BK FUNK FEST at The Paper Box

EMEFE (em-ef-ayyy!) is a band lead by Miles Arntzen, a young musician based in New York City. Miles got the group together in December of the year 2009. Inspired by his musical heroes in Antibalas, who encouraged him to study the life and music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and Medeski Martin and Wood, who taught him about the importance of the individual and the self in music, Miles started recording demos of the tunes that became EMEFE.

It is important to note that Fela Kuti, the man who created the music we play, lived in a different time - he made his music as a response to the injustices that ruled everyday life in Africa (specifically Nigeria) in the 70's and 80's. His music was about not becoming zombies under the authorities. He sang about not letting the corrupt government officials bring his people down. So why does EMEFE play this music? In the same way that Fela used this music as an escape from and confrontation against the authorities, EMEFE uses it to escape the inner authority inside all of us, the doubts and worries that are there inside our minds every day. Our mission is to use our music to help ourselves and our listeners let go of those trivial negatives that bring us down. We want to fight the inner authorities that we put on ourselves, each for our own specific reasons. With deep respect for Fela Kuti, we are excited to play the music he created - afrobeat - because, simply, it makes us happy. We hope it makes you happy too.

EMEFE also takes inspiration from the improvised music made by Medeski Martin and Wood and other areas of music and life to produce music that makes the listener want to dance in a happy frenzy. Check out our afrobeat funk tunes and give some feedback!

The band could be called an afrobeat band, with influence from Fela Kuti and Antibalas. It could be called a funk band, with influence from Sly, MMW, The Roots, and the Dap-Kings. But what's in a genre? We are, quite simply, EMEFE.

Swift Technique

While Swift Technique draws from all world influences, their genre is uniquely Philadelphia. The idea of combining traditional jazz and funk with hip-hop seems almost too obvious, but artists are not pushing the boundaries. The music scene needs sincere, soulful performers that audiences of all age, race and background can enjoy collectively. By combining old influences with young, raw energy, Swift Technique is the collaboration of six souls on a mission to flip the music scene upside down.

Mokaad is a funk band from NYC. Founded by Gabriel Garzón-Montano and Davy Levitan, the 11 piece group has crafted a dope sound that combines Prince's relentless fight grooves, the bubbling horns of maestro Fred Wesley and the presence of Sly & The Family Stone. Mokaad has undeniably created a stank that is one of a kind. Their debut EP, entitled 'Booty' (mastered by Henry Hirsch) is quickly turning heads. Rivaling this remarkable debut are only the bands live shows, which have created a loyal fanbase and which continue to capture audiences wherever they play. "We are trying to put the old records on, while adding the boom-bap so young people discover the funk all over again." Says band leader Gabriel Garzón-Montano. "Studying and copying the masters we idolize to eventually take the music where its going." Mokaad is trunk music for real live people.

The Bailen Brothers

Songwriting twin duo David and Daniel Bailen have been playing music and writing songs ever since the womb, in fact, they came out singing in perfect harmony! The two grew up singing in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, where both were featured soloists. In 2007, the two went into the studio and recorded their first album as The Bailen Brothers Band, “Come and Get Your Art.” The band made their national television debut when they were featured on Nickelodeon throughout that summer.

The members of the band emanate from NYU and Juilliard and have been playing on the New York Club scene since 2007, with short college tours in the Northeast and California. In 2010, the band moved to Florence, Italy, where they had a weekly residency at two clubs in the city center. They also performed at other venues around Italy including the Blue Note in Milan, and The Pinocchio Club.

On their return to New York, the band kept the weekly residency going by hosting Thursday Throwdowns @ the Local 269. Since being back, the Bailen Brothers have played on the Vh1 Save the Music Summer Concert Series, Harlem Jazz Museum’s Annual July 4th Concert in the Park, and the CMJ Music Marathon. They have also played residencies at the Bowery Poetry Club, Bitter End, Sullivan Hall and The Studio @ Webster Hall.

Jake Pinto & The Yeahtones

Jake Pinto is a 22 year old jazz pianist residing in New York City. He attended New York University’s jazz program where he had incredible opportunities to study and work, both in and out of school, with such luminaries as Francois Moutin, Ralph Lalama, Jean Michel Pilc, Billy Drews, Dave Pietro, Dafnis Prieto, Gil Goldstein, Dick Hyman, Tony Moreno, Francesco Bearzatti and Paolino Dalla Porta.


Jake has performed at many venues in New York City and around the globe including: Blue Note New York, Cornelias St Cafe, Knitting Factory, Joe’s Pub, Blue Note Milan, Grand Tour Jazz Festival in Italy, Bar B in Brazil, and countless others. With his tenacity, energy and versatility, Jake Pinto is steadily becoming a highly sought after pianist and keyboardist.

