If you’ve never been to the 406 Brewing Company, you’re missing out on great dining, great beer and great music. 406’s food and beer will draw you in, and the music will make you stay. The music is unique, easy to listen to and full of energy. The most unique of all of the bands that play there is The Vibe Quartet. Their “jazz jam improvisation” music will grab your attention and keep you begging for more.
The Vibe Quartet consists of four members: Haley Ford on bass (both electric and upright), Weston Lewis on guitar, David Charles on keyboard and Jarrad Highman on drums. Most of the members of the band have been, or currently are, students at MSU. The only exception is Charles, who is a professor at MSU, teaching History of Jazz and World Music. They play every Thursday night at 406 Brewing from around 6 – 8 p.m. Primarily, the band improvises everything they play with an original theme to their music. However, they don’t limit themselves to just improvising jazz music.
“We mainly focus on improvisation and jazz, but our style does vary away from that,” Ford said. “Our music is almost entirely originals that are made up on the spot, but we also do some covers of classic rock, metal and sometimes even pop. We also have a couple of songs we call ‘dub songs’ which have a dubstep feel, which is very unique for a jazz-style band. It is different from everything else we do and really grabs the audience’s attention.”
The band has been the house band for 406 Brewing for about three years. “Our first gig was at 406,” Ford remembered. “We have played at lots of other bars and breweries, but we’re here every week, and we all love it here. I love the atmosphere and everyone seems to really enjoy what we do. We’re the first consistent band that 406 has kept for this long.”
Everyone in the band performs with a high level of energy and the members are able to feed off of each other. Ford said the best part about the band is that they have freedom with improv to do what they want: “We don’t have limitations on what we can do, with the ability to start with one thing then instantly transition to something else almost effortlessly. With just a simple glance or head nod, we all know that we’re going to transition to something else along with how we’re going to do it. The audiences really sound impressed with our ability to transition. Being able to transition like this lets us feed off of each other’s energy well and adds a lot to our sound.” After listening to a bit of their playing, their transitions were indeed impressive and the abundance of energy in the group was apparent.
It’s easy to see that The Vibe Quartet plans to be around for awhile as they all enjoy working together. They get along well, and a major part of their dynamic is a shared love and level of intelligence for jazz music. Over time, this love of music has developed a respect amongst the members of the group and basically has negated any egos that may have been present. They all live to play with each other and it shows with how they act and play.
If you’re ever hungry and thirsty on a Thursday, there isn’t a better place to go than 406 Brewing. You’ll get great food, great drinks and you’ll be able to listen to some of the most unique, energetic music that Bozeman has to offer.