The mighty funk universe that is Karl Denson rolls into the valley yet again, delivering more of the booty-shaking groove we crave. He’s no stranger to Telluride, and we’re proud to have Uncle Karl headlining for Telluride Jazz Festival.

Karl’s stratospheric rise to the top of the funk heap began with his fruitful work with Lenny Kravitz. Two albums and a tour later, Kravitz changed up his sound, leaving KD to his own musical imagination. He co-founded The Greyboy All-Stars, a superb group that defined the acid jazz movement of the early aughts. After the All-Stars went their separate ways, Karl Denson launched Tiny Universe, a band that stood what funk could be on its head. Front and center, Karl D stands, blowing sax and flute, singing, and inciting dance floor get-downs. Styled after the work of James Brown, Maceo Parker and Parliament-Funkadelic, KDTU ups the ante with rich jazz improvisations and the endless groove that has made him a favorite among jam band fans.

His recording output is prodigious, and in addition to Lenny Kravitz, he’s worked with such acts as Slightly Stoopid, and is a fixture on sax with the Rolling Stones. We suspect he’s in the running for “hardest-working man in show business,” as his touring life is constant.

What we love best about Karl D is his willingness to share his talents with local music students. In between gigs in Telluride in February, he visited Telluride High School where, according to THS music teacher, Tuck Gillett, he taught a funk master class.

Master class, indeed. That’s Karl Denson.


Saturday, August 4th at 8:00 pm (Main Stage)