Sophistafunk
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Sophistafunk

Syracuse, New York, United States

Syracuse, New York, United States
Band Hip Hop Funk

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With more rain breaking up the day’s events, the extreme switch from jazz standards to hip-hop/funk fusion seemed less drastic. Sophistafunk took the stage just as the rain subsided again and even managed to get a mid-set rainbow. The little trio with the big sound brought their usual lively set to the Jazz Fest stage. Although much of the audience remained seated for the danceable songs, the outskirts were full of Sophistafunk faithfuls equipped with hula hoops. Regardless, sitting or standing, audiences responded with enthusiasm to the band with several Sophistafunk T-shirts dotting the crowd. - Syracuse New Times


Guy Fieri may not be Sophistafunk's biggest fan, but he's probably their loudest.
The Food Network star invited Syracuse funk trio Sophistafunk to play his birthday party at Tex Wasabi's (which he owns), in Santa Rosa, Calif. last Friday, Jan. 19. - Syracuse.com


Yesterday, the Village Voice introduced the world to "Guy Fieri's favorite band." Here in Syracuse, we just know them as Sophistafunk. - Syracuse.com


Emanuel Washington moved from Tennessee to Syracuse, N.Y. about 10 years ago. He doesn't remember the exact date. What he does remember is he attended his first Syracuse Jazz Fest that summer and wished one thing. - Syracuse.com


The three click together like a well-oiled sound machine. The set is different every night, but always seamless. The songs take little twists and turns that I hear more with each variation, but they never lose their energy or appeal. And they may be only three guys, but I never find find myself wishing for more musically. Whenever someone asks how tired I am of the same songs night after night, I tell them that that's how I know this band is great: because I never get tired of the Sophistafunk sound. It's funk and soul with lyrics that have meaning that gets deeper and messages that get clearer with every listen.

Like Sophistafunk's new song, "Freedom Is" says, they're on a tour across the universe. And we're lucky to have them here on earth. - Syracuse New Times


"He said, 'You guys are blowing my mind. I love this music,' " Gold recalls.

Then Guy Fieri dropped the bomb.

"He said, 'I'd love to have you perform at my birthday party.' "

And so, this past January, Sophistafunk went to California and played Guy Fieri's birthday party. The Village Voice caught up with Gold to chat about his experience working with Fieri, that New York Times review of Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, and, yep, the dude's hair. - The Village Voice


'nuff said

The Mountain Sun hosts free live music every Sunday. Did you know that?

This I learned last Sunday when my friend-in-the-know suggested we go see some band named Sophistafunk. It took no great deal of intuition to know this was a band I needed to see.

Sophistafunk. Yes.

This is a trio from Syracuse, New York.

Emanuel Washington holds it down on his hip-hop tuned drum kit which really kicks. He also proved he can pick it up, as he did seamlessly when Master of Ceremonies Jack Brown dropped the second verse of “Juicy”.

On the whole, Brown delivers conscious lyrics that provide occasion for both self-reflection and putting one’s hands up in the air and waving them as if one cared very little.

Adam Gold sits behind a collection of keyboards with limitless potential for funky squawks, wacky chords and face-twisting fills. He plays the bass with his left hand and the melody with his right. For me, it is Gold’s musicianship that is the wind in the sails of this outfit. His licks range from spaced-out to in-the-pocket, RATM-style rock-ish to funky disco through to smoothin’ groovin’ jazz.

Mountain Sun was packed with dancing souls until closing time. I am very much looking forward to seeing them perform in a proper venue with some decent room to dance.

Sophistafunk will be at Quixote’s True Blue in Denver this coming Saturday night, the 17th of December.

Tickets are $10. In this economy, can you afford not to go? Right, so, see you there.

The rest of their tour dates are as follows:

#
Dec 19
First Avenue- 7th Street Entry
Minneapolis, MN
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Dec 20
Upfront & Company
Marquette, MI
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Dec 21
Pyramid Scheme
Grand Rapids, MI
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Dec 22
Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
Kalamazoo, MI
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Dec 23
Waterhole #3
Saranac Lake, NY
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Dec 30
Empire Brewery
Syracuse, NY
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Dec 31
Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub
Syracuse, NY
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Feb 03
Sullivan Hall
New York, NY
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Mar 03
The Rock Shop
Brooklyn, NY

For your listening pleasure, please peep this informational videos.

