Win Tickets ($60): Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Crystal Ballroom | Election Year – Winter Tour, Blues, Funk, Rock, Jazz & More!

We are giving away 2 pairs of tickets to Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Crystal Ballroom on February 21. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed February 17.


From our sponsors:
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
February 21, 2019
6:30 pm doors, 8 pm show | $25 ADV, $30 doors | All Ages
More info:

Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Singer and saxophonist Karl Denson fronts his band the Tiny Universe as if he’s preaching the gospel. Merging funk, soul, rock, jazz, blues and more, his energy and spirit are contagious, while his songwriting serves a larger message of fellowship — across generations, genders, religions and cultures. Not surprisingly then, he’s none too pleased with the current state of political discourse. Thus the reason why KDTU’s new album, Gnomes & Badgers, out now on Seven Spheres Records, Denson’s hard-grooving answer to these tragically divisive times.

“As a writer and a human being, I’m affected by what goes on around me,” Denson says. “I’ve always been interested in politics, and what I’m seeing now just disturbs me. I saw this idea of Gnomes & Badgers — which are the different people in the world, the different parties on the left and the right — as a great way to frame the political debate and the debate about listening to each other. Somebody needs to say something, and hopefully I can say it in a way that will make people reconsider how they think about things.”

That theme of compassionate exchange is showcased especially well on choice cuts like “Time to Pray” and “Change My Way,” the latter co-crafted by Denson and his “writing mentor” Anders Osborne. But through the music’s blues essence, an idea of empathy traverses the album in full. “There’s some heartache in there that is hopefully concealed well enough to make people happy while still feeling it,” Denson explains. “To me this is really a blues record. It’s a blues about love; it’s a blues about life. It’s about people’s relationships.”

To aid him in his mission, Denson tapped some of his legendary friends, including The Rolling Stones’ keyboardist and Allman Brothers Band alum Chuck Leavell, guitar-slinging singer-songwriter Lukas Nelson, New Orleans guitar hero Anders Osborne, Austin producer and guitarist Adrian Quesada and NOLA R&B royal Ivan Neville. There’s no doubt Denson is also drawing influence and inspiration from his other main gigs, as a touring member of The Rolling Stones and the linchpin of the beloved jazz-funk unit The Greyboy Allstars.

Collectively, the process of creating Gnomes & Badgers led to the current itineration of the Tiny Universe. After recording in various studios over a two-year period, Denson couldn’t find the cohesion he was after and ending up scrapping his work, save for three tracks. “So we went back to the drawing board,” he says, “and in the process I kind of dialed my band in.”

The resulting lineup is nothing less than a juggernaut. In the rhythm section, the Tiny Universe features Greyboy bassist Chris Stillwell and former Greyboy drummer Zak Najor, as well as keyboardists David Veith and Kenneth Crouch, Denson’s pal from his years in Lenny Kravitz’s band. Alongside Denson on the frontline is trumpeter Chris Littlefield, and providing the lineup’s secret weapon of sorts is the twin-guitar attack of D.J. Williams, a tremendous funk player in both tone and technique, and the Arkansas-born slide and lap-steel virtuoso Seth Freeman. With those two contrasting yet brilliantly complementary pickers in tow, Denson feels like he’s cracked the Tiny Universe’s code. “Now I can write funk and have a rock ‘n’ roll edge,” he says. “It’s the perfect blend of elements.”

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52 Responses to Win Tickets ($60): Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Crystal Ballroom | Election Year – Winter Tour, Blues, Funk, Rock, Jazz & More!

  1. Aurianna Philavanh December 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm #

    I wanna see these guys!

    • Cassandra Harris December 31, 2019 at 10:07 pm #

      This sounds like a great show

      I havent been to a show in over 20years I have been at home raising my family. As a single momma this is one of the biggest sacrifices is my once freedom to culture and enjoy myself. I feel spiritually deficient . Happy new year PDX!

    • Rochelle R. January 16, 2020 at 4:31 pm #

      Let’s go, I wanna be swept away!!!

  2. Peter December 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm #

    Would love to win!

    • Lauryn January 9, 2020 at 10:15 pm #

      This sounds like a show I can’t miss!

  3. Dave G. December 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm #

    Been following his music since his days in Greyboy Allstars!

  4. Eric Decuir December 13, 2019 at 3:39 am #

    I have loved this man’s music for a very long time aad never was able to see him or his bands….ya know (cute puppydog face)……today “IS” my birthday :D

    • Cory December 24, 2019 at 10:33 pm #

      Hell funk yeah

  5. Dylan Luka December 13, 2019 at 11:48 am #

    Karl D is always a good time.

  6. Heather Jones December 15, 2019 at 11:40 am #

    Yes please.

