NoLA Pride: Q&A with Circus Mind’s Mark Rechler

Myles Hunt

Jazz-funk musician talks New Orleans theme songs, working on his band’s upcoming record & their anthemic new tune “Jazzfest Time!”

It’s time to bring back that joyous revelry that is music and there are none better to do so than Long Island’s Circus Mind. The crew is made up of musicians Mark Rechler, David Berg, Chris Crosby and Dan Roth, who use funk as their ultimate tool of majesty. With the release of their latest track, “Jazzfest Time!” featuring Ivan Neville and Big Sam, they honor the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to the highest degree. On top of the song being pure ear candy, all of the proceeds will be going towards The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, of which they’ve already raised over $10,000!

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“Jazzfest Time!” begins with a slow crawl into pure jazz-funk. A rousing and spiritual element of soul bellows out and is met with the promise of dance. The harmonious vocals add onto that element of a loved community, which is felt deeply these days. Listeners will want to move about at home to this tune and imagine better days filled with endless colorful parades. Each minute of this song launches the listener to a melodious journey through the genres of New Orleans. Each instrument has its moment of intricate soloing that showcases the skills of these talented artists. Circus Mind have found a way to offer an escape for all in four splendid minutes.  

Mark took a minute to give some insight into the new track and his time in quarantine. You can read his thoughts and feel the spirit of “Jazzfest Time!” below:

This new track is timely in its place in the music scene right now. Can you elaborate a bit on its origins and release?

I am a longtime New Orleans Lover. I went to Tulane, studied architecture, art and music. The city is incredible and has the best food, parties, art and music. It’s a rich gumbo of culture. It’s like no other city in the U.S. so I’ve been a regular there and go a few times a year. We have made friends in the city, musicians and otherwise. Jazzfest is our favorite time of year, simply the best festival on so many levels and I go to it a ton. In fact, this would have been my 30th year, so I thought I would write a song to celebrate that. In NoLA there are lots of theme songs; Mardi Gras Songs, NoLA Songs and general popular funk tunes so I was going for that classic sound and imagining that this was gonna be a classic NoLA tune one day.

Is this quarantine keeping you all on your toes in regard to music creation?

Definitely, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to get things done, finish songs, write new ones, continue recording our record remotely, working on my playing skills, work with and learning my software. I mean, I sort of love that about this moment. I see a ton of musicians live streaming at this time, but for me this is an opportunity to get away from that for a while.

How are you managing quarantine beyond day to day both as a musician and person?

We are doing fine, staying in our home, going for walks, cooking up good food, and working.

What other plans will you attempt to tackle as this whole debacle progresses?

The big one is finishing the record we are about 40% through and it took us to right about now to figure out how to start working remotely and still be supporting each other as a band. So basically, Zooming while each person is tracking so we can comment and support everyone’s playing direction and tracks. I’m starting to feel good that we are gonna start to bang it out. It would be sensational if I came out of this with a new record, and I wrote an additional one!

What is the first thing you are going to do when it ends?

Travel. I got a trip to Alaska planned for July, hoping it still happens.

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