WYSKIDS: Dave Grippo and the Vermont Student All-Stars

The Grippo Funk Band got its start at Burlington VT’s Red Square in 1999 when alto saxophonist Dave Grippo gathered some of his favorite musicians together to jam on Monday nights. This humble beginning led to an unbroken string of Mondays at the Square that lasted nearly seven years. These legendary gigs served as a funk-style bootcamp where the GFB explored the deep cuts of James Brown, Maceo Parker, Sly Stone, and countless other R&B legends. Musicians touring with Dr. John, Soulive, Maceo, Beyonce Knowles, The Neville Brothers, and saxophonist Chris Potter would often make it a point to stop by and jam when in town on a Monday night. The GFB took it in, mixed it up, stirred the pot, and as months turned to years they developed their own ensemble sound and “heartbeat in unison” deadly locked-down grooves.

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About WYSKIDS: Dave Grippo and the Vermont Student All-Stars

The GFB has also been exceptionally fortunate to benefit from the contributions of many outstanding performers through the years such as drummer Kenny “Sweet Sugar” Gulfield; MC’s Fatty B (of Belizbeha), Reko The Mighty Konflik, and Manus; singer/songwriter/trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick (of Trey Anastasio’s band and solo artist); trombonists James Harvey, Ben Smeltzer, and Andy Moroz (also from Trey’s band); guest guitarists Nick Cassarino and Benny “JFC that’s good chicken” Yurco (of Grace Potter and The Nocturnals); DJ’s A-Dog, Nastee, and Zach “ZJ” Johnson; and many more. This extended family often grows the band to 7, 8, 9, or 10 strong at area nightclubs but the six core musicians remain a constant.