  7. Ryan December 15, 2019 at 9:44 pm #

    KDTU in the house?

  8. Nicholas December 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm #

    KDTU is the funkiest!!!

    • Sarah December 24, 2019 at 6:20 pm #

      I’d love to go!

  9. Coleman December 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm #

    Oh please pick me…haven’t seen them in 10 years!

  10. Sarah D December 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm #

    I’d love to go! Great date night and outing idea!

    • Mike T January 1, 2020 at 11:35 am #

      Heard he’s someone that I need to see play live!

  11. Carol Lynn Cooper December 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm #

    My birthday is feb. 11th great gift to self. Fun.

  12. Jonas Trekas December 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm #

    My partner and I, are music lovers. I play bass in a Christian band. We attend many concerts and events throughout the year.

  13. rae December 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

    KDTU knows how to THROW DOWN! Sounds like a super funky night full of funky people. pick me :)

  14. Jessica Lin December 19, 2019 at 11:17 pm #

    These guys know how to THROW DOWN!!!

  15. Natasha Morlock December 21, 2019 at 6:23 pm #

    My birthdays in january ..a lil belated gift to self would be awesome! Thats why i wanna go..pick me pdx!

  16. Tammara Tippel December 24, 2019 at 7:21 am #

    I LOVE me a funky sax player. This sounds like a great winter pick me up.

  17. Gina December 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm #

    Yes please!

    • Vito December 28, 2019 at 9:09 am #

      My soul would shine if I were to win tickets to see KDTU!

  18. Rose M December 25, 2019 at 5:37 am #

    My soul needs this.

  19. Brad Joseph December 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm #

    Tore my achilles last month and I should be able to walk again in the next few weeks. I’m definitely trying put this whole ordeal and the long days on the couch behind me and get my groooove back!!!


  20. Kaeli December 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm #

    My uncle from MA actually just showed me Karl Denson after a few beers and said they were a blast to see live. Our Christmas got good and loud (for good reason ;-)

    • Carol Cooper January 21, 2020 at 9:46 pm #

      Want to check this out please.

  21. Mary C December 28, 2019 at 2:33 pm #

    I want the funk, the whole funk and nothing but the funk!

  22. Jenny December 31, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    Need to get out and have a good time with my main squeeze! We have not yet gone to concert together and this seems like perfect one to start with.

  23. Cassi Bell January 3, 2020 at 8:29 am #

    This would be amazing!!!

  24. Brittany January 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm #

    Let’s get FuNkY!! Send me pleaseeeeee :) <3

  25. Andrea Bean January 7, 2020 at 12:23 pm #

    I could really use a night out with my lady to dance the night away!

  26. Brig January 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm #

    What a small world. Here comes the Tiny Universe!

  27. Lisa Anderson January 7, 2020 at 1:53 pm #

    Love Karl Denson! He’s our favorite!

  28. Shannon DuBois January 8, 2020 at 8:39 am #

    This would be fantastic!!

  29. Bob Trombley January 8, 2020 at 8:12 pm #

    Sounds like a swell time!!

  30. Jenell Eberspecher January 9, 2020 at 10:49 am #

    Yes please!!

  31. Tayler Jenkins January 9, 2020 at 4:20 pm #

    KDTU is one of my favorites!!! I first saw him at McDowell Mountain Music Festival and fell in love.

  32. Carol Cooper January 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm #

    Would live to check out Karl’s Tiny Universe.

  33. Jonas Trekas January 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm #

    I’d love to hear the sax please.

  34. Andrea Bean January 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm #

    I’d so appreciate dancing to this funkiness!

  35. John Mundstock January 16, 2020 at 7:36 pm #

    I wanna go bad. Please pick me!

  36. andrea January 17, 2020 at 7:18 am #

    Bring on the funk!

  37. Heather Jones January 17, 2020 at 3:23 pm #

    Who doesn’t love Karl Denson?

  38. Jonas Trekas January 19, 2020 at 9:21 pm #

    Time to pray is great.

  39. Dannette Cara January 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm #

    I would love to win tickets to this fantastic event – it is on the weekend before my wedding! It would be FAB to see.

  40. Dannette Cara January 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm #

    I would love to win tickets to this fantastic event – it is on the weekend before my wedding! It would be FAB to see.

  41. Steve Colburn January 21, 2020 at 1:01 pm #

    Saw him at Blues Fest. Fabulous. I’d love to see him again, this time with my wife.

  42. Jim Mc January 21, 2020 at 5:09 pm #

    Karl D funkalicious!

  43. James Tiefenthaler January 22, 2020 at 11:24 am #

    KDTU rocks

  44. Cara January 22, 2020 at 1:53 pm #

    Funk it!

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