A high-energy big-band spectacular is coming to the Gryphon Theatre next weekend.
MarchFourth Marching Band is set to perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the theater, 710 Garfield St. Tickets are $20.
“It’s like Sgt. Pepper meets Duke Ellington meets Funkadelic,” said John Averill, who founded the Portland, Oregon-based group 16 years ago.
The group includes a 12-piece band, complete with a seven-piece horn section and plenty of percussion, plus performers such as stilt-walkers, dancers, flag-twirlers, clowns and acrobats, all in outlandish costumes. The eclectic ensemble plays original music inspired by gypsy brass, samba, funk, big-band, jazz, rock and vaudeville.
“We try to get everybody going and dancing,” Averill said. “It’s a lot of energy, and it’s very uplifting, too, and it translates to people all ages.”
Averill, who plays bass, started the group with a friend for a Fat Tuesday party in 2003. The date of the party was March 4, hence the name. The group started meeting and playing regular gigs in the Portland area soon after.
After several years, the band bought a bus, honed its sound, pared its membership a bit — at one time there were 35 performers — and took its act on the road. MarchFourth has been touring the country ever since, mostly in the western United States.
“It keeps evolving,” Averill said of the act.
The group is scheduled to swing through Colorado after it leaves Laramie. Later this spring, it’s headed for stops in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
MarchFouth has released four studio albums and is finishing up another. Its song “Gospel” was featured in the 2013 Pixar movie “Monsters University.”
“We have a lot of new music coming out, and we’re going to start releasing it this year,” Averill said.