Founded and led by drummer Dave Watts, The Motet began blending afrobeat with jazz and electronica over 10 years ago and hasn’t let up since. Featuring complex compositions written and arranged by Watts himself, the music tells a story through syncopated rhythms and melodies. As music and technology evolve at an astounding rate, so too has The Motet pioneered its unique sound while continuing to defy categorization. With roots in jazz, afrobeat, funk, salsa, and samba, the band keeps its audiences in a dancing frenzy by layering house and techno rhythms into a style that is uniquely its own.
The Motet is a world-class ensemble that whips audiences into a whirlwind using sheer impromptu force. The rhythms are spontaneous and textured and the beats are hard driving. The band uses this energy to create a rapport with the audience that is rarely seen in today's world of manufactured rock, consecrating the ground on which dance music meets free-form improvisation. From years of incessant touring and with a rich legacy under its belt, The Motet’s “resolve to evolve” has made the band indispensable in the East and West Coast groove circuits. Writes Dave Kirby of Boulder Magazine: "Watts's dedication and artistic integrity have created an elusive musical entity which seems to be as much fun to play in as it is to go out and hear."
The Motet boasts a string of strong releases, including Dig Deep (2009), the band's sixth and most recent effort. With this disc, the band once again proves its commitment to exploring and pushing the sonic envelope, while still remaining dedicated to the musical traditions that have defined its sound. In that same vein, tonight's show - The Motet’s first show in New York City in more than four years - will feature the band paying tribute to the music of one of the most influential rock bands of the last 40 years: The Grateful Dead! How does the Grateful Dead’s sound fit into the energy and vibe of a Motet show, you ask? Well, with that challenge in mind the band is taking the challenge of reworking those epic and timeless songs with the energetic afro-funk grooves that fans have come to expect from The Motet.