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Downtown Phoenix's art scene is hard to exactly quantify in some respects, with creativity running amok across multiple genres and mediums. Hyphenates abound as musicians, DJs, painters, and other talented types collaborate and feed off each other's muses. So it's apropos that one of the art scene's more pre-eminent bands, Sonorous, is equally unquantifiable. Nominally a jazz quintet, this eccentric musical cabal's ever-changing sound ebbs and flows through realms of blues, ragtime, funk, and Latin rhythms. They're almost like the long-lost cousins to DeVotchKa, or a traveling bohemian circus of sound. Experimentalism is the norm, and many songs are born from improvisational sessions where lines between genres are blurred. One song ("Whiskey") is a tempestuously aching torch song with the lovely Lonna Kelley on vocals and a laconic burn from alto sax player Mark Stinson, while another number ("The Ghost of Mingus Mountain") flows with eerie horns and a deep Charlie Mingus-like groove courtesy of upright bassist Tato Caraveo. Fittingly enough, most Sonorous members have deep artistic pursuits outside of music, such as Caraveo (who paints stunning abstract works), or trombonist Mike Red (who creates a gonzo after-hours TV show called Television Noir).

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.