Brooklyn Funk Essentials

 

Since 1994, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have been presenting their unique brand of eclectic funk to ecstatic audiences, the world over. Made up of musicians, singers and poets from around the globe, the group famously mixes styles like soul, jazz, latin, house, drum & bass, ska, afrobeat and Anatolian melodies all rolled into one ferocious funk fest. If it grooves, they will funk it!

 

Photographs by Richard Ahlstrom ©

Video Gabriel from the new album 'Funk Ain't Ova'

The Band

It’s the million dollar question – Can you name every musician that ever played with BFE on a stage or in a studio? Exactly. Did you know that Dizzy Gillespie plays on the Cool & Steady & Easy album? Yep, he did. And that Thierry Henry did a cameo as a rapper with BFE in Barcelona in 2009? That’s not true.

Actually, there have been members touring with BFE, who nobody can remember the name of. Like, who was that percussionist with the blonde fro, who fell off the stage in Paris in '95 and broke his foot?

Are you keeping track that Shä-key, on the first three BFE records, became Hanifah Walidah on 2008’s Watcha Playin’ album, and is now making tracks with her new St. Lo outfit under the name Mezz Walidah? Uhu.

It is only here, on this – the official Brooklyn Funk Essentials web home, that you will find out such fascinating info.

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Funk Ain't Ova

Friday, Oct. 2 is the release date of 'Blast It!', the first single from BFE's new 'Funk Ain't Ova' album, which will be released world-wide by Dorado Records on Nov. 13.

Video Blast It! from the new album 'Funk Ain't Ova'

True to its name, [‘Blast It!’] is brimming with high-voltage frequencies, anchored by a simple groove and an uplifting mantra that permeates. Strings soar, muted guitar licks strut in the ‘Funky Space Reincarnation’ vein and the whole things wreaks of sweat on the dance floor.
— Okayplayer
 
 
 

This is the original BFE EPK (electronic press kit) from 1995 for the album Cool & Steady & Easy. Interesting trivia: as the band walked down Houston Street followed by the film crew, a group of young girls stopped and checked them out. But after a two second inspection, one of the girls declared: "Nah, they're not famous. We're outa here!".


 Dance Free Night (July 2014)


How did Brooklyn Funk Essentials come together (1995)


Funky Nassau (July 2014)