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Funk

Aztec Sun

DC Music Rocks Aztec Sun

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Band/Artist Name: AZTEC SUN

Recommended if you like: Sly & the Family Stone, Snarky Puppy, James Brown, The Suffers, Alabama Shakes

Story behind your band/artist name: 

--The name " AZTEC SUN '' is the result of a group of musicians bringing together different words, thoughts, musical influences and ethnic backgrounds to form a band.

Band Members: 

--Stephane " Steph'' (band leader/ lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Ryan ''Catch'' (keys, backing vocals); Ray (lead guitar); John ''Jaahn'' (Drums, percussion); Shane ''Shaner'' (bass); Adam ''AK'' (Trumpet); Michael ''Mike'' (Trombone), Dave ''DK'' (alto/bari sax); Sara (backing vocals)

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : 

--For the most part AZTEC SUN's members live in NW DC, but some also live in NE and in Maryland (Bethesda/Gaithersburg).

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: 

-- We once played a gig in front of the Capitol Building and Bernie Sanders photobombed a picture of our drummer.
-- Our 9-piece band has provided live funk/soul background music for 2 yoga classes and a yoga festival (shoutout to WithLoveDC).
-- Our live performances are so energetic and sweaty that we generally each have at least 2-3 outfits with us at a show (at times including a change of underwear).

Anything else we should know, or you want to share: 

--Our music is a retro blend of 70's funk and soul with heavy undertones of jazz, blues and afrofunk. In 2016, the Washington City Paper named AZTEC SUN the Best Local Original Band. We've had the pleasure of opening for national touring acts such as Burning Spear, the Suffers, Pimps of Joytime, Naughty Professor, Alanna Royale, The Main Squeeze, and Major and the Monbacks.

Come check us out live!

Official Website URL: www.aztecsunband.com

Facebook URL: facebook.com/aztecsunband

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/aztec-sun/id1172422801

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/6OnaUDYJy5FVQ8zVDI41vY

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/AZTECSUNBAND

Other Links: https://www.instagram.com/aztecsunband/

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: Soul, Jazz, World, Afrobeat

Albino Rhino

Albino Rhino DC Music Rocks


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Band/Artist Website: albinorhino-us.bandcamp.com/music

Band/Artist Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/albinorhino.us

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/album/4SOkCQv0SqrQmdtYbLWxMx

iTunes Link:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/albino-rhino/1119594234

3 incredibly interesting and entertaining DC related facts about the band? Give us good stuff, not normal bio stuff!: 1) Between the current members of Albino Rhino there are 11 bands represented (Albino Rhino, Bells & Hunters, ShowPony, Nah., Toadhead, Deb Felz, HYFY, Kairos Quintet, Sean Croft, Geoff Britches, and Joe McMurray)
2) Albino Rhino has always had at least 1 band member living in Washington, DC, and played their first show in DC, making us a bonified DC band - though perhaps with a non-traditional DC sound. Along these lines, our bass player used to live in Glover Park near the Dischord house, but we claim a linieage more from GoGo and funk, than DC punk.
3) The Albino Rhino song "Arlington Girls" was removed from our catalog because the song addressed many of our fans, who are women from DC and NoVA, and took offense to the song. This song expresses frustration from the narrator who is trying to talk to this or that person at the bar in Arlington. Similarly, the song Floor Funk is often accompanied by a disclaimer that the song is Floor Funk, and not Floor F-word.

Anything else we should know, or you want to share?: Albino Rhino has been in a variety of interesting cover situations. We covered Gladiator by Wings of Apollo when their bass player (Pat Graves) attended our show, similarly we've covered Mexico by Bells & Hunters both with and without Bells frontman Keith Fischer. Lastly we played Black Water (JJ Grey & Mofro) when opening for Daryl Hance (former Mofro guitar player), he took video and sent it to JJ Grey - JJ approved. Similarly, we got to play I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown at Howard Theater, on the stage James Brown performed, in front of a picture of James Brown.

We, the band, were unaware of any slang definitions for "Albino Rhino" prior to deciding on that band name - we promise. 

As students of funk and jazz, being called "cats" by jazz guitar great Mike Stern was a crowning achievement for all of us. This was right after seeing him play a set, as he hailed a cab and disappeared into the night...

Backbeat Underground

backbeat underground dc music rocks

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Band/Artist Name: Backbeat Underground

Recommended if you like: Charles Bradley, The Funk Ark, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings / Soulive / Galactic

Story behind your band/artist name: it's a terrible name - naming by committee which I guess is a very DC thing. Though Underground refers to our origins the the GWU basement studios where we started.

Band Members: Satya (sax, percussion) / Arejay (drums) / Gerald (bass) / John (guitar)

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : NW DC - Petworth / Arlington

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: Played at all the Funk Parades!
Performed at the Labor Day Music Festival at The Lincoln Theatre - September 2016
Released The Labor Day Sessions three track EP in October 2016

Official Website URL: http://backbeatunderground.com/

Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/BackbeatUnderground/

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/backbeat-underground/id1166036432

Spotify Link: https://play.spotify.com/artist/0bzZ0FILlYhJxAy57se7Hw

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: jazz, soul, groove

Black Masala

Black Masala 074 color.jpg

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Each current band member: First&Last name, nickname (if any) and instrument: - Mike Ounallah – Vocals, Drums, Percussion - Kristen Long – Vocals, Percussion - Monty Montgomery – Sousaphone, Vocals, Percussion - Duff Davis – Electric Guitar - Kirsten Warfield – Trombone - Steven Cunningham – Trumpet

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC? : Washington, DC - most of the band members live in NW DC, especially in Petworth/Shaw area along Georgia Ave

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band that are related to persons/places/things/events that happened in the Washington DC area. Give us fun stuff, not normal bio stuff!: Trombonist Kirsten Warfield is in the US Army Marching Band
Drummer/vocalist/bandleader Mike Ounallah used to play in Celtic Rock band Scythian.
Black Masala often has guest musicians sitting in, like Yannick le Page from Portugal on Accordion or Tomas Drgon from Romania on vocals & percussion

Anything else we should know, or you want to share?: High energy brass band with eclectic world influences ranging from balkan, funk, soul, gypsy and punk.

Band/Artist Website (not Facebook): www.blackmasala.com

Band/Artist Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/blackmasala

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/2sCrUB74Gh7eeSM7IHQVYW

iTunes Link:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/black-masala/id813763132

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: Brass, Gypsy, Balkan

Fort Knox Five

fort knox five dc music rocks

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Band/Artist Name: Fort Knox Five

Recommended if you like: Thievery Corporation, The Funk Hunters, DJ Shadow, Bonobo

Band Members: Rob Myers & Steve Raskin

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : Glover Park NW.

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: Co-founding member Rob Myers also plays guitar/sitar in Thievery Corporation, See-I and Thunderball
Co-founding member Steve Raskin was in indie rock band Edsel and is also part of Thunderball
Fort Knox Five has many film & video game licenses, including the Oscar winning documentary The Cove

Anything else we should know, or you want to share:

Official Website URL: http://www.fortknoxfive.com

Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/fortknoxfive

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/fort-knox-five/id65649397

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5nz5ZBNSvKegsJg11XwjC5

Other Links:

Main Genre: Funk

Honest Lee

Honest Lee

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Band/Artist Name & Pronunciation: Honest Lee

Recommended if you like: Shawn Lee, Lack of Afro, Nightmares on Wax, DJ Krush

Story behind your band/artist name: Always staying true to the roots and the funk, as a drummer and a dj, its hard to hide from the groove, so be honest!

Band Members: Mylie Durham IV

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : MD

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: Home grown in the DC Metro Area spending time living and creating in Hyattsville
Drummer on The Funk Ark's 'High Noon' record
Studied music theory at PGCC

Anything else we should know, or you want to share: Honest Lee is Mylie Durham IV, co-founder of Growroom Productions, the home for a number of DC area artists and creative projects over the past 15 years. Over the same period Honest Lee has played in and helped manage The Mighty Heard and Three Man Soul Machine. A few years ago what began as a collaborative project in Growroom Productions became a functioning record label, with its 25th release coming early 2019. Honest Lee is also one-half of the Igloo Two duo, who recently released their second album on the label. He is releasing is debut solo album, 'Solera' Nov 2 2018.

