Horn players are typically relegated to the side of the stage during performances, but that is not the case for Groove Foundry, a group that has found horns to be the forefront of their appeal, showcasing that big sound on the stage’s front line.

It has been three months since Tahoe City-based, seven-piece band Groove Foundry has played a show at Bar of America in Truckee, but Aug. 21 and 22 it’s back and ready to show Truckee what it’s been working on. Todd Mather, the band manager and saxophone player, broke apart Groove Foundry’s sound into three distinct genres: acid jazz, soul jazz, and funk, a sound they execute through simple chord progressions. He described this genre mix as having a rock beat with heavy driving base and a Motown back structure. Mather also noted that Groove Foundry is unique because the horn players refuse to use music stands.

“You shouldn’t be playing a song if you don’t know it like the back of your hand,” Mather said.


The majority of Groove Foundry’s songs are covers, but not the typical covers audiences may be used to hearing. One song in its repertoire is Moondancing on the Sun a semi-original tune they play that blends Van Morrison’s Moondance with Smash Mouth’s Walking on the Sun.

There is one cover in Groove Foundry’s repertoire that most people recognize and is a song they learned thanks to Bill Kenny, the manager at Bar of America. Last winter Kenny made a special request for the group to learn the 2001 Space Odyssey theme song. The group found a funk rendition, and went with it. The song became such a crowd favorite that the band almost always uses it to open or close its shows.

It’s not just its sound that makes Groove Foundry unique.

“We like to always be dressed better than our audience,” said Mather, a Tahoe City-based architect who once played music on the Olympic stage in Park City, Utah. He explained that you can almost always guarantee that the men will be wearing suits and ties, and that Jen, the band’s sexy-hot trumpet player and co-owner of The Dam Café, will be wearing a new outfit from Fine and Funky or a vintage piece from Unique Boutique.

You can be sure this local, well-dressed band will play the 2001 Space Odyssey theme song at Groove Foundry’s free shows at Bar of America.


  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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