ZOZO AFROBEAT

"Zozo," taken from the Goun and Fon word for "something hot," truly keeps the Afrobeat fires burning. A 13-piece ensemble fromNew York City, Zozo Afrobeat features musicians from around the world and is led by African music luminary Kaleta. Born in the Republic of Benin and raised in Nigeria, Kaleta grew up recording and performing with legendary Nigerian musicians Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti and King Sunny Ade, shina Peters. After moving to the U.S., Kaleta toured with akoya afrobeat and most recently with Lauryn Hill.

With Zozo Afrobeat, Kaleta's music pays homage to the greats, and yet has its own distinctive sound and energy. Like Fela Kuti, who used his music to challenge a corrupt Nigerian government, Kaleta has written songs that are socially and politically provocative. At the same time, his lyrics reflect a keen sense of humor and a message of hope.

He also co-arranged/produced New york based Akoya Afrobeat ensemble and has written all the band's songs. On Zozo Afrobeat's 2008 release, "Country of Guns," Kaleta scatters pop culture references and marvels of a country with "250 million people and 250 billion guns."

On other songs, Kaleta sings in Yoruba, Goun, Fon, and French. He is currently working on 2 cds with 16 songs FELABRATION & AFROBEATOLOGY to be release in 2009 in conjunction with his book on his former master Fela Kuti.

On stage, Kaleta displays remarkable energy - singing, dancing, and playing guitar and percussion. The band responds accordingly, delivering cascades of horns, hypnotic Benino-Nigerian rhythms, and captivating solos. Zozo Afrobeat has played at the Lincoln Center "Out of Doors" Festival, the Brooklyn Museum, most recently at New york city Summer stage/Central park and various clubs in the New York area. ZOZO AFROBEAT is open to world wide concerts...please email us at zozoafrobeat@gmail.com.

Fans across America are talking about SOPHISTAFUNK, the product of three multi-talented musicians [Adam Gold, Jack Brown, & Emanuel Washington] who combine spoken-word artistry, old-school hip hop, & funky rhythms to create a unique live band experience.

The 4 elements of Sophistafunk:
(1) a 1950s jazz club,
(2) a 1960s poetry den,
(3) a 1970s funk party,
(4) a 1980s hip hop show.

PitchBlak Brass Band

PitchBlak Brass Band is a ten-piece New York City-based group of composers, producers, artists, rappers, strivers, hustlers, and superstars who came together in fall 2010 and have been rocking neighborhoods from Park Slope to Harlem ever since. Drawing upon its members' diverse musical backgrounds, styles, and visions, PitchBlak mixes hip-hop and brass to create music that pulses with Afro-Caribbean beats, soaring jazz solos, and mind-melting guitar licks.

PitchBlak has performed at Brooklyn Bowl, 92YTribeca, the late Southpaw, The Shrine and most recently completed its first tour of the Northeast United States. In September 2012, PitchBlak performed with the critically acclaimed Manhattan Brass, celebrating their 21st anniversary and collaborating with the brass heavyweights at (le) poisson rouge.

Band members are also active in community outreach programs and in classrooms throughout the city, teaching and mentoring other young musicians. PitchBlak's members come to the band with an incredible diversity of musical background and training, infusing their hip-hop-driven music with funk, rock, jazz, and classical. The result is a style as fresh as their dreads, shades, and dashikis—rich brass harmonies, lyrical hooks, tongue-twisting raps, and rhythms that make your blood race.

supremO mAssiv

Once upon a time there was this guy called supremO mAssiv who walked the earth; but people mostly called him premo. He did a whole lotta stuff to make a lot of noise and some people dug it. so one day he says to him self "self.. its time!"

And he gathered up a couple of noise machines, and guitars and a whole lot of drums and he proceeded to get funky. some folks say he's from Brooklyn, NY, some say maybe Jupiter. Still others say more in what they don't say. Find out for yourself at the next show.

The Rainbow Children

Born in Purchase NY, The Rainbow Children have been funkin' up the scene since the spring of 09. A 12 piece funk/soul/R&B band with the sexiness that will make your toes curl. The Rainbow Children represents all ages, all types, all genres, and all people coming together to feel the love. So make sure you bring some foot spray cuz it will be funky!! Guaranteed!

The Stepkids are futuristic electro soul recorded on a reel-to-reel; soaring harmonies sung by three singer/songwriters; Kandinsky-esque visuals that make for enigmatic live performances.

"A lot of what excites us about this band is this band itself," says bassist and keyboardist Dan Edinberg. "It's not either of us; it's about creating an entity where the entity itself is what's important."

