Dumpstaphunk brings 'Dirty Word' to town

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

Let's be honest -- funk lovers are a finicky bunch, especially when it comes to any band associated with the Neville name, the first family of New Orleans' funk.

So it was something of a pleasant surprise to many that Nikki Glaspie slipped behind the kit of Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk about 18 months ago, when founding member Raymond Weber left, and she got right into the groove. Anyone who checks out YouTube, Flickr or social media sites will see post after post praising the drummer extraordinaire, who first came to the band as a fan.

"The first time I actually saw Dumpstaphunk, oh my God, it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life," Glaspie said. "I am a bass fan, so when I saw them the first time and saw what they did, well, it was unlike anything [I'd] ever heard."

Even though Glaspie was a child prodigy who graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, the band's double-bass musical firepower was astonishing. Since Dumpstaphunk started about a decade ago, bass players Nick Daniels and Tony Hall have helped boost the band to the top of jam band favorites. The band's latest album, "Dirty Word," will be released this year.

Onstage
Dumpstaphunk
» Where: The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW
» When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
» Info: $27.50 in advance, $29.50 day of show; 202-787-1000; thehamiltondc.com

Ivan Neville and his cousin, guitarist Ian Neville, sons of the much-renowned Aaron and Art Neville, respectively, and the other players originally considered Dumpstaphunk a side project. Since forming about a decade ago to play in the 2003 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the band has grown into one of New Orleans' most formidable modern funk ensembles.

When Weber left Dumpstaphunk and the band reached out to Glaspie, she didn't think twice about leaving her slot as a drummer for Beyonce to join the funk band. Although she speaks highly of Beyonce and the other band members, she was ready to leave the somewhat-theatrical, highly stylized shows for the funky New Orleans' group.

"I guess after a while I felt like a machine," said Glaspie, likening the drumming necessitated by a theatrical arena show to something akin to the routine of an assembly line. "I wasn't able to express myself and play what I wanted to play. I didn't want to die there, musically or artistically. I'm able to express myself in Dumpstaphunk. Playing [the band's] music is the be all and end all for me."

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Author:

Nancy Dunham

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner