Brooklyn Funk Essentials
Since 1993, Brooklyn Funk Essentials have been presenting their unique brand of eclectic funk to ecstatic audiences around the world. Made up of musicians, singers and poets from around the globe, the group is an all-star-team famously mixing styles like soul, jazz, latin and house - all rolled into one ferocious funk fest. If it grooves, they will funk it!
BFE have released five studio albums, that along with massive critical praise, have earned them Grammy nominations and ‘Album Of The Year’ acclaim. Their songs have also been used in several films and TV-shows, such as ‘Starsky & Hutch’, ‘The Sopranos’, ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘The Basketball Diaries’. But perhaps most notably, their amazing live shows have given them a worldwide loyal fan-base.
The 2017 all-star line-up features the talents of:
Anna Brooks - Saxophones & vocals
Desmond Foster - Vocals & guitar
Lati Kronlund - Bass
Alison Limerick - Vocals
Hux Nettermalm - Drums
Iwan VanHetten - Trumpet, keyboards & vocals
Brooklyn Funk Essentials at Le Rocher de Palmer, Cenon (Bordeaux) in September 2016. Photo: Laurent Robert.
DANCE OR DIE
On January 19, 2016, Brooklyn Funk Essentials played the legendary Ronnie Scott’s club in London. It was the band’s first show after the release of their fifth studio album ‘Funk Ain’t Ova’, which Dorado Records had dropped worldwide two months earlier. It was also the first time that BFE played London in many years, and the show was sold out shortly after tickets went on sale. In addition, this show would be the first time that UK soulstress Alison Limerick would perform together with the band. BFE leader and bass player, Lati Kronlund had written and produced Alison’s classic anthem ‘Where Love Lives’ back in 1989, so it seemed natural that they should get together and play the song live, given such a perfect opportunity.
The show was a smashing success. Blues & Soul’s Emrys Baird wrote: “There's an old saying 'form is temporary and class is permanent' and BFE are definitely a classy affair… Ronnie's was now in full swing and party mode and by the time Ms Limerick came back on to sing her classic (to glorious effect) 'Where Love Lives’… it was a done deal. Staged without an interval, the two hour show kept the eager audience still wanting more, which takes some doing, but BFE certainly have stamina. Let's hope we see more of them they are one helluva band with their funk going strong and as our Lenny said 'it ain't over til it's over’... you'd be hard pressed to find a more versatile band out there. ......A top night in Soho me thinks.”
Alison had instantly merged into the BFE blend and it seemed only natural that she would continue to do most of the band’s shows in the year to come. This was also particularly welcome since the departure of Hanifah Walidah from the band’s line-up in the previous year. As Alison got deeper into the BFE set, it also became clear that her voice blended perfectly with the voice of the band’s guitarist/singer Desmond Foster, and they began to work out several songs together.
Fast forward to the early spring of 2017 - BFE were back in London, and once again with an altered line-up: The band’s singer Papa Dee, from the original nineties constellation had decided to take time out to from the band, which meant that BFE would now be fronted by Limerick and Foster, as well as the horns of Anna Brooks and Iwan Van Hetten. Ronnie Scott’s were booking the show again, but this time they had chosen to host the band at The Jazz Café in Camden Town, to make room for more people, and to accommodate those BFE fans who like to get down and dance. Once again, the show was sold out and a great success. The band continued to play three dates in Paris, including their traditional New Morning set, and they were met with the same enthusiasm there as in London.
BFE’s calendar for 2017 is now quickly filling up with new live dates and in addition, the band is once again back in the studio to record new material. A new EP can be expected in the late summer with a new album in the works for 2018. Watch this space for more news on all BFE activities.
'Blast It!' from the 'Funk Ain't Ova' album (Dorado Records 2015).
It's about not giving up and pushing through when times are hard. Funk Ain't Ova!
Official video of 'Gabriel' from the 'Funk Ain't Ova' album (Dorado Records 2015).
BFE's cover of Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's classic tune, given a Brooklyn Funk Latin-Ska-Jazz make-over.