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Out & About

June 6, 2013

Born to funk

BURLINGTON — Funk, it’s the music, the groove. But it’s also the spaces where the notes are not. That’s where the funk is for Ivan Neville, leader of Dumpstaphunk.

“Where there isn’t a note, where the smelly stuff happens,” Ivan Neville said. “You can feel it. It makes you move. You can’t help but move something even if you can’t dance. You have to move when you hear the funk. It makes you think you can dance.”

Neville and his bandmates — cousin Ian Neville (guitar), Tony Hall (bass), Nick Daniels (bass) and Nikki Glaspie (drums) — steam up the Bayou Tent with the Soul Rebels this evening at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

The son of Aaron and the late Joel Neville, Ivan knew his career path as a teen. 

“I played a gig with my dad,” he said. “I was 16 or 17, at the most. I made a hundred bucks. That was cool. It was a long time ago. I went and played a few songs. He gave me a hundred bucks. I was like, ‘Damn.’ That made a good impression on me. Soon after that, I started a band, and pretty soon I started playing with the Neville Brothers. That pretty much set the path.”

At the time, he thought, “I can do this.”

“This is my job,” he said. “It’s not bad. I get to play music and get paid for it. I was always a music lover as a child, and I listened to it a lot and sang along with the great songs on the radio. People around me, my family, my uncles (Art, Charles and Cyril), were all musicians. It was like pretty close to home. I really felt pretty comfortable doing this.”

At 10, Ivan picked up a guitar briefly and learned a few songs. His mother, who studied piano at an early age and through high school, always had a piano in the house. 

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