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Published: Thursday, 2/18/2010

Columbus band mixes funk, soul, jazz, and more


Saturday night will mark the official northwest Ohio premiere of Columbus soul and funk collective Mojoflo and serve as a homecoming for saxophone player Walter Kolhoff.

The 2006 Start High School graduate will likely see a lot of familiar faces in the audience when the seven-member band takes the stage at the Village Idiot in Maumee.

The son of Bill Kolhoff and Julie Pargo, Kolhoff recently graduated from Capital University in Columbus. Mojoflo is made up a number of fellow former students and at times the lineup expands to as many as 10 or 11 people on stage.

"We started more as friends than as a band, but it just so happened that we were all music students," he said in a phone interview.

Kolhoff was an accomplished musician from an early age, twice winning the outstanding soloist award from the Northview Jazz Festival. His degree from Capital is in music.

Mojoflo mixes funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and reggae in an intoxicating brew that sounds a bit like a more contemporary version of the great funk band Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Because of his instrument, Kolhoff said he naturally gravitated toward rhythm and blues stylings.

"I think being a sax player, a big thing for me was listening to music that had a lot of horns in it and that's how I got into funk music and soul," he said.

The band has released a number of songs on the Internet and on EPs (CDs that have about a half-dozen songs) and is planning to release a full-length disc in 2011.

The band's first show was outside a shopping center around Christmas a few years ago. "It was cold, but we had enough fun to keep doing it," Kolhoff said.

No doubt it will be a lot warmer in the Village Idiot Saturday night.

Mojoflo will play from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the club at 309 Conant St., Maumee. The cover charge is $6. To check out the band's music, go to mojoflo.net.

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.

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