Official Website URL: growroom.bandcamp.com

Facebook Full URL: https://www.facebook.com/DJ.HonestLee

iTunes Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/honest-lee/1139172516?mt=3

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1xJNFEIV410bUTaNUE7gpu

Twitter Handle: @DJ_Honest.Lee

Instagram Handle: @honest_lee

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: instrumental, electronic, downtempo, triphop, lofi, latin, afrobeat,

Jus Paul


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Band/Artist Name & Pronunciation: JusPaul

Recommended if you like: George Michael, Bobby Brown, Jason Derulo, Bruno mars

Story behind your band/artist name: JusPaul received his first drum set at 5, and since, he’s been able to pick up any instrument and play it. When he was 9, he discovered he could also sing but as adolescence approached, singing morphed into rapping. Though he made his bones battle rapping as a teen and performing in a DC Tobacco-Free Families commercial, he decidedly preferred how he sounded singing, and has been using his voice as an instrument ever since. The variation and experimentation JusPaul experienced with music early-on has led to the diversity in the music he creates now. When Chuck Brown fused funk and jazz, he forged an evolution in music by creating go-go. JusPaul has birthed yet another genre through his fusion of R&B, funk, and house music he refers to as BlueHouseFunk. A fan of Charlie Wilson, The Jackson 5, and Usher Raymond, JusPaul is currently the youngest member of the famed R&B/jazz-funk fusion band The Blackbyrds. Since high school graduation, he’s been performing with them – from the Vanguard Festival in Copenhagen to sold-out shows in London. Last spring, JusPaul released a mixtape hosted by DJ 837 titled Dirty Dabbin, which featured a mix of renditions and original songs. This spring, he’s releasing a project titled XIII with his producer Kid Cannibal. Aptly titled because of the fear surrounding the number 13, XIII symbolizes embracing – rather than being afraid of – the different, the odd, and the unknown. XIII features 13 tracks, will be released on April 13th, and if its lead single “I Wanna Be With You” is any indication – it’s going to be huge. Through the advent of great marketing, JusPaul envisions himself attracting more business and bookings, performing at more festivals, and charting a career path that lands him aside – and in competition with -- Jason Derulo, Bruno Mars, Nick Jonas, and Flo Rida as an international phenome. JusPaul has a #1 record in him – he knows it, the DMV knows it, and anyone who has ever met him or listened to his music knows it. Evolution is real and inevitable, and he will continue to evolve. There’s no other artist from Southeast D.C. making this kind of music – there’s only one JusPaul.

Band Members: JusPaul Vocals , Kid Cannibal Keytar, Teddy Alemu Guitar, Julian St. James Bass Guitar, Josh Drums, Elijah Balbed TenorSax.

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : Anacostia, Georgetown, Arlington, Fairfax.

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: JusPaul can whistle without making the obvious whistle face.

JusPaul Makes the funniest faces & can host an entire event. 

Juspaul can do capoeira.

Anything else we should know, or you want to share: Juspaul is hilarious!

Official Website URL: 13album.com

Facebook URL:  https://www.facebook.com/JusPaulOfficial/

iTunes Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/13/id1219372556

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/28TeVrbDPFLVJuGg3vwTfg

Other Links: Instagram.com/juspaul
Twitter.com/juspaul202
SoundCloud.com/juspaulmusic202

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: R&b, jazz, EDM, funk, hip hop, pop

Nappy Riddem

Nappy Riddem DC Music Rocks


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Each current band member: First&Last name, nickname (if any) and instrument: Troy McLean a.k.a. Rex Riddem (Percussion/Vocals/Baritone Ukulele)) Mustafa Akbar (Vocals) Aaron Fisher (Drums) Charles Flye (Keys) Gordon Sterling (Guitar) Patrick Cheng (Bass)

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC? : Washington, DC - most of the band members live in NW DC, especially in Petworth/Shaw area along Georgia Ave

Atleast 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band that are related to persons/places/things/events that happened in the Washington DC area. Give us fun stuff, not normal bio stuff!: Nappy Riddem was founded by two members of Thunderball, the first artist signed to ESL Music in the 1990s after Thievery Corporation.
Nappy Riddem has toured extensively as the supporting band for Junior Marvin, guitarist of Bob Marley & The Wailers.
Nappy Riddem frontman Mustafa Akbar hosts an annual camping festival on his rural property called Mustock!

