Funk Fest 9 is reaching deep into the recesses of funk’s heart and soul with the godfathers of funkified jazz and soul fusion, Tower of Power, headlining the two-day festival in March. Held in historic Punta Gorda FL on March 2nd and 3rd, Funk Fest will also see the return of the court jesters of funk, Here Come The Mummies, and will feature southern rockers Blackberry Smoke, and Band of Heathens, New Orleans ambassadors of brass The Soul Rebels, Atlanta’s groove gurus Voodoo Visionary, and Cleveland jamtronic masters Broccoli Samurai, New York’s rowdy rockers Wild Adriatic, St. Petersburg-based reggae-infused funksters Resinated, and Joe Marcinek, the man who assembles incredible all-star ensembles all over the country.
Tower of Power has been throwing down jazz, funk and soul for nearly 50 years to souled-out audiences around the country and are more contemporary now than they’ve ever been. Four of the band’s original members, Emilio Castillo on tenor sax, Stephen “Doc” Kupka on baritone sax, Francis “Rocco” Prestia on bass and drummer David Garibaldi, are at the core of ten-man group. Along with newer members Russ McKinnon on drums, Roger Smith on keyboards, Sal Cracchiolo on trumpet, Adolfo Acosta on trumpet, Tom Politzer on tenor sax, Jerry Cortez on guitar and Marcus Scott on vocals, they trigger an explosion of sound that is as intricate as it is danceable.
Memphis-based Here Come The Mummies will be back again to reprise their wild, comical, crowd-pleasing set from Funk Fest 8. A ten-piece band replete with a killer horn section and decked out in bandages might seem like a joke, but these guys are completely serious about funking things up. Their true identities are a mystery, but their current incarnation consists of Mummy Cass(anova), Eddie Mummy, K.W. TuT, Spaz, The Flu, Ra, B.B.Queen, The Pole, Midnight, & Mummy Yo.
The Soul Rebels harness the power of horns in their all brass and percussion ensemble to celebrate dance, soul, life and the city that gives it all meaning – New Orleans. Its eight members have played support for mega stars like Bruno Mars, Lauryn Hill and Nas and stir rock, hip hop and pop into a gumbo that boils over into one big dance party. Making the magic happen are Lumar LeBlanc on snare drum, Derrick Moss on bass drum and percussion, Manuel Perkins on sousaphone, Marcus Hubbard and Julian Gosin on trumpet, Paul Robertson and Corey Peyton on trombone and Erion Williams on tenor saxophone.
Foot-stomping, booty-shakin’ rock will be well represented when Atlanta-based Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke and Austin’s Band Of Heathens throw down old-school riffs in a town where, despite its northern transplants, is still the south.
Blackberry Smoke features Charlie Starr on lead vocals and guitar, Richard Turner on bass, Brit Turner on drums, Paul Jackson on guitar and vocals and Brandon Still on keyboards.
Band Of Heathens is made up of Ed Jurdi on guitar, keys and vocals; Gordy Quist on guitar and vocals. Trevor Nealon on keys and vocals, Richard Millsap on drums and vocals and Scott Davis on bass and vocals.
Ohio-based jamtronica wizards Broccoli Samurai will be bringing their synth-heavy, progressive electronic, dance music laced with jazz, soul and funk to the fest. Currently dazzling concertgoers around the country on the festival and concert circuit, the band includes Ryan Hodson on keyboards, Cameron Bickley on drums, Zachary Wolfe Nagi-Schehl on guitar and Michael Vincent on bass (those two just recently switched instruments!).
Atlanta’s masters of funk and fun Voodoo Visionary tear it up wherever they land. Fortunately for us, they are landing at Funk Fest again for what’s guaranteed to be a face melting, boogie-till-you-drop good time; they played both days of last year’s fest The band’s members, who will be putting the boogie in your ‘oogie with their improvisational funk and grooves. are Dennis Dowd on keys, Jimmy Lynch on bass, Scottie MacDonald on vocals, Mac Schmitz on drums and Mike Wilson on guitar.
Wild Adriatic will be trucking their guitar-heavy, rowdy brand of groove-laden rock and roll all the way down from their home in upstate New York. The heart and soul of the band are made up of Travis Gray on vocals and guitar, Rich Derbyshire on bass, Mateo Vosganian on drums.
You know the line from Forrest Gump when Forrest says, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get?” Welp, that pretty much describes The Joe Marcinek Band. You never know what, or who, you’ll get from this world-class musician and guitarist who has shared the stage with George Porter, Jr. of The Meters, Jesus Coomes of Lettuce and Steve Molitz of Particle, just to name a few. Promising equal parts funk, psychedelia, blues and soul, Joe Marcinek leaves no doubt that he’ll be putting together greatness for Funk Fest 9.
Florida’s own Resinated will be there with its happily signature mix of pop, reggae and funk. The St. Petersburg quartet consists of Kenny Mullins on lead vocals and guitar, John Gray on bass, Josh Hasak on drums and Jeff Applefield on vocals and keys.
And all this is only the first phase of the 2018 lineup. We’re just itching to find out what other surprises the promoters have to add to an already stacked bill. For more information and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.