We’ll be playing at the 606 in London’s Chelsea on Friday the 13th of May.
- Mike Sturgis – drums
- Eran Kendler – guitar
- Stefan Redtenbacher – bass
- Rob Fowler – saxophone
- Rob Taggart – keys
- Sid Gauld – trumpet [tbc]
Featuring special guest vocalist Brendan Reilly.
Feat. Brendan Reilly on vocals.
Steve has recently starting playing with the Funkestra and adds a fantastic array of vintage sounds and plenty of soul to the band.
A classical trained pianist he graduated from Trinity College of Music and has recorded and played with artists including Michael Kiwanuka, Nick Mulvey, Andreya Triana, Eliza Doolittle, Joss Stone, Kate Earl, The Three Degrees, The Drifters, The Dutch Metropole Orchestra, Clark Tracey, the late Abram Wilson, Denys Baptiste and has played keys in the critically acclaimed West End musical ‘Memphis’.
Steve has played festivals and appeared on TV broadcasts around the world including Glastonbury, Bestival, The David Letterman Show, Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brian, Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and any more.
Steve is also a highly-regarded and enthusiastic teacher, with over 10 years experience as an instrumental tutor. He has previously taught on the Dordogne International Jazz Summer School (DJSS) as a -piano tutor and ensemble project leader as well as leading group coaching sessions with various ensembles including Cambridge Jazz Co-op, and teaches privately from his home studio.
Tickets £12 – Book Here
Some of our core band members will be up in Manchester for a couple of days running workshops and rehearsing with the RNCM Session Orchestra ahead of Saturdays performance.
Your Funkateers for the evening will be:
The workshops and rehearsals will be in preparation for a unique live performance featuring special arrangements of some of the Funkestra’s biggest tunes on Saturday night, played by a collossal 29 piece band!I think its fair to say you’ll not have heard anything quite like this before 🙂
…was dominated by collaboration and expansion into new waters. The beginning of the year kicked off with the release of ‘Dr Hypenstein’ which met with some lovely reviews, like this one by Jacob Webb from KEXP 90.3 Radio in Seattle:
…His primary musical output is the jazz and funk outfit Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, who have gigged steadily for a decade and released eight albums, including this year’s Dr. Hypenstein. (A ninth, entitled The Time Thief, is being targeted for release later in the year.) Armed with a saxophone lead worthy of its own Ill Clinton video, “Baby Fat” is everything its title doesn’t imply: it’s lean, agile, and breathless in its groove. Redtenbacher clearly knows the tools of his trade, and they’re all here, from the Nile Rodgers-style licks to the vibrant, subtly propulsive bass underpinning it all. “Baby Fat” sounds like it was a blast to record, if not only because of its all-around explosive nature, but also because of the sense of sheer joy that runs through every explosive climax.
Hypenstein was a hugely enjoyable collaboration on all fronts with my longstanding friend Thomas Feurer and I really believe we brought the best out of each other on this album – long may our collaboration last!
If you want to get an insight into the making of the record just watch any of the 16 ‘Dr Hypenstein interview’ YouTube videos or simply enjoy ‘Swagger’, ‘Dr Hypenstein’ or ‘Babyfat’ with some very creative art and at time whacky video footage by Bulgarian, British and American videographers.
Continuing my ‘Funkalmanach’: I’ve become a Hofner bass artist and have been loving my ’Princess’ since; performed my music with a fantastically motivated Big Band in Austria (thanks to Josef Hinterhoelzl und Andreas See); rehearsed some of my tunes with the excellent National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and thanks to trumpeter Mark Armstrong some of them found their way into their live repertoire signalling a ‘left-of-centre-out-of-the-blue’ growing demand of Big Bands around the world wanting to play some of my music (charts went out to Holland, the US, Germany, Austria and last but certainly not least, the UK).
Key point: my new Big Band adventures would not have been possible without the collaboration and enormous contribution of master arranger Peter Tomasso with whom I have forged a fantastic relationship and I simply can’t wait to expand upon this (more on this later)…
As always, I tremendously enjoyed myself performing my music live with my most trusted Funkateers, namely Mike Sturgis on drums and Eran Kendler on guitar – our rehearsals at ‘The Funkshed’ are always hugely enjoyable – both for the music and excellent chat; Rob Fowler and Simon Allen on Tenor Saxophone; Sid Gauld, Paul Jordanous and Simon Finch on trumpet and Rob Taggart, Pete Billington and Steve Pringle on keys. A very hearty welcome to the newbies to the Funkestra in 2015, namely vocalist Lily Dior and keyboarder Pete Billington who forged memorable moments into our group’s psyche. Also a big thanks to the 606 Jazz Club and Steve Rubie for his continued support!
