Interview with The Ill Funk Ensemble
By Rafael Jóvine
Who’s The Ill Funk Ensemble? How did all this got started?
About seven years ago, the band’s guitarist, BJ FitzGerald, had a dream to put together a band that would reside in a niche that was sorely lacking in the local New York scene: live hip-hop and R&B. It needed to be authentic, so the crew that he put together needed to be legit musicians as well as easy going, professional guys so that the gigs would be easy to come by. The band that came together has over 80 years combined performance experience; Jermaine Wells, a native of the Bronx, handles the lead vocals and freestyle duties, BJ FitzGerald adds a bluesy, funk quality with his guitar and handles some lead vocals as well, Duane Etienne, a monster on the bass with a bass voice to match, Joe Stoner brings it on the keyboards and backing vocals and Dennis Brooks is the solid spine of the band with the tightest beats in the state of New York. Continue reading
Musician’s Profile: The Ill Funk Ensemble
The Message For The Week Chester, VT
By: Joe Milliken
ALBANY, NY – If you haven’t yet heard about The Ill Funk Ensemble, it’s okay, for I am not sure how many people in this area have had the pleasure. However, they recently appeared at the Red Fox Inn in Bondville and are now starting to create quite a buzz around Southern Vermont. And… now that you know the name, checking this band out is a must for anyone who can dig a fresh combination of jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, rap, R & B, soul and everything in between. Yes, these cats can bring all this together and make it tight as a drum!
Hip-Hop: Rooted In Musicality
By CASSAUNDRA BABER
UTICA — Fifteen years deep into the Albany music scene and BJ FitzGerald noticed something missing.
It was a lost groove, a primal technique rooted in musicality that had yet to be brought to the region’s live music arena. It was live hip-hop and R&B — that funk, that feel-good music, he said. Continue reading