This first one is from way back in the day (2008 is almost 4 years ago now…) - Elephant Journal


“MC Jack Brown, keyboardist extraordinaire Adam Gold, and natural born drummer Emanuel Washington know their history – blending 1960s fusion with 70s funk and 80s hip-hop into something that is irrefutably cool without the need for words like retro or nostalgia. On top of their instrumental duties, which are the lifeblood of this group, Gold and Washington also provide backing vocals, creating a dialogue between themselves and Brown that settles nicely over their tasty grooves. And, when coupled with the stage presence of all three members, Sophistafunk becomes a true performance band. ” - Knocks from the Underground


Cool grooves now soundtrack Tuesday nights on Marshall Street, from a trio who plans to jump into the music industry right here in Syracuse.

Sophistafunk, a hip hop and funk fusion group, is just beginning its sonic story. Members played every Tuesday night at Funk 'n Waffles this September, gaining notoriety with students and locals alike.

Planning on continuing the schedule through October, Sophistafunk aims to establish its fan base right in their very own neighborhood.

"We know our potential get out there, this is the real deal," said lyricist and MC Jack Brown. "We're so excited about that, to have such a powerful weapon in our hands, and we're trying to figure out exactly the best way to get it."

With Funk 'n Waffles owner Adam Gold on keys, bass and vocals, Brown as lyricist and MC and Emanuel Washington on drums, the band has only officially been together since September 2007. But it has already played more than 100 shows, Brown said. Both Gold and Brown are SU alumnus, from 2006 and 2007 respectively.

The group was recently offered a contract with Marshall Street Records, with hopes to record and release an EP or CD. But the live shows, said Brown, help to get the band's name out and skyrocket it to an even greater community.

Sophistafunk managed to reach a wide audience at their shows throughout central New York and New York City - with college age students, older generations and families. There's something in its sound for a variety of audiences, Brown said.

"The main theme to all this is we're doing something totally different and outside the box," he said. "You're gonna be feeling funk, reggae, hip hop, dance music - it's all mixed in there. It's a modern style, but it's also got an old-school feel to it."

Washington and Gold are a unique and flavorful rhythm section. The sound is a layered landscape; somehow, the group sounds bigger than just a drummer, a keyboard player and an MC. With Gold bringing soulful wails in vocal melodies throughout verses and choruses, the group cleverly blurs the line between jam band and spoken word artistry.

"It's like our sound is like a jazz club from the 50s mixed with a poetry reading in the 60s, mixed with a funk party in the 70s and a hip hop show in 80s," Brown said.

As an MC, Brown's delivery is natural and smooth, with fast rhymes and sing-along style hooks. His lyrics are hard-hitting, forcing his audience to delve into mental issues far more sophisticated than what might be heard in similar funk sounds.

Addressing issues of politics, social stigmas, personal ambition and personal demons, Brown channels a myriad of his beliefs and philosophies into the group's performance.

"Musicians really respond to our music," Brown said. "There are people who come out for what I have to say, or people who love what Adam does, or people who come out just to see E(manuel) because they think he's good. It all brings people together."

In the intimate space of Funk 'n Waffles, the band's performance is interactive. Brown locks eye contact with audience members, and Gold smiles and smirks at every tonal change. With the up-close-and-personal setting, audience members nod their heads in agreement with the band's messages.

"I'm tired of trying to be like everybody else/It's hard enough just to be myself," sang Brown in the song "Hard Enough." He said he knows that it's a feeling anyone can relate to.

But despite its own tight style, the group maintains an open door, revolving policy with its live sets. Tuesday night's show, for example, featured Washington playing with local Syracuse musicians Max McKee playing bass, Adam Fisher on guitar and Evan Knight on saxophone, with Brown taking the mic and laying down lyrics over the developed, all-out jam session.

"There's so much space, and can do so much with just me and Adam laying down a groove, " Washington said. "We want people to fill that space, and most of the time it's with great musicians like Evan Knight. There's tons of great musicians here, and I want people to know about us."

Liz Grobe, a junior policy studies major, has seen Sophistafunk perform in Syracuse and in larger New York City venues. She credits the band's ability to reach many audiences to its likeable, varied sound.