[Musician’s paragraph – skip as desired] As Eran, the guitarist in the Funkestra and I are running the music education technology start-up KnowledgeRocks, it is a logical step to offer a good chunk of the repertoire in our patented AudioSheetMusic™ format – in short a combination of backing tracks (from the original recordings) in conjunction with the charts (for all instruments) – this allows for super easy play-along and practise with all sorts of funky features like looping, slowing/speed sections up/down and even changing the pitch…all possible on your web browser, iPad or Android – I’m using our technology to practise playing my own music…I guess a good indication that this stuff works:-)
Our adventures in ‘Funkland’ are as always very much reliant upon YOUR continued support – please keep on coming to our gigs, book us for your next suitable event and – dare I say it – please buy our records, ideally directly from my site…
I’m very much looking forward to 2016 with many ideas and plans spinning in my brain…more tangible events will be the release of ‘The Time Thief’, our 9th record, feat. a fantastic array of wonderfully talented musicians – musically one of my most ambitious albums yet. The steaming hot core band of the Funkestra is perfectly augmented by Prince arranger Michael B Nelson’s Hornheads and illustrious horn players such as Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis, Rick Margitza, Chris Hunter and Andy Snitzer – smokin’!
On Sat, 20th of Feb the Redtenbacher Funkestra will perform with the Royal Northern Session Orchestra at the RNCM in Manchester to give my tunes a most bombastic and funkified airing! I can’t wait – this is just too exciting! More details to come. If all goes well my hope is to perform large ensemble versions of my music in Austria with my new pals and anywhere else where they are ready for a Big Band funk blast!
You’ll also see a brand-new website with a new section making it easy to purchase AudioSheetMusic™ (Funkestra backing tracks and corresponding charts) as well as my Big Band arrangements. Julian Black, my trusted webmaster, will no doubt pull out all the stops for this rendition of the site.
Over the past year I have spent a good deal of time writing new tunes on my wonky saloon type piano for the jazzier sibling of the Funkestra – this sibling is called ‘The Red Counts’. I’m very seriously playing around with the idea of recording a Big Band album of these creations – working title: ‘A Little Book of Jazz’. I’m hopeful to convince my pal Peter Tomasso to adapt my tunes for Big Band as well as including some of his writing and brace myself for rehearsing and recording a Jazz Funk Big Band – I know – it is nuts – but I’m excited by the prospect – the idea and the tangible end product….that’s just how I’m wired….
Ready to be wired for 2016!
A very happy, healthy and fulfilling 2016 to you all.
PS: ‘The Red Counts’ just love the Blue Note sounds of Rudy Van Gelder and their music has nothing to do with vampires, blood cells or Marxist ideologies. They play original funky Cool Jazz in the style of 1960s artists like Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green and Donald Byrd.
And for the last concert in 2015 it is our pleasure to announce our ‘funky Christmas’ gig at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea, on Friday 4th of December, feat. Brendan Reilly on vocals.
Doors – 8:00, first set – 9:30.
Your Funkestra for the evening will be:
and featuring Brendan Reilly on vocals!
Every now and then all my favorite things come together – as was the case when Gordon Murrison from Open Planet Software contacted us to see if we wanted to get involved in a presentation at the Apple Store in Glasgow. What’s the connection I hear you ask…
Gordon and Gavin MacLean are two brilliant Scottish developers who formed Open Planet Software a while ago. They are the lovely people who programmed the iOS KR Player app for us, us being Eran Kendler, guitarist in the Funkestra and myself (=KnowledgeRocks). Gordon also has a background in music which led him to develop the iOS app ‘Highnote‘ – a brilliant app that lets you speed up and slow down tracks at pitch and also change key. As they managed to tap into all Apple has to offer for developers the High Note app just sounds brilliant.
They very kindly integrated the code of ‘Highnote‘ into the KR Player which is one of the reasons why KR Player totally rocks, in our humble opinion.
So Gordon, who was asked to present ‘Highnote‘ thought it would be brilliant to also talk about the KR Player integration and showcase the power of this splendid technology with a live performance of the Funkestra. Granted, we couldn’t quiet manage to take the whole band up this time, however, Eran and myself had a good go at our tunes – playing along to the KR Player and indirectly with Mike, Dave and Jim as we played tunes from ‘Concubine Chronicles’ and ‘The Cooker’.
Gordon, as well as doing a great job presenting the ‘Highnote’ app also gave a quick run down of the history of music technology which was most excellent.
Getting up at 4:40am to take the red eye flight to Glasgow wasn’t your usual Sunday morning but once we were in Glasgow we had a really good day with good chats with new and old friends alike. There wasn’t a massive crowd but their enthusiasm made up for lack of outrageous numbers:-)
Andy Unger, the man in charge of the Apple app store in Glasgow is a super friendly chap and what’s more – he also loves the Funk, and Jazz, and Disco…so my first conversation with him was straight away about Parliament, Bootsy and Herbie Hancock – what are the odds? We felt we were in good hands straight away.
So all in all I had a great day enjoying the fact that we gave a presentation at the Apple store where we presented both the KR Player – Eran and my ‘baby‘ (oops – this might sound wrong) as well as the music of the Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. This felt good and is a vivid reminder of why the strapline of KnowledgeRocks is ‘Music Education Technology‘.
On Sunday, my favorite three things, my personal trinity came together in full bloom and long may it last.
