Fans across America are talking about Syracuse-based 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 band met in 2007 and rapidly evolved into a national-touring live act. Known for their HUGE sound (created by only three members), the band has won over crowds with a captivating stage presence and tight musicianship. Rooted by old school funk / hip hop, the trio explores electronic dance grooves while infusing each tune with soul and positively charged lyrics. Sophistafunk is a multi-genre tour de force, jam packed with vintage tones and live instruments.
For six years, this road warrior band has been hitting the pavement and blowing minds across the United States. They've collaborated live with greats spanning Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Talking Heads) to Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce/Dumpstaphunk) and were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives when Gold’s restaurant and music venue, Funk n’ Waffles, was featured on the show on December 25, 2012. Host, Guy Fieri, dug the band so hard, they've since played his birthday party in Santa Rosa, CA and became the first band ever to play the International Home and Housewares Convention in Chicago, IL on March 3, 2013, by Fieri’s personal request.
Sophistafunk has played high-profile venues including The Blue Note Jazz Club (NYC), The Boom Boom Room (San Francisco), The Belly Up (Aspen), Brooklyn Bowl (NYC) and more and supported acts including Soulive, G. Love, Foreigner, Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, Marco Benevento and more. They've also gained attention from publications including New York City’s Village Voice and Beyond Race Magazine.
Big Mean Sound Machine
In 2009, Big Mean Sound Machine formed in Ithaca, New York with one goal: to create music that stimulates both the Body AND Mind. The result has become a fiery exhibition of artfully conceived dance music that truly is Big and Mean. Today, BMSM comprises a collective of over 15 analog artists spread out over the Northeastern United States, who strive day in and day out to reanimate and reinterpret a fusion of Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Latin and many other styles, all through a postmodern lens. Anyone who has witnessed The Machine live in action knows that their performances are among the heaviest and the sweatiest. Anyone who has heard their studio releases also knows that they can refine this complex sonic force with maturity and clarity that allows each composition to blossom to its fullest. As of January 2013, their performative efforts have extended to the big screen as well. With the release of DR. IGUANA: LIVE IN THE STUDIO, a live DVD shot at Grammy Award-winning studio Electric Wilburland, the Big Mean Sound Machine adds more critical acclaim to that received from their CD releases Marauders (2012), and Ouroboros (2011). In addition, in 2012 Big Mean released Warrior, a joint effort with vocalist Jay Spaker a.k.a. J-SAN (John Brown's Body, JATAS), and in 2013, BMSM released an album with Ghana's Yao Foli "CHA CHA" Augustine (Mosaic Foundation, The Ndor Band) supporting the Ndor Eco Village project in Foli's home village. BMSM's next studio album is due to be released in the spring of 2014. The Big Mean Sound Machine maintains a busy performance schedule, captivating cities all over the Northeast United States and beyond spreading further each day. For those like us who are tired of the status quo, there is good news: THE BIG MEAN SOUND MACHINE HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED.
The Rad Trads
The Rad Trads were formed in New York City in the spring of 2012 while the boys were attending New York University. Active members of the jazz community in New York, The Rad Trads came together with the intention of fusing their diverse interests in jazz, blues, and soul music into a sound that would reflect the unique journey of American music from its roots in New Orleans and various folk traditions up through the present day. Simultaneously, The Rad Trads felt that this music could and should be presented to a wider audience in a contemporary context, while not sacrificing tradition. The result is the eight piece brass band soul explosion that defies genre descriptions. The band has performed at legendary New York venues like The Bowery Electric, Arlene's Grocery and Webster Hall, as well as venues up and down the east coast. Current and former members of The Rad Trads have toured, performed, and recorded with a wide range of artists including Saturday Night Live's Lenny Pickett, Kenny Werner, afrobeat stalwarts EMEFE, and their own solo projects which have toured the U.S. and Europe. Members of The Rad Trads horn section are featured in support of Truth and Soul Record's Lady.
The Rad Trads from T.E.H.O. on Vimeo.
DJ Jack Tripper
"The Reverend Jack Tripper wasn't always so reverend. Oh no, he was quite a dark soul. Instead of spinning he got spun. But since his ordination in the Church of Universal Life (it's a real thing bitches), Jack has been blessing the tables with his mix of old school hip hop, disco, funk breaks and dance classics like a man on a mission from God. Check him out as he lets the music do his preaching."