Getting Better | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Getting Better 

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe brings the funk to the Century Center for a soulful pre-eclipse party


arl Denson plans to get organized about his next album—right after playing a string of eclipse-related shows in Oregon this weekend. The saxophonist and funk master has developed quite the following with his band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and even finds time to play with The Rolling Stones. On Friday night, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe fills the Century Center Courtyard for a soulful "preclipse" party before heading out to Big Summit Prairie to perform at the huge global eclipse gathering in the Ochoco National Forest.

"You know, I wanted to see the eclipse, but I'm not going to be able to," says Denson. "So most of all I want to see this group of people that are out in the high desert to see this. And I think that will be the most fun part is just seeing the gathering of humanity."

While he won't be able to stick around to see the eclipse along the path of totality, Denson has seen an eclipse or two in the past.

"I saw one when I was a little kid in 29 Palms near Palm Springs," Denson recalls. "I was a little kid and we were out on the front lawn and I watched it. I felt like I saw some kind of weird flying object after it, but I was only like five so I'm sure I could have been mistaken."

Denson, whose music with Tiny Universe fluctuates between jazz, funk and soul, finds himself wanting to get home to continue writing his next album. While work has been in progress on the album since the beginning of this year, Denson and his manager agreed that what they had was a bit scattered. Over the last month, he's been getting organized and blocking out time for writing.

"Solitude is my trick. I'm always so busy, so when I actually have time to sit around the house and garden and do normal stuff is when I get the most done," Denson reveals. "I have my guitar with me, which I've been playing for the last couple years so I sit and plunk on the guitar and then figure out the simple part of the song structure and go from there."


or Denson, writing lyrics is kind of his Achilles heel. He needs peace and quiet to get in the zone for writing lyrics. His writing process comes on-and-off. He'll go outside, pick some weeds and then go write for a bit, then he'll go make some coffee. The writing process sounds pretty peaceful for a man who's touted as being part of one of the best live bands on the planet. But that's no surprise, considering the creative process varies for everyone.

For his upcoming shows at the Century Center and the Eclipse gathering, Denson plans to play some "new-ish" material that will be on the new record, but hasn't been released yet, which will give fans a sneak peek into the future of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Fortunately for us, Denson loves playing live and continuing to refine his skills.

"It's how you get better as a performer," Denson says. "As a sax player, performing live is one of those things that we do to get better. For our fans, it's the attempt to make them believe that it's worth coming to a show because it's going to be different and better than the last one. And that's the key."

Soular Preclipse with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Friday, Aug 18. 6:30pm.

Century Center Courtyard

70 SW Century Dr., Bend.

$25/adv, $30/door.

About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed

Hillstomp - The Belfry

Fri., May 27, 7:30-11 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • Kenzi Returns with "Summer Nights"

    • May 25, 2022
    A few months since releasing his last piece of music, Spencer Brown is looking ahead to a big 2022 More »
  • A Little Ol' Band from Texas

    • May 25, 2022
    ZZ Top is set to debut a new album, just after it kicks off the season at the amphitheater More »
  • Croce Plays Croce

    • May 18, 2022
    AJ Croce, son of the late Jim Croce, brings the music of his father to the Tower More »
  • More »

More by Anne Pick

  • Hip-Hop Subscription

    Hip-Hop Subscription

    Zion I delves into Patreon
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • Move Over, Mariah

    Move Over, Mariah

    Gypsy-punk rockers Diego's Umbrella shows off a softer side on "The Christmas Revels"
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • There's Still Hope

    There's Still Hope

    Ashleigh Flynn & The Riveters draw inspiration from an American icon
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation