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Turkuaz ready to give up the funk in Boca Raton

You will not find anyone who looks like George Clinton onstage at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton Tuesday night, but Brooklyn-based Turkuaz aims to make a few things abundantly clear: They need the funk. They’ve gotta have that funk. And do not be surprised if they tear the roof off the sucker.

“It gets sweaty. It’s definitely a high-energy show,” guitarist Craig Brodhead says of a typical concert from the nine-piece funk band.

Brodhead was speaking by phone from New Orleans, where a string of shows over the weekend during the city’s famous jazz festival culminated in a 5 a.m. performance at the Howlin’ Wolf in the Big Easy's Warehouse District.

The band is on the road in a 15-passenger van in support of “Future 86,” an album of sassy, rump-shaking originals that is the third Turkuaz album since just last November. The band has also released “A Live Affair,” a download-only concert album, and “Covers Vol. 1,” featuring their versions of funk favorites.

While there is a commercial imperative to folding new music from “Future 86” into Tuesday’s Boca Raton show, the concert is likely to lean heavily on the music that made Turkuaz founders Dave Brandwein (vocalist) and Taylor Shell (bassist) fall in love with funk as students at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. It’s on the classics from James Brown, George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic and Sly Stone that Turkuaz (named for a deli across the street from the founders’ home in Allston, Mass.) can show off their funk bona fides.

While Brodhead, who studied guitar, composition and production at Berklee, can parse the particulars of what makes authentic funk what it is (“technically, the beat is on the one, really strong on the first beat of the measure, whereas in a lot of blues and jazz, you feel it on the two or the four”), in the end, it’s a mindset.

“Funk is mostly about attitude, having that primal rawness,” says Brodhead, who counts Jimi Hendrix, Trey Anastasio, John Scofield and Dopapod’s Rob Compa as influences and can be distinguished onstage by his beloved Les Paul Sunburst guitar.

Such is the band’s encyclopedic knowledge of funk and its brethren that some Turkuaz concerts have featured albums played in their entirety, including recent shows devoted to Joe Cocker’s classic “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” and Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense.”

Don’t be surprised if Tuesday’s show includes a dose of Sly Stone. Turkuaz is currently planning a performance at the Catskill Chill Music Festival in September based on Sly and the Family Stone’s 1973 album “Fresh.”

“That’s a huge album for us. We love that record,” Brodhead says.

Turkuaz will perform 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Funky Biscuit, 303 SE Mizner Blvd., in Boca Raton. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-395-2929 or go to

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