The Road to AURA: Dave Watts of The Motet

We couldn't be more excited about being a part of The 6th Annual AURA Music Festival on March 6th-8th at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. As a part of the festival's promotional efforts, a number of this year's performers are participating in a feature called "The Road To AURA". For our second installment, we caught up with Dave Watts (drums) of The Motet to find out what we can expect from the the funky, afro-beat kings this year.

(Photo by Brian Spady)


-What does it mean to you guys to be a part of the AURA 2015 lineup? What are you guys looking forward to the most about getting down to Live Oak? 

-Dave: Spirit of Suwannee is one of our favorite festival grounds in the country, so to be able to play there and share the space with so many of our friends and fans is always an unforgettable experience. We're just looking forward to kicking it with our people!

-The Motet will be performing just the second set of the weekend (Thursday 9:30 PM). You're essentially kicking off the festival. Will that come into play when deciding what songs will be played? 

-Dave: We're going to hit it hard right off the bat. Everyone is going to be fresh-faced and ready to get their funk on, so don't expect to get much warm up time from us.

-AURA falls almost exactly one year after the release of your self-titled album. How much new material has been written since? 

-Dave: We’re working on a bunch of new material now.

-These festivals give artists a unique experience to meet and collaborate with one another. What other groups are you guys looking forward to seeing over the weekend?

-Dave: We'll be hanging tough with our boys in Kung Fu, Mike Dillon Band and Break Science...they're a few of our favorite groups on the scene right now and some great friends of ours. Also, Tauk, Consider the Source, The Heavy Pets, Dopapod, and The Main Squeeze are all acts we always try catch when we're part of the same festival.

Festival attendants can catch two full set's from The Motet.  First set is scheduled for Thursday, March 5th at 9:30 PM on the Amphitheater Stage.  Second set is scheduled for Sunday at 4:30 PM EST on the same stage.  For further information and all things AURA, head over to  


The Motet - Full Biography

Hailing from Colorado, The Motet is a world class improvisational funk band that has dedicated more than a decade to the healing powers of funky dance music. Although the early years of the band saw a constantly revolving cast of musicians, the most recent incarnation has been touring the country for the last several years developing a new and unique style of music with roots in funk, afro beat, disco, electronic music, and soul. This new Motet has quickly gained a reputation for throwing infectious dance parties everywhere they go, creating a deep rapport between band and audience. 

With the recent release of their 7th album, The Motet has once again showcased their commitment to pushing the sonic envelope while remaining dedicated to the musical traditions that have defined their sound. The band’s decision to call the album The Motet is a reflection that the group has finally fully manifested. The album is a truly collaborative effort, with each member contributing equally to the writing process. In addition, the band spent hundreds of hours in the studio meticulously crafting vintage tones that hearken back to the glory days of funk music. The result is an organic collection of strong interlocking parts and melodies that could only be The Motet.  All bands have their influences, and The Motet is no different. The band has a long-standing tradition of putting on a musical costume each Halloween, playing consistently sold out shows along the Front Range of Colorado while performing the music of groups like Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, Tower of Power, and Jamiroquai. The careful study of the music of these bands has had an undeniable effect on the creative direction of The Motet. As bandleader and drummer Dave Watts explains, “By studying and playing music from all these incredible funk bands, we realized how effective a great song is on a crowd. In addition to striving to offer a stellar live experience, we’ve also consciously decided to focus on tunes, because we understand how powerful a great song is.” 

A great song needs a great band to play it, and The Motet has proven to be much more than adequate in that regard. In addition to Watts, Joey Porter (keys), Garrett Sayers (bass) and Ryan Jalbert (guitar) form the core rhythm section Playing together for more than a decade has led to their characteristic deep rhythmic pocket, and has created the musical bonds that allow them to take their collective improvisation to heights bordering on precognition. The Motet horns are Matt Pitts(sax) and Gabriel Mervine (trumpet). Although deeply rooted in jazz, their time with The Motet has made them into one of the funkiest horn sections on the scene. Front man Jans Ingber rounds out the lineup with his soulful singing, welcoming stage presence, and “Soul Train” dance moves which inspire concert goers to boogie like no one is watching. 

These seven musicians form what is undoubtedly the strongest, most cohesive incarnation of The Motet to date. Whether you’ve loved The Motet for years or you’re just tuning in, listen up. You haven’t heard The Motet likethis, and you won’t be disappointed.