On March 4, 2003, a loose collection of about thirty-five musicians led by John Averill and Dan Stauffer dubbed themselves the MarchFourth Marching Band and performed at a Portland Mardi Gras celebration. Now called MarchFourth!, the band has become an internationally-acclaimed, genre-breaking force in the entertainment world—a sonic explosion delivered by musicians, dancers and artisans who travel the world year-round to take audiences on a joy-inducing, foot-stomping, booty-shaking, soul-stirring journey that defies categorization. An outlandish feast for both the eyes and ears, the band combines jazz, funk, Balkan music, salsa, electro swing, Afrobeat, Eastern European gypsy brass, samba, Latin, ska, hip-hop, big band and rock into a sound that can be described as "steamfunk." With exceptional musical quality and a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, hoopers and vaudevillian dancers, "M4" whips audiences into a celebratory frenzy with an over-the-top spectacle of high-energy compositions, colorful costumes, hilarious stage shenanigans and irresistible charisma.
MarchFourth! shrank to seventeen members to fit into a touring bus, making stops in the United States, Canada, China and Europe and growing into a successful national touring act that averaged nearly 200 shows a year. MarchFourth! was voted “Best Local Band” in 2004 by readers of the alternative weekly newspaper Willamette Week and was featured in Travel + Leisure and on National Public Radio. M4 has performed with artists such as OK Go, Pink Martini, Beats Antique and Fleetwood Mac and has appeared at festivals such as Jam Cruise, Burning Man, Waterfront Blues Festival and Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. The song "Gospel" from the band’s 2009 album Rise Up was used on the soundtrack of the 2013 Disney/Pixar film Monsters University.
Vulgar Bulgars (Opening Act)
The Vulgar Bulgars are Central Virginia’s finest funky klezmer band. The Bulgars play traditional Eastern European music typical of Jewish weddings and Oktoberfests within a configuration of clarinet, violin and upright bass.