Anything else we should know, or you want to share?: Creative blend of reggae, dancehall, funk and soul!

Band/Artist Website (not Facebook): www.nappyriddem.com

Band/Artist Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/nappyriddem

Spotify Link:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/1QE4CsMwFoKl0I8xjtiVwk

iTunes Link:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nappy-riddem/id324826695

RVSSLL

RVSSLL

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Band/Artist Name & Pronunciation: RVSSLL

Recommended if you like: Purple Disco Machine, Mousse T, David Penn, Armand Van Helden, Chromeo, Aeroplane, Camelphat, The Magician, MK, Soul Clap

Story behind your band/artist name: It's a moniker of my middle name, which is important to me because of my family heritage.

Band Members: Jonathan Sherman

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC :Washington, DC

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: 1. I'm an avid soccer player and a huge Arsenal fan.
2. I'm a cybersecurity consultant by day.
3. I used to work in the White House for the U.S. Trade Representative during the Obama Administration.

Anything else we should know, or you want to share: RVSSLL is a DJ and Producer by the name of Jonathan Sherman in the Indie Dance/Nu Disco genre who recently toured with JackEL and ZaZa Maree with FVYDID Records in Las Vegas, and frequently performs at iconic D.C. venues like U Street Music Hall, 9:30 Club Backbar, Decades, Little Miss Whiskey’s, Flash, Soundcheck, and Hamilton Live. His remixes of popular tracks by POWERS, Kaleo, and Axwell Ingresso on Soundcloud and his first three singles on Spotify “Alright, Goodnight,” “Tech House Rewind,” and “Be Me (Ft. ZaZa Maree)” have amassed nearly 250,000 plays, and he has provided support to Grammy-winner Cedric Gervais, as well as Martin Jensen, Oliver Nelson, and Lost Frequencies. RVSSLL was trained in classical and jazz piano, and performed with a regionally-acclaimed jazz quintet at the Berklee School of Music in Boston at the age of 17. Outside the music scene, RVSSLL is an avid soccer player, a cyber-consultant for a Fortune 500 firm, and a world traveler. He is also a Staff Writer for “Blisspop,” where he publishes features on popular disco, house, and hip-hop tracks and conducts reviews for local DC-based performances. Learn more about RVSSLL and his music by visiting his social media pages below.

Official Website URL: https://www.rvssllmvsic.com/

Facebook Full URL: https://www.facebook.com/Rvssll/?ref=py_c

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rvssll/1398485091

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Aip2teBv7XgXtfDZHem4f/https://open.spotify.com/artist/0mLljpVrljb7AUT9VmPxTI

Twitter Handle: rvssllmvsic

Other Links: Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rvssllmvsic
Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/rvssll/
Songkick: https://www.songkick.com/artists/9549574-rvssll

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: EDM, Disco, Disco House, Nu Disco, Disco Electro, Tech House, Soulful House, Funky House

Surprise Attack

Surprise Attack DC Music Rocks

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Surprise Attack

We try to sound like Phish, String Cheese Incident, Grateful Dead, and countless other jam heroes.

Story Behind Your Name:  It's the name we chose in high school before we got the band back together! No one remembers why we picked it, but it works particularly well for what we do now!

Members:  Dan (bass, vox), Ian (drums, vox), Jay (percussion), Jeremy (keyboards, vox), Tom (guitars, vox)

Homebase:  The Arlington and East Falls Church area is our home base. We practice and record there.

3 Fun DC Facts about the Band:

1) Before shows, Surprise Attack is frequently seen marching around the National Mall singing their a cappella rendition of 'America the Beautiful’ for vocal warm ups.

2) Surprise Attack was asked multiple times to play at Trump’s presidential inauguration but declined the invitation, not for political reasons, but because administration officials refused to allow the band to perform wearing only American flag body paint.

