Guitarist Binky Griptite has announced that he is leaving The Dap-Kings.
“After 20 years I’ve accepted that I have to leave the band to seek creative opportunities elsewhere,” he wrote on Facebook. “The experiences I’ve had with the Dap Kings have been amazing, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have shared the stage with the people I’ve worked with, especially the band itself. It was fun being your guitar player.”
The future of the soul collective has been in question since the passing of lead singer Sharon Jones in 2016, despite releasing Jones’ final contribution Soul of a Woman in 2018.
“We have a sound that we’ve cultivated for 20 years. It’s not something that we want to put in the closet or throw out. But at the same time, we’re very conscious that Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings without Sharon Jones isn’t the same band,” bassist-bandleader Gabe “Bosco Mann” Roth recently told Relix. “We’d love to do some kind of collaboration but, in my gut, I know we’re never going to have that same feeling again. I would hate to try to re-create that with somebody else. I don’t think I’ll ever be as high as I was standing behind her onstage. She was made of something else. It’s not going to happen.”
In addition to his work as a DJ on-air for WFUV in New York, Griptite has The Binky Griptite Orchestra as a creative outlet.
The remaining lineup of The Dap-Kings consists of Roth, guitarist Joey Crispiano, drummer Homer Steinweiss, tenor saxophonist Neal Sugarman, baritone saxophonist Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum, percussionist Fernando “Bugaloo” Velez and trumpeter Dave Guy.
Griptite’s last performance with The Dap-Kings will be Sept 22 at the Monterey Jazz Festival.