It only took 10 years, but Craig Schoenbaum finally has a band.
For years, the Park Slope jazz musician would hire professionals to back him in his act, OTiS. But a couple years ago, Schoenbaum decided it was high time he got his act together — literally — and that rotating cast of characters has now become a devoted five, and OTiS feels like a brand new band.
“It’s a tough town for bands that are just starting, so having people that are all in it for the fun of it really keeps things fresh and interesting,” said Schoenbaum. “It’s all about the momentum and keeping that snowball growing.”
In the past year or so, OTiS’s figurative snowball has grown, as the band’s released its debut album, become regulars at the Mercury Lounge, and solidified summer festival gigs. The band recently added a saxophonist to the mix.
All six will take to the stage on Jan. 15 at Southpaw, Schoenbaum’s favorite hometown venue, for a high energy, funk-fueled show. And even though the band’s all set, Schoenbaum’s not adverse to having some friends sit in on the bill. It wouldn’t be a proper jazz show without a full-on jam.
OTiS at Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. at Sterling Place in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236], Jan. 15 at 9 pm. Tickets $10. For info, visit www.otisrock.net.