Portland’s Commotion is a live experience that you do not want to miss! Drawing from funk and afrobeat rhythms, they bring a non-stop dance party from start to finish. Their original music has been described as “orchestral funk” and they enjoy performing live arrangements and “mash-ups” of songs by their favorite artists. Having presented such high concept shows as Live Band vs. Ohmega Watts (band vs. DJ) and an Afrobeat Tribute to Michael Jackson, the band is well versed in dance music and draws from these styles and other rhythms from around the globe.
Led by keyboardist and composer, Ben Darwish, Commotion features a 10-piece band including a full horn section and special guest vocalists. Recent vocalists have been Jans Ingber (Motet), Reva DeVito, Toni Hill, and Aniana Hough (Philly’s Phunkestra). Members of the band have also performed with Curtis Salgado, Diane Schuur, Rubberneck, Marv Ellis, and March Fourth Marching Band to name a few.
Recently, top northwest clubs have counted on Commotion to start the party and keep it strong! They continually sell out their Afrobeat Tribute To Michael Jackson, combining the music of MJ and Fela Kuti, and their original music is equally as in demand. Keep an eye out for Commotion shows because live is where they thrive!
“[ORCHESTRAL FUNK] Whether reimagining Michael Jackson through the ears of Fela Kuti or exploding with any number of local jazz projects, Portland keymaster and composer Ben Darwish is a musical sponge, and he soaks up funk like a steroidal Brawny sheet. With Commotion—Darwish’s long-standing project with guitarist Dan Duval, bassman Sam Howard, drummer Russ Kleiner and an on-call army of guest players—Darwish proudly flaunts his debt to Kuti, Herbie Hancock, 1970s orchestral funk masters and damn near every funk master of the past 40 years. The world-beat and hip-hop-infused compositions are, by nature, repetitive. But anyone impressed by skilled musicians holding down a groove and letting the horns do the talking would be hard pressed to find a better live dance party.” – Willamette Week
“…they know how to have a good time live and want to help you do the same. Do yourself a favor and let them entertain you!” -Eugene Weekly
“Combining two styles of music that share an entirely danceable beat (for example, a three-person percussion section) Ben Darwish and the folks of COMMOTION kept the majority of the audience in motion from start to finish, a feat that has rarely happened at any tractor [tavern] show.”
Listen to some tracks from our album or visit the albums page for more info, tracks and links for purchasing.