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Want soul? You’ll be going up with OTiS

Brooklyn Daily

Brooklyn’s got soul — but did you know?

If jazzman Craig Shoenbaum has his way, you will — that is, once you see his band live at Southpaw in Park Slope on Dec. 10.

Shoenbaum, the founder and frontman of the funky rock outfit OTiS, who, with the band’s new record, “Music Elevator,” is determined to shed light on the nascent musical movement that already includes acts like SouLive and the Royal Family — and gain a little notoriety and name recognition in the process.

“The timing is right for us — we think of ourselves as soul, funk, and rock, but the soul sound is our thing; our new slogan is ‘Brooklyn soul,’ ” Shoenbaum said. “The music scene is finally curving back around again to bands that play their own instruments — and it’s about time.”

OTiS’s sophomore album, released on Nov. 21, has a jazzy, full-bodied and soulful vibe — complete with buttery bass lines, classic keyboard fills, talking guitar riffs, and a horn section featuring very windy trombone player Joe Scatassa.

To support the LP, OTiS filmed its very own music video — a “Hard Day’s Night” spoof that features band members being chased by a mob of screaming girls through Park Slope (we couldn’t help but love the video; at one point, the band hides behind a copy of The Brooklyn Paper).

“We just need to get noticed, have someone let us quit our jobs so we can play music full-time, and put the Brooklyn soul genre on the map!” Shoenbaum said.

These guys are already well on their way.

OTiS at South Paw [25 Fifth Ave. between Sterling and Lincoln places in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236], Dec. 10, 7 pm. $10. For info visit

Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at or by calling (718) 260-8309.

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