It's an approach that comes from more than a decade of musical experimentation. Raised on the East Coast jazz and R&B circuit, individual band members went on to share stages with 50 Cent and Lauryn Hill, tour internationally with indie punk band Zox, score movies and commercials, and produce solo albums. However, it was an interest in creating an aesthetic identity which supersedes conventional pop notions of stardom and self-importance that ultimately drew them together.

The Stepkids groove is a startling, yet sexy, fusion of punk, jazz, West African traditional, 1960s folk, neo and classic soul, classic funk and 20th century classical; think T.Rex meets Sun Ra, Sly Stone meets Stravinsky, and Dylan meets Dilla. Philosophy and literature provide a conceptual schematic, from existential musings ("Legend in My Own Mind"), to the work of Charles Bukowski ("La La") and Plato's theoretical "Allegory of the Cave" ("Shadows on Behalf"). Add to this a vested interest in the recording process, and you have an imaginative album of Technicolor brilliance expertly self-engineered and self-produced. Live, kaleidoscopic projections by experimental video artist Jesse Mann consume the stage with light for a multi-sensory experience.

And every song on the Stepkids self-titled debut album is written with equal input from each member.

"All three of us write and all three of us sing," says Jeff Gitelman, who resigned from touring as Alicia Keys' guitarist to concentrate full-time on recording the Stepkids self-titled debut album.
"There's an equal split in the creative process, and we're really happy about that," says drummer Tim Walsh. "Any lyric, any melody, any idea could have been done by any of us."

There's no singular icon, no singular sound, and no singular way of making it happen for the Stepkids. It's psychedelia for the 21st century, where the focus is on the whole.

Greg Banks, described as a "VINTAGE SOUL", has been mentioned in the same sentences with such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Lenny Kravitz. As flattering as this is, Greg understands the importance of carrying the torch of great artistry and music. F eatured in Deli Magazine's Spring issue for the "Top Emerging Indie Artists of NYC 2014"
Mr. Banks may remind you of many but he certainly duplicates none!

Melanie Charles & The Journey

With a tone reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan, melodic lines inspired by John Coltrane and Miles Davis coupled with soulful yet funky vibes, Melanie Charles is the quintessence of soulful Jazz. Along with her band, The Journey, she transports her listeners back in time to the Harlem jazz clubs of the twenties while at simultaneously breathing a fresh new life into the popular neo-soul sounds of today.
In order to truly understand her music you have to hear it for yourself. A Brooklyn native, Melanie Charles grew up listening to Jazz, R&B, Classical, Kompas, and Gospel Music. She attended LaGuardia, High School for Performing Arts (the Fame School), where she discovered her talent for writing and composition. She has performed with Jazz legends such as Clark Terry and Wynton Marsalis, the late Michael Jackson, and many others. She has also worked with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, and renowned actor, Andre DeShields in "Dream on Monkey Mountain." Melanie is a 2010 graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music under the tutelage of jazz masters such as Reggie Workman, Charles Tolliver, Carla Cook and others. These days Melanie is busy as the back-up singer for Atlantic Recording artist, Laura Izibor. With her debut album "Introducing Melanie Charles & The Journey" now out she plays shows all around NYC with her band "The Journey" to promote the album.

Denny Love

Denny Love is the immensely talented singer/songwriter and entertainer. He commands the stage with a fervor rarely seen since the golden age of soul and funk. His lyrics have sex appeal. His songs are a celebration of love and life. His voice can make you cry but also get your ass on the dance floor. His band takes his energy and amplifies it to 11! Combining musicians of various musical backgroun
ds, the experience of seeing and hearing Denny Love is a beautiful union of soulful Pop/R&B and high energy showmanship. Its intoxicating!

A Native of Central New York, Denny grew up in a hardworking Italian-American family setting the tone for his no-nonsense and driven attitude. It comes through in his music, reminiscent of Prince, Michael Jackson, and James Brown, of which are all of his main influences since he began on the piano and studying voice at age 3. He is truly a phenomenon of vocal talent, with a buttery soft yet extremely powerful tenor, an instrument like no other.

His accolades include many awards and competition wins, talent scholarships to his Alma Mater of Syracuse University, many national anthems and high profile New York City gigs where he and his band are based. You will fall in love with this funky, dynamic and passionate character as he brings the house down!

Live show features Denny Love (lead vocals), Geordie Wood(drums), Sam Wolk (bass), Michael Nurick (guitar), Tobe Tsuchiya(keys) and Josh Upton and Jenna Gilfoil (backup vocals)also occasionally featuring horns led by Gregorio Hernandez.