"They bring something for everyone. If you enjoy pop music, there's a pop aspect; if you enjoy hip hop, there's a hip hop aspect," she said. "Anyone can go and see them, whether you appreciate music or not. You sit down and you're going to listen, you're going to love them." - The Syracuse Daily Orange


Discography

"Twentyeleven" - c2011

1. Listen Up
2. Wil' Out
3. Tell My Baby
4. Gimme Some Space
5. Intimate Affair
6. Lyrical Guide
7. Feels So Good
8. Take the Planet Back
9. The Get Down
10. Colors v2
11. Same Mistakes
12. Curtains

**LISTEN FOR FREE @ www.sophistafunkband.com**

"The Sophistafunk EP" - c2009

1. Colors
2. Livin' to Rock
3. Lyla's Tune
4. Burn Just to Breathe
5. Big Bad Boots
6. Same Mistakes (Live)

Videos:
“Gotta Walk” http://vimeo.com/56265810
“Lyrical Guide” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHyptH_2Ass
“Gimme Some Space” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLBTa560NRU

Photos

Bio

SOPHISTAFUNK IS: Adam Gold (keys), Jack Brown (lyricist), Emanuel Washington (drums)

Ana-a-log: Adj. relating to or using signals of information represented by a continuously variable physical quantity such as spatial position or voltage.
Soul: n. the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.

SOPHISTAFUNK is an analog soul trio from Syracuse, NY that’s making heads bob and hula-hoops twirl one city at a time. This fierce group blends a deep pocket, powerful lyrics and devastatingly funky vintage-key licks to create a massive, high-energy sound.

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 will cross the pond in August 2013, when they slay the UK with the internationally acclaimed Syracuse native, Joe Driscoll, and their new album, Freedom Is, will be dropping and dominating iPods within weeks.

What people are saying:

"Combining the vibes of funk music with the intensity of hip hop and spoken-word poetry, Syracuse-based group SOPHISTAFUNK specializes in cross-genre music. The three-man band features vocals from Jack Brown, drums by Emanuel Washington, and keyboard, bass, & backup vocals by Adam Gold." - Evan Johnson, The Ithacan

"Syracuse’s SOPHISTAFUNK, who blended hip-hop, funk and rock flawlessly to create a sound very much their own, moved seamlessly between improvised jams on the keys, soul-filled choruses and blistering rapping... A remarkably proficient band of top notch musicians... a fantastic hip hop jazz band." - TJ Olsen, Beyond Race Magazine (New York City)

"SOPHISTAFUNK has a genre-destroying range of musical ability and mix of socially-conscious lyrics. Much of the trio’s set was spent rifling through thick instrumental funk, fluid vocals, soul crooning, metal, reggae and intricate interplay between Adam Gold’s four-keyboard setup and Emanuel Washington’s drums -- an infectious journey that left the full crowd gasping for air." - Dan Rys, The Daily Free Press (Boston)

"Syracuse's SOPHISTAFUNK, like the name implies, prefers its hip hop covered in a dripping later of funk. ...Between putting out an album, winning the 2009 Syracuse Big Break Contest, and opening for superstars like Fergie, it seems like the band is off to a great start." - Rob Sickelco, City News (Rochester)

"SOPHISTAFUNK has proved that they have the staying power to make an impact on our scene. Their full summer schedule includes a number of club shows and an alarming amount of festival performances. Be sure to catch them on the road this summer, you will not be disappointed... Who knew that merging the new school with the old school could be this much fun?" - Selena Hodom, The Groovelink Magazine

For booking, contact:
In The Pocket Artists
booking@sophistafunkband.com
For publicity, contact:
Jessica Novak
jessrocknroad@gmail.com

~RESUME~

support act for Northeast tour with EOTO, also:
SOULIVE, TALIB KWELI, KRS-ONE, FERGIE, SEAN KINGSTON, RON CARTER TRIO, JERRY GARCIA BAND, BREAK SCIENCE & CHALI 2NA, LETTUCE, TROMBONE SHORTY, IVAN NEVILLE'S DUMPSTAPHUNK, MARCO BENEVENTO, GARY BURTON, DJ LOGIC

-national touring schedule includes frequent Midwest runs in Colorado; also MI, IL, MN, NE, IA, IN, OH, WV, VA, MD, PA, NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, VT, ME. Some notable venues:

-The Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)
-Cervantes, Quixotes (Denver, CO)
-Brooklyn Bowl (NYC)
-The Fox Theater (Boulder, CO)
-El Rey Theater (Albuquerque, NM)
-The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, PA)
-Port City Music Hall (Portland, ME)
-Pearl Street (Northampton, MA)
-Middle East (Boston, MA)
-The Blue Note (NYC)
-Turning Stone Resort (Verona, NY)
-Hudson Valley Resort (Catskills, NY)
-Nectar's, The Higher Ground (Burlington, VT)

-FESTIVALS include New York State Fair, Rock the Resort 1 & 2 (NY), RhinoFest (VT), Stable Studios (IN), Moustachio Bashio (Albuquerque, NM), Bella Terra (NY), Rock 'n Roll Resort, Sterling Stage and many more.