Oct 20, 2010
Zongo Junction embodies the wealth of Brooklyn’s musical diversity, by melding traditional West African rhythms with Funk, Jazz and Soul from the U.S. Heavily influenced by Nigerian superstar, political activist and afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the 13-piece ensemble gets audiences riled up and dancing at every show they put on.
The band was conceived in early 2007 by drummer Charles Ferguson and original keyboardist, Adam Coopersmith while the two attended the New School in New York City. When Charles returned from a six-month trip to Ghana, where he studied African highlife music and traditional xylophone technique, he teamed up with Adam and 11 other musicians to form Zongo Junction. The name comes from the bus stop from which Charles lived off of while living in Accra, Ghana.
Beginning with a birthday show for Charles’ 21st birthday in April 2009, the band was well received from the start. Their club debut at Public Assembly (formerly the Galapagos Arts Center) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in July was another huge success, and led to a monthly residency for the duration of the year. Since then, the band has performed at some of New York’s most illustrious venues including the Knitting Factory and Sullivan Hall as well as Williams College in Williamstown, MA and the Elbo Room in San Francisco where they played a sold out show the night before New Years in 2009.
The core of the band was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been playing music together virtually since they were all still in diapers. Five members of the band were part of the prestigious Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble (alumni include: Joshua Redman, Peter Apfelbaum, Will Bernard, Benny Green) and twice toured Europe. All members moved to New York after High School to attend music programs at The New School and New York University.
The 13-piece ensemble includes an eight-person rhythm section (drums, bass, two guitars, three percussionists, and keyboard), five horns (trumpet, trombone, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones) and a vocalist.
Further information at their myspace page!!!
If anyone is interested supporting them to record their album is kindly invited to do this here!
About this project
WHO ARE WE AND WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We are Zongo Junction, an 11 piece Afrobeat band based in Brooklyn, NY. We have been playing together since April 2009, but many of us have known each other for much longer (some since kindergarten). The core of the band grew up together in the Bay Area, California. We're trying to make a record and we need the help of our beautiful family, friends and fans! We've been working really hard to raise funds for this project through live shows and merchandise sales, but we need an extra boost.
The music we play is Afrobeat, originally pioneered by Nigerian musical superstar and political activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. With the success of the Broadway musical, FELA!, about the life and music of Fela Kuti, we believe this is a great time for us to put our music out for the public to hear.
Our plan is to spend a week in the studio at the beginning of November, recording a 6 or 7 song disc. We have some amazing people on board that should take this album to a whole new level, including a great engineering/production team, and a guest appearance (or two) from a longtime member of Fela Kuti's famous Egypt 80 band!
As many people know, it's expensive to record, mix, master and manufacture a high quality record. ANY amount you are able to pledge is hugely appreciated.
Along with the gratification you will get knowing you have given to something very dear to our hearts and something we have all spent countless hours perfecting, there are also some awesome rewards we are offering, starting at just $10. Check them out to the right. Pre-order your copy today!
There's no limit on how much we can raise, so even if we hit our $5,000 goal, there is plenty more we can do with the extra cash.
Funding a tour.
Printing more CD's and T-shirts
Pressing the record to vinyl in addition to CD (how cool?)
Getting stickers printed.
and so much more...
We hope you enjoy our music and regardless of whether or not you pledge we thank you for at least checking this project out. If you're reading this, you at least got far enough to hear what we're all about.
Labels: Zongo Junction