A few days ago, my Youtube recommended me this video, and I quickly fell in love with the funk cover band Scary Pockets.
Created by Jack Conte (keyboard, and also the CEO of Patreon, strangely) and Ryan Lerman (guitar), the band uses a rotating list of musicians to release a funk version of a popular song once a week.
Not every song is perfect, of course (I certainly haven’t listened to all of them), but I love their work because they remind me a lot of my jazz band. During performances, we have a similar loose informality and cover/improvisation style (we create our own simple patterns for songs and then stick to them on the chord changes, if that makes sense). Conte’s piano conducting also reminds me a lot of mine when I conduct with my job at the theater, because he has a clear enthusiasm for playing that shines through in every song. When I go back to school/theater, I’m going to work on arranging more songs a la Scary Pockets, because it’s a great way to teach improvisation and basic music theory to the jazz band kids.