3) Surprise Attack's crowning achievement was designing the arrangement to fit 5 cases of PBR inside of their minifridge. It was epic.

BIO - With their unexpectedly eclectic blend of funk, jazz, rock, roots music, and hip hop, Surprise Attack pushes the envelope when it comes to seamlessly blending genres and experimenting with improvisation. Multi-part harmonies, searing instrumental leads, dynamic rhythmic breaks, and nostalgic covers are only a few of the tools Surprise Attack uses to “oops, pow, surprise” the audience. The five piece demonstrates a keen ability to reflect the energy of an audience back at them, creating a unique and unforgettable experience.

Website:  https://www.surpriseattackdc.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/surpriseattackdc

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/surprise-attack/id1100039794

Spotify:  https://play.spotify.com/artist/0YXfWC9I3SIIK3In5oTKRV

Bandcamp:  https://surpriseattackdc.bandcamp.com/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/surpriseattackdc/

Main Genre: Funk

Jam, Rock, Jazz, Progressive, Bluegrass, Hip Hop

Staycation

Andy Shea

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Band/Artist Name & Pronunciation: Staycation, Stay-Kay-Shun

Recommended if you like: My Morning Jacket, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hall & Oates, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem

Band Members: Nik Sus (guitar, vox), Will Sautter (keys, vox), David Ray (drums, vox), Neel Singh (bass)

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : Shaw/U Street

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: Inspired the award-winning film, National Treasure
Have been to Air & Space Museum at least 3 times
Still get lost in NOVA without GPS

Official Website URL: www.staycationband.com

Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/staycationband

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/escape-plan-ep/id1287785128

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/album/3thowTDdLooCbFsA0ey2aV

Other Links: www.instagram.com/staycationband

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: rock, funk, psychedelic, dance

Zen Warship

Zen Warship.jpg

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Band/Artist Name & Pronunciation: Zen Warship

Recommended if you like: The Red Hot Chili Peppers meets James Brown

Story behind your band/artist name: We came up with the name Zen Warship to represent the duality in modern life. People seeking solace and peace but also conflict, destruction, violence are all around us. We have to find ways to confront all of these experiences. And like music, listeners seek intensity, action, while also searching for sounds of harmony and tranquility. The juxtaposition of an image of zen musicians confronting life with the intensity of a warship seemed appealing.

Band Members: Tyler Moselle: guitar; Phil Marnell: vocals/keys; Reuven Sussman; drums; Ben Devries: trumpet; Roberto Giberti: bass; Richie Hertzberg: Trombone

What part of the DC region is the artist tied to and how? Where is the artist's current home base if not DC : Washington DC

At least 3 interesting/entertaining facts about the band related to persons/events in Washington DC area: Tyler the guitarist had played in punk and funk bands in Boston and New York City. After moving back to DC several years ago he saw George Clinton perform at 9:30 Club and had always loved Fugazi and Minor Threat. He was inspired to start up another band in DC that blended funk, rock, and punk. He found singer Phil Marnell who shared similar music interests and the band grew from that initial friendship and music sensibility.

Our bass player, Roberto Giberti, is known for his performance skills and wild dancing. After a gig at Mason Inn, a fan told the band: I wish everyone in the group had terrets like the bass player.

Our trumpet player, Ben Devries, is also a talented jazz musician and often can be seen playing pick up gigs around the city.

Our drummer Reuven Sussman also plays drums for a group in Canada, which he also manages and often travels back and forth to perform there.

Our trombone player, Richie Hertzberg, is a talented filmmaker and filmed our first music video, to be released February 17, 2018.

Anything else we should know, or you want to share:

Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/ZenWarshipBand/?ref=bookmarks

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/zen-warship/1289748548

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2KVsP2UzHQTrfyqer6Jlhi#_=_

Other Links: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7LMpLpE8otibmIn_FZeq9g
https://www.reverbnation.com/zenwarship?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav
https://www.instagram.com/zenwarship/
https://twitter.com/zenwarshipband

Main Genre: Funk

Other Genres: funk-rock, punk-disco, post-punk, alternative rock