Instrumental jazz rockers Marbin play 1st Steamboat show |

Instrumental jazz rockers Marbin play 1st Steamboat show

Nicole Inglis

— Like colors on a spectrum, meaning isn't confined to words. There are images and feelings that simply cannot be described, just as there are millions of shades of blue that transcend color definitions.

For Chicago instrumental rock band Marbin, it's the same with music. Without vocals, the jazzy quartet slips into the space between words, which guitarist Dani Rabin thinks allows the group to portray various hues of emotion.

"I think when you're singing, you're delivering a kind of direct message," Rabin said. "With words, you can say a thing like ‘car’ and ‘chair,’ and people know exactly what you mean. When you're playing instrumental music, you go between the cracks of symbols, of definitions. You can't point at something and call it by a name, but you can go into the shades of feeling."

On Saturday, Marbin will be playing one of its hundreds of annual tour dates in Steamboat Springs.

Playing in the Yampa Valley for the first time, Marbin performs a free show starting at 10 p.m. at Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.

Marbin tours across the country 250 to 300 days each year. For Rabin and saxophone player Danny Markovitch, who were born in Israel, long national tours are a dream that couldn't have been achieved in their home country.

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Rabin said Israel is about the size of New Jersey. Now, they can jump in a van and drive for days to share their music.

"There's opportunity here," he said. "Just because we’re able to tour and make money doing it. You get to play in front of different kinds of people."

When the pair relocated to Chicago, they joined forces with drummer Justyn Lawrence and bassist Jae Gentile and started Marbin in 2008.

As a band, they've had one rehearsal.

Rabin was adamant that this is a powerful recipe for an instrumental band.

"Practicing and rehearsing is kind of a thing where what you're working on is developing something out of time, not in rhythm," he said. "When you're playing shows, it's going by as you do it. If you (mess) it up and make a mistake, your next chance to fix it is tomorrow. You do it in the flow of time."

Rabin said the band is looking forward to getting back to Colorado and playing in Steamboat for the first time. He hopes it's a night to remember for Steamboat, even if instrumental jazz and rock are not the norm.

"I feel it's something that's really out of the ordinary," he said. "It's very high energy. It's very communicative. I feel like we play a strain of instrumental music that everyone can understand and take something from."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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