The Funk Ark
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The Funk Ark

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | MAJOR

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | MAJOR
Band World Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



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ESL179 - Funky DC - 7"
ESL176 - From The Rooftops - LP



A Native of the Washington DC area, Will Rast grew up listening to old music. Still only in his twenties, Rast has been composing and playing professionally since the age of 14. A love of vintage Funk and Soul, as well as a wide range of instrumental jazz styles were the ultimate impetus behind the formation of the group in 2007. As a member of Washington DC’s fast growing community of artists, it was easy to find a set of incredibly talented instrumentalists to form a band big enough to create the range of sound he was looking for. The band began with some compositions that were reminiscent of Lonnie Liston Smith, or Herbie Hancock, but it was Rast’s growing interest in the Afro Beat music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Mono Mono, of Nigeria, Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed of Ethiopia, as well as the legendary Salsa ensemble The Fania Allstars, that caused the band’s direction to shift towards a more poly rhythmic funk sound.
Each of the many rhythm instruments you hear in The Funk Ark’s songs is playing a small, but integral role in the overall groove. Like the various gears and springs in a clock, each player performs their role with precision to create an intense an driving beat that act as a bed for soaring melodic improvisation and tight, rhythmic horn lines.
The group began to record demos in drummer, Jeff Franca’s home studio in Falls Church, VA and based on those tracks, released for free via the internet, the band began to define their new sound. In 2009, Rast’s work with ESL recording artists Natalia Clavier, and Federico Aubele reached the ears of label owner and producer, Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation, who began to involve him in projects in production at the ESL studios on a regular basis. When Hilton approached him about a possible opportunity
to record The Funk Ark for the ESL label, he jumped at the chance. With the tireless efforts of engineer, Chris “Stone” Garrett, as well as production and arrangement advice from Eric Hilton and the individual members of The Funk Ark, the album was produced between August of 2010 and January 2011 at the ESL Music studios in Washington DC and Jeff Franca’s Lilly Pad Studios in Falls Church.