Ben Senterfit Heads Home For Series Of Colorado Shows, Entourage In Tow

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:: Ben Senterfit ::
:: The Oriental Theater :: June 5 ::
:: Swallow Hill :: June 6 ::
:: Mountain Sun :: June 8 ::

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By Chibo Acevedo

Long time Denver resident and recent New York transplant, Ben Senterfit is coming home to the Mile High City, and he’s bringing an entourage with him.

Senterfit will be playing several Front Range shows with a host of musicians from his former home town as well as some from his new hometown, and a few others from various locales who will be meeting up with Senterfit in Colorado. In tow are David Petry, Kurt Reber, Jessica Rogalski, JT Nolan, Clay Kirkland, and special guest Zack Freeman, who will be coming up from Albuquerque.

In the early 1990s Senterfit helped to form the hard edged funk act Chitlin with compatriot Javier Gonzalez, before touring nationally with funk-rock band Zuba. In 1996 he began performing improvisational sessions with DJ Timbuk and other musicians, which would later prove to be the building blocks of The United Dope Front. Since the early 1990s, Senterfit has recorded and released seven full-length albums and has been a session musician on over a dozen other recordings. He has performed in New York City with the legendary Persuasions, at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Sam Bush & Bela Fleck, with The Cleo Parker Robinson dance troupe, and has opened for such acts as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Maceo Parker, Spearhead, and Medeski, Martin and Wood. In 2000 he released a debut solo effort called Soulwave, which includes many of the musicians found within the CueZone Records Collective.

The CueZone Records Collective was born in 2001 when Senterfit came together with Jarad Astin as two seasoned musicians who shared a common goal of setting new standards in the music industry. As an artist-run label, their goal has been to integrate a mutual love of music with the deep catalog of musicians they have developed through years of performing and recording.

Astin and Senterfit developed two sides of the company, a manufacturing wing, and a more traditional record label, which has released over fifteen recordings since 2001. Through years of touring and recording, Astin and Senterfit have developed a team of musicians, studio engineers, and industry connections in Colorado and the New York region.

But, while Senterfit wears a business hat, his main role is still being a musician. The saxophone player, who also plays guitar and is a strong vocalist, was raised on the good stuff. Having a father who was a musician, he was exposed to many genres, but really took to soul music. He started playing saxophone in the fourth grade even though he had considered the French horn, because his father didn’t think the French horn as good an outlet for jazz expression.

“My father is a drummer and jazz lover, so I listened to a lot of Coltrane and Sarah Vaughn,” Senterfit said in a recent interview with The Marquee. “I also heard a lot of the outlaw country musicians like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. I think this helped bridge the gap between different styles and helped me realize that these styles had a lot more in common than people would have you believe. My father loved Otis Redding more than probably anyone, but I also grew up listening to everything from Louis Prima to Mozart. Probably as a vocalist and a songwriter I am most influenced by old soul recordings and, in particular Curtis Mayfield, though I enjoy pulling a listener’s ear in different directions than they are used to hearing.”

This year, Senterfit is releasing his second solo effort, Liberty, a mix of modern lyrical content and looped beats with a more traditional 1960s vibe. Liberty is due out this summer, and additionally, Senterfit is finishing up another CueZone release called The Dirty Boogaloo with CueZone co-owner Jarad Astin. “The new Dirty Boogaloo release is a collection of prohibition era dirty blues and reefer songs set into a late 1960s Boogaloo Big Band vibe. It’s a great sound and we are playing some great gigs in The City these days, complete with go-go dancers and drag queens. I’m having a ball,” he said.

In addition to being a student of music, Senterfit is also a teacher. At the age of 24 he began teaching saxophone and guitar lessons and took a job at New Vista High school teaching two jazz ensembles. By the end of the 1990s, with a flourishing private practice and three years of high school teaching experience behind him, Senterfit moved from Boulder to Denver. In 2002 he started working at The Swallow Hill Music Association, teaching group classes on guitar and voice.

:: Ben Senterfit ::
:: The Oriental Theater :: June 5 ::
::Swallow Hill :: June 6 ::
:: Mountain Sun :: June 8 ::

Recommended If You Like:
• Curtis Mayfield
• United Dope Front
• Maceo Parker
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