Higher Vibe was created by Dominic Missana in May 2010. Dom, Matt, Mike, and David are all graduating from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music this May with degrees in Jazz Performance. When it all began, Higher Vibe had the honor and privilege to perform with Jerry Livingston on Bass (Rick James' Bassist). Jerry later introduced the band to Rishon Odel Northington, who now plays with the group. H
igher Vibe has performed at many venues across Western New York such as D.G.G.B.'s, The Waterstreet Landing, The Bend, Canvas, Allen St. Hardware, The Shadow Lounge, and The Tralf. They have also played several festivals across Western NY including The Ellicottville Jazz Festival, The Allen and Elmwood Art Festivals, and The Buffalo and Niagara Italian Festivals. Higher Vibe released their first record on August 20th, 2011 entitled "105 Merrimac" which can soon be found on Itunes, Rhapsody, and Amazon.

HEAVy (featuring Casey Benjamin of The Robert Glasper Experiment)

Casey (stutzmcgee) Benjamin & Nicky (Ampersand Jones) Guiland = HEAVy, a mind boggling mix of rock, soul and pop chock full of quirk and irony that is uniquely their own.
The Jamaica Queens, NY natives carry on the "power-duo" tradition of singer and producer, pulling influences from across the spectrum, Herbie Hancock, Rotary Connection, The Police, Prince to name a few.

Nicky, half Trini - half Jamaican, was born on stage. After years of dance training in local and professional programs, she grew tired of the restrictive discipline and at age 12 showed promise with vocal arts. Casey, Grenadian/ Panamanian, grew up with music all around. His fathers extensive record collection encouraged Casey's musical aptitude and by age 8 the self taught pianist found himself in love with the saxophone. His high school years would prove to be both promising and heartbreaking when his band, Legacy, signed to Uptown Records, only later to be shelved by parent company MCA after Uptown folded. Their shared love for jazz and similar cultural backgrounds brought the two together in their senior year at New York's infamous Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts. After a semester of collaborations and performances the two both accepted scholarships to New School University's Jazz program, but it wasn't until Nicky's senior recital that they would collaborate again. By May of 2001, Casey had left The New School to begin regular touring with DJ Logic/Project Logic to MD the run and solidify his brand as a Saxophonist/Keyboardist/Vocoder player. Nicky knew she needed a musical director who could handle a diverse setlist. After a successful show, they knew they were onto something and HEAVy was born, named after the comments they'd received about their new sound.

Since then, HEAVy has released one EP, 2004's HEAVY on Kindred Spirits Records, featuring the critically acclaimed "Wonderlove (for minnie)", HEAVY Remixed with work by Jazzanova and Dj Spinna and two full albums, the 2007 BBE Records release JAzzmonEY$$ and most recently in 2009 HEAVy First Sessions on Kindred Spirits Records, a lost session recorded in 2001 showcasing the roots of this eclectic group.

HEAVy has toured Europe extensively opening for N.E.R.D, Jill Scott and Q-Tip.

In a world of conventional music, BAM has found an unconventional approach to fitting in. This Philadelphia collaboration exemplifies years of chemistry, providing a breath of fresh air to the music listener searching for artistry in music making.

Their natural talents allow for a colorful canvas of sound exploration; from funky grooves to light jazz to driving drum and bass. Their goal is not to pinpoint a genre, its to display advanced musicality, highlighting the array of possibilities that exist.

BAM approaches song writing with sophistication and technicality, challenging themselves to find simplicity in their methodology. The result is a collection of sounds captivating for the mind and pleasing to the ear.

BAM is also in the process of writing music that will be used by Network TV stations for national programming. Don't be surprised if you hear their work on a Sci-Fi program in the near future. BAM is currently working hard on their catalogue and will be touring in the near future. Keep an eye out.

Night Of The Living Funk

Born out of the fiery depths of hell in Florence, Italy

Mad Satta is a rapidly rising soul/r&b group comprised of some of the tri-state areas most talented young musicians, founded by vocalist Joanna Teters and upcoming jazz bass player, Ben Carr.

Joanna Teters, a student at Berklee College of Music, is a brilliant vocal stylist with roots in jazz, blues, reggae and R&B music. She is backed by bass player and principle composer for the group Ben Carr, innovative guitarist Ted Morcaldi, standout drummer Zane West, and composer and new addition to the group Kevin Theodore on keyboards. With the recent addition of a live horn section, the group has been rising to new heights every time they play. They have recently been showcased at venues all across New York State and Connecticut, from The Falcon to the Bowery Electric, and their newest release, a self-titled EP, has become a best-seller on Bandcamp. Mad Satta will undoubtedly continue to turn heads with it's unique blend of soul music.

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BK FUNK FEST at The Paper Box

Wednesday, November 28 · 7:00 PM at The Paper Box

Off Sale