What’s next? I’m hoping for another OPS and KR presentation at one of the Apple stores with Gordon and Gavin and the whole of the Redtenbacher’s Funkestra – (Andy, are you reading this?:-)
We will be back at our favourite London Jazz venue on Friday 23rd of October, feat. fantastically soulful vocalist Lily Dior for the first time! Come down and boogie and enjoy some food at drink at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea, London.
Doors – 8:00, first set – 9:30.
Your Funkestra for the evening will be:
[image courtesy of Richard Braine]
Naturally we a very exciting to feature for the first time the wonderful and fabulously soulful vocalist Lily Dior, all the way from Sydney, Australia.
Her latest record ‘Let’s talk about it’ is a powerful collection of songs sitting comfortably between Soul/Blues/Jazz and, of course, Funk. We are looking forward to performing some of these and some our Funkestra vocal standards.
Watch her performance of ‘Don’t Say A Thing’ here.
At the 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, London SW10 0QD
Just about to head out for a Staxs rehearsal for ourJoss Stone gig tomorrow at the Cornbury Music Festival – in previous years we’ve played there with Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Paul Carrack, Mica Paris, Kiki Dee and other great luminaries of the rock and pop world and tomorrow is obviously extremely promising, to say the least:-)
However, this particular BIG Thank You goes largely towards musicians in my country ‘of origin’ – the ‘jewelery box’ that is Austria.
Around Easter time Austrian alto saxophonist Andreas See contacted me via FB to ask if I had some Big Band arrangements of some of the Funkestra music he heard on YouTube (feat. Tower of Power saxophonist Lenny Pickett) – of course I said ‘YES’ (followed by a few frantic/pleading/desperate calls to arranger Peter Tomasso):-) In less than ‘no’ time we were able to present Andy with the desired arrangements for a Big Band Workshop weekend in Bad Goisern, Austria. As it happened, by complete coincidence, I was in the area and was able to sit in the crowd at the final concert – what a buzz to hear my tunes performed by about 20 musicians or so – the depth of Peter Tomasso’s Big Band arrangements was really evident…
After the concert I had the opportunity to meet Andreas himself and we forged a new plan that has just come to successful fruition.
I was invited to guest with the ‘Pernstein Swing Connection‘ run by Andreas See and the larger than life character Seppi Hinterhoelzl (for English speakers, you might find Joe Backwood a little bit more palatable):-) This was part of the ‘Kirchdorfer Jazztage’, held in the most beautiful music school in Kirchdorf and der Krems.
Without further ado, here my BIG Thank You to the marvelous band:
TRUMPETS: Gerd ‘Mr. Monza’ Rahstorfer (soloist), Paul ‘good vibes’ Fischerleitner, Franz ‘the pen’ Staudinger, Thomas ‘Wehrigel’ Steinert
TROMBONES: Hermann ‘A-game’ Mayr (soloist), Syliva ‘good vibes’ Heim, Johannes ‘Ois Auswendig’ Steinmann, Gerald ‘all smiles’ Gattringer
SAXOPHONES: Robert ‘fantissimo’ Schroeck (soloist), Franz ‘the pun’ Gradauer, Klaus ‘solid’ Loetsch, Irmi ‘Bath Hall’ Irnberger, Lukas ‘Luki’ Oberdammer
Josef ‘Seppi’ Hinterhoelzl – drums, Johannes ‘Draufdrucker’ Pichler – guitar, Martin ‘vintage’ Gasellsberger – (vintage) keys and organ
Karin ‘Ka Wa’ Wameir – vocals, Johannes ‘Ois Auswendig’ Steinmann – vocals, Julius ‘Caesar’ (Orange-)Bitter – piano
Also, thank you to music school director Wolfgang ‘Horn in F#’ Homar and Julius ‘Cesar’ (Orange-)Bitter for putting on the event.
Last but certainly not least WHATSOEVER – yet again I’ll have to give master arranger Peter Tomasso a massive Thank You for his big band arrangements of the Funkestra repertoire and completely ridiculous turnaround times – what knowledge and tremendous inspiration – Pete, here is to many more arrangements and thank you for your patience over the years me grilling you on the most pernickety details of horn arranging – you are a great mentor.
Also, Phil Knights, from GED Music, the man who gave Sibelius the most beloved Reprise font – thank you for typesetting all the charts and squeezing my project into the most ridiculously tiny gaps in your work schedule. Most appreciated as always!
I had the most fabulous time, enjoying the hospitality and formidable organisation skills of fabulous drummer Josef ‘Seppi’ Hinterhoelzl and his family, getting a small glimpse into the music education system in Upper Austria and still buzzing from the good vibes, both from the musicians and the crowd.
Last thing – when can we do it all again?
We will be back at our favourite London Jazz venue on Friday, 3rd of July. Come down and boogie and enjoy some food at drink at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea, London.
Doors – 8:00, first set – 9:30
Your Funkestra for the evening will be:
and featuring the marvelous Brendan Reilly on vocals!
At the 606 Club, 90 Lots Road, London SW10 0QD