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New Release/MP3/Tour: The Funk Ark: 'From The Rooftops' (ESL Music)


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The Funk Ark is a world funk ensemble based in Washington DC. The group draws on influences from the African and Latin funk/dance music scenes of the 1960s and 70s and the result is a gritty and soulful mix of inspired Afrobeat and big band funk. The eight-piece band is fronted by keyboardist and songwriterWill Rastwho, well known as a sideman with a veritable encyclopedia of artists both locally and internationally, such as Myanna Pontoppidan, Federico Aubele, Natalia Clavier, Ocote Soul Sounds, RAMP, Raheem Devaughn and Justin Jones. In 2011 he will find himself immersed in no less than 4 records produced for the ESL Label including Funk Ark's own debut release, From The Rooftops, and records by Thievery Corporation, Frank Mitchell Jr., and Ocote Soul Sounds (featuring Martin Perna of Antibalas and Adrian Quesada of the Grammy awarded Grupo Fantasma).

In From the Rooftops, Rast brings his retro sensibilities to the table, delving into the stylistic realms of Afrobeat, Latin Funk and Rare Groove. Laced with infectious polyrhythms, energetic horn lines and virtuoso soloists The Funk Ark's premier offering promises not only to take you on a musical journey through several genres of funk from around the world, but also features the vocal talents of Asheru (Fort Knox Five, Unspoken Heard). The album was recorded between August of 2010 and January 2011 at ESL Music Studios in Washington DC by Thievery Corporation's sound engineer Christopher “Stone" Garret and Jeff Franca's Lilly Pad Studios in Falls Church.

The debut album delivers a healthy dose of vintage Afrobeat, Latin, and funk stylings, recalling the best of Afrika 70, the JB's and the Fania Allstars all at once, The Funk Ark is your new one-stop shop for booty-shaking vintage grooves. Shout it from the rooftops! The band is currently on tour in support of their debut album.

The Funk Ark is: Will Rast—keys; Joe Herrera—trumpet, percussion; Matt Rippetoe—saxophones; Rodney Richardson—guitar; Greg Loman—guitar; Marc Blackwood—bass; Josh Kay—congas, percussion; Lee Durham—drums.

7/26 @ The Belly Up—Aspen, CO
7/27 @ Hodi's Halfnote—Fort Collins, CO
7/28 @ The Abbey Theater—Durango, CO
7/30 @ Collegiate Peaks Festival—Buena Vista, CO
8/03 @ The Central—Los Angeles, CA
8/04 @ The Elbo Room (Afrolicious Party)—San Francisco, CA
8/05 @ Ashkenaz—Berkeley, CA
8/08׮/11 @ The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
8/13 @ Club de Ville—Austin, TX

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