Meet the Alcapones

The vivacious band redefines performing ska reggae music

Tom+Buswell+playing+the+trombone.

Journey Diller

Tom Buswell playing the trombone.

Bob Marley made a name to reggae music in the ’70’s and inspired musicians to pursue music with syncopated rhythms. Colorado local ska reggae band, The Alcapones, consists of Jake Edelstein on the drums, Tom Buswell on the trombone, Jayma Superlove on the tenor saxophone, Shaun Garin on the guitar, Sam Goering on the alto saxophone, and Clay Bedell on the upright bass. Every member comes from a different background and has different lifestyles, all of which contribute to the bold dynamic and invigorating aura of the band.

Beginning three years ago, The Alcapones have performed in a variety of locations including weddings, radio stations and festivals. Their shared love of performing contributes to their reliability when it comes to showing up and playing. No matter where the band is performing, each member undertakes in their own unique way of amping up before the show. To vivify themselves, Edelstein and Bedell may go for a smoke or a drink. Buswell and Goering liberally drinks while Garin calms down and rejuvenates his chi by mediating.  And Superlove is the definition of a rockstar. She will show up five minutes before a show and perform like no other.

Although the members have diverse pre-show rituals, the connection in the band is strong enough to withstand the spontaneity while performing. The Alcapones rarely have a structured set list of their music, however it does not deter the success of a show. When on stage, the members know their songs well enough that a mere glance at one another can determine the next song. Their synchronization has reached the point that the improvised performances leave the crowd in awe and talking about the show. Most of their songs are instrumental reggae and give a contagious, positive vibe to others. The band aims its music to spread happiness and love to the listeners.

“The best part [of performing] for me is getting people to dance and seeing people have a good night. If I’m playing really hard, and people are having a good time on the floor, I’m like ‘yes, that’s what makes me happy,'” said Edelstein.

Despite the spontaneity of the performances, The Alcapones are professional performers. Some of their gigs have had open bars and free-spirited substances that have tempted the members, but the band does not lose control like the crowds do. Last weekend, they performed at the Tribal Visions Festival outside of Taos, New Mexico. Tribal Visions Festival is one of the most famous “hippie” festivals in the country, and most of the crowd was smoking marijuana, day drinking, and being a free-spirited hippie. With the immense exposure to such substances, The Alcapones stayed professional for the sake of the gig. The band has found and mastered the balance between being professional and having a good time.

The natural high the members receive from performing fuels their continuous desire of being a musician. The Alcapones hopes their band becomes nationally known, however their popularity is not a top priority. The members will continue to perform for the love of playing music for others no matter how famous the band may become. This local band is known in the Midwest due to the relatively consistent gigs and the spread of mouth. All of the band members have contributed to booking gigs, and because of it, the band has on average one show each week. The size of the crowds have varied from fifty to thousands of people. Large or small crowd, the band will perform its dedicated heart out.

This band redefines and adds to the stereotype of ska reggae performers. While mainstream ska performers have structured set lists, The Alcapones goes with what feels right. When other reggae artists also play other genres of music, The Alcapones stays loyal to the reggae style. Although ska reggae is known for social protest, The Alcapones stay on lighter topics and succeed at unfurling love and happiness.

“[We strive to] make a memorable time for people – spread happiness,” said Buswell.

 

To find out more and listen to the positive vibes from the band, visit their Facebook page, BandCamp, SoundCloud, or website.