jBucho! returns Friday with its urban blend
Most bands don’t intentionally take the name of a bad guy. Just don’t tell that to Sacramento-based jBucho!, a group that chose the moniker of a gunslinger’s brother in the 1995 movie “Desperado.”
While the evil character was responsible for killing his brother’s wife, the group’s vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Gerald Pease admitted, !Bucho! members liked the sound of his name. Plus the musicians discovered “bucho” is slang in Cuban for a shot or a hit.
“Like at a bar, you can say ‘give me a bucho,'” Pease laughed. “We use it as a euphemism as being in your face, which is better than being a bad guy.”
Not that the band has to worry about being in the way of its audiences. jBucho! is a three-time consecutive Sacramento Area Music Award (SAMMIE) winner in the World Latin category.
jBucho! was also a surprise favorite at the California WorldFest this past July at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. After performing there, group members were surrounded by a swarm of new fans and area venue and radio station representatives, all eagerly asking when jBucho! would be back. (Answer: The group plays at Cooper’s this Friday.)
There are good reasons jBucho! sounds like a miniorchestra, together for many more years than its almost six-year existence – the band includes three trumpet players and all six founding members have been serious music students.
“I studied classical music at UC-Santa Cruz. Our trumpet player Justin Williams studied at Stanford and got a 4.0 in music and history. He was classical and jazz,” Pease said. “Our other trumpet player, Anthony Coleman the Second, studied at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton. Leon Moore, our trumpet player from Australia, studied jazz in high school and at City College in Sacramento. We have Josh Lippi on bass studying music at San Francisco State University and Derek Taylor (drums) is also there studying music – everything from Asian to jazz to classical.”
jBucho! members have coined their own term, “urban blend,” to describe their genre.
“We try to bring all our influences in,” Pease said. “Urban blend brings in the jazz club sounds, the blues club sounds, the Latin club sound, the rock club sound and the funk club sound.”
Pease, who at 36 is the oldest member (the others are in their early 20s), has played in Bay Area rock and jazz bands for 20 years. This band is unlike any other band he has been in, Pease pointed out.
“This band was started with a musical vision. We didn’t want to be rock, we wanted to be innovative with our music,” Pease explained. “We think of it hard. We don’t just get up and play chords, we think about the genre of the individual song. We think about the influence of the song as it takes shape and what direction it will take. We’re not writing a stream of pop songs or a stream of jazz songs.”
Gigs are lined up every few nights in Sacramento, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. The group also tours extensively throughout the West about every two months. Then there are the occasional opening gigs for national acts – for instance, jBucho! opened for Michelle Branch two years ago in Wisconsin and played with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the House of Blues in Las Vegas last year.
While Pease is already a full-time musician, the others have part-time jobs to pay the bills. According to Pease, the group members will be able to quit their other jobs within a year due to extensive touring.
That will make Pease extremely happy:
“We’re building a foundation, which is the only way to do music properly. When you take your time, it’s a very beautiful experience. We love each other; we’re a family. Everyone’s looking after each other.”
The group is anxious for Friday’s performance to come.
“One of jBucho!’s best experiences was in Nevada County. We want to give a lot of love Friday. Just as we surprised you guys, you guys surprised us with the love and the good, positive vibes,” Pease added.
KNOW AND GO:
WHAT: jBucho! in concert
WHEN: Friday from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
WHERE: Cooper’s, 235 Commercial St., Nevada City
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