“The name is not about fruit juices. It’s not about orange juice,” said Juicy Connotation’s drummer Chris Palace. “It’s about sex.” The other members nodded in agreement, laughing.

“The name preceded the band,” Palace said. While unwinding in a Gilbert lounge, Palace had asked a friend for his favorite adjective. His response: juicy. “It was very funky, and I was like, ‘This is juice.’”

Juicy Connotation—featuring University students Alex Fortier, Thomas Adolsek, Ryan Hecht, Jordan Rabinowitz, and Chris Palace—is a unique blend of funk and jazz. Pure talent and improvisation are essential elements in the band’s evolved sound.

Originally named Lonesome Valley, Juicy Connotation started with two members, Palace and Rabinowitz. Then, Rabinowitz met Andolsek in a chemistry workshop, and Palace met Hecht in an elevator. Their folk music transformed into funk fusion as members were added and new skillsets exposed.

Fortier was the last to join. No one expected much from him. Word had gotten around that he had played in a metal band. Before the group invited him to a jam session, Palace predicted that he would be asked to leave before the session even ended.

Fortier stunned them all.

“The vibes were so good,” Palace said. “We decided to keep him.”

They currently practice in Spurrier. The small, antiquated practice rooms aren’t big enough to hold all of them. Often, Fortier and bassist Rabinowitz stand outside the room with the door open, sending their sound bounding down the hallways. It’s an experience the band welcomes.

Practice sessions consist of the members jamming on one person’s chord progression or spending an excessive amount of time developing an idea one member contributes. They record the entire session and listen to it afterward, extracting the sounds and concepts that excite them. Hecht, the band’s guitarist, describes it as a case of “structured improvisation.”

They draw their inspiration from bands such as Moonchild, Vulfpeck, and Snarky Puppy.

They are planning to release their debut album, “Freshly Squeezed,” in a few weeks. It’s been a long and rewarding process, and the members are eager to share their end result.

“We’re really excited to get our sound out there for both our current fans, and anyone who hasn’t seen us play,” Fortier said. “It’s brings the jammy, juicy vibe home.”

Juicy Connotation’s first show was at Blimpie, the sub shop in Wilson Commons. Since then, they’ve played at numerous fraternities and campus events.

Recently, Juicy Connotation’s gig as part of Future Funk at Chi Phi was by far their favorite. Rap, jazz, and funk crashed together in a wave sound that brought together a diverse and a pumped-up audience. The energy was insanely high, and Juicy Connotation’s timing couldn’t have been better. They played for a peak crowd.

Juicy Connotation will play  at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, at Boulder Coffee Company.



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