that would be us.

SDN: There is so much music happening in New Orleans, what do you feel like your role is there?

CL: It’s been quite a change since Katrina. New Orleans has kind of become almost like New York City as far as the music community goes. It used to be where … the music community, we were all like a big family in a sense. It was kind of encapsulated. We didn’t get a whole lot of folks moving here, some, but not like after Katrina, and so now we have a huge influx of music. … A lot of the music is catered to the tourist — brass bands, Dixieland jazz, blues or top 40. What we do, Junko Beat, I don’t think it’s quite commercial enough for some of the venues down here. Colorado is much more receptive in a way. It’s just that a lot of the club owners, they want to make money, and they have their formula figured out that they want to have the music they want. In my feelings, it’s basically the exploitation of your local music. How do I fit into that? I moved into the woods, and I have my studio set up there, and for the last two years I’ve worked on this record, finished this record, and really trying to be creative and write. Keep the band together.

SDN: Do you feel you have an agenda with your lyrics at all?

CL: A lot of it is instrumental music, given the jamtronic genre, I like to write some political views, or human views of what’s going on. Not really a lot of love songs. Wrote some stuff about Katrina like everyone else. Our lyrics are taken, a lot of them, from things people said, I try and put them into the music.

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