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Empire Beats

Thursday, 25 May
10:00 PM


Glamorous jazz chanteuses and gutsy blues shouters front Empire Beats as they explore an expanding

book of old-school Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Jazz, and Pop music – familiar and forgotten hits from

the past and funky new original sounds. Empire Beats’ non-stop showcase draws from the best of 1952

to 2023 – from pioneers Etta James and Big Mama Thornton to Maxine Nightingale and Ann Peebles,

with crowd pleasing numbers by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Chaka Khan, and Prince

– plus much, much more. Their energetic revue recalls another era but is firmly rooted in the right now.

Since  2011,  drummer  Mark  Boquist's sharply  dressed  five  to seven piece band  has been playing

behind  some  of  New  York  City's  most  talented  singers  like  A’shanti  Tyree,  Jessica  Harp,  Chloe

Thompson, and Dayna Richardson presenting their real live show at nightclubs, theaters, lounges,

dive bars, and dance halls as well as at weddings, fairs, fundraisers, festivals, private events, and

public  parties  throughout  the  boroughs  of  New  York  City,  the  Hudson  Valley,  the  Berkshires,  the

Hamptons, New Jersey,  Connecticut,  and Pennsylvania.  Residencies  at  venerable  Manhattan  music

halls and lounges as well as distinguished Brooklyn bars and saloons have solidified Empire Beats’

esteemed reputation as a rocking dance band interpreting songs with spirit, style, and soul. 

Bandleader Mark Boquist has been working for over 35 years in the entertainment business playing

all kinds of music on stages large and small, on recordings and broadcasts with bands and solo artists,

on tours around the United States and Europe, and in slick private clubs and public dives. Beginning

in Minneapolis in the early 1980s, with forays to Kansas City and then Seattle in the 1990s, he made

the move to Manhattan in 1997. The son of a Big Band Jazz man, his affinity for real American music

led him to start up his  own band after an inspiring series of shows playing as a side man  behind

legendary Northern Soul artists as part of the Dig Deeper Dance Party in Brooklyn. His Empire Beats

deliver an authentic and exciting sound with songs from every side of the love equation that’ll keep

you dancing in your seats and on your feets.

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