Ill Funk Ensemble Straddles Live Hip-Hop, Rock Club Scene
The Daily Gazette

Published: 12/10/09

For roughly five years now, the Ill Funk Ensemble has straddled the line between two worlds on the Capital Region’s music scene.

The Albany-based five piece band, fronted by singer and rapper Jermaine Wells, is a live hip-hop band in the vein of The Roots.  As such, the group often finds itself playing shows with local MCs who are backed by prerecorded music or a DJ.  But the band is just as comfortable on the rock club scene, and has the chops to keep up with the four-hour, three-set night that are the norm in many of the region’s bars and clubs.

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Artist Interview – The Ill Funk Ensemble
Song Revelation
Published: 9/18/12

The Ill Funk Ensemble are a New York based live R&B and funk band consisting of Jermaine Wells (lead vocals and freestyle), BJ FitzGerald (guitar and vocals), Duane Etienne (bass and backing vocals), Joe Stoner (keyboards and backing vocals) and Dennis Brooks (drums). When we first heard their high-energy finger-tapping music we were impressed and we delighted, despite their hectic schedule, that they agreed to complete an interview with Song Revelation. Read on to find out, amongst other things, what they’ve recently been working on, what they do to relax when not working and what it’s like living in New York! Continue reading

Interview with The Ill Funk Ensemble
Officially the Hottest
Published: 8/10/12

OTH: Please introduce yourselves to our readers. Who are The Ill Funk Ensemble ?
ILL: The Ill Funk Ensemble is a live hip-hop/R&B/soul outfit out of New York- Jermaine Wells: lead vocals and freestyle, BJ FitzGerald: guitar and vocals, Duane Etienne: bass and backing vocals, Joe Stoner: keyboards and backing vocals, Dennis Brooks: drums. Continue reading

Interview with The Ill Funk Ensemble
Vents Magazine

By Rafael Jóvine
Published: 7/9/12

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
Published: 12/22/10

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!
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Q&A With The Brock: Ill Funk Ensemble
Kev Brock
Published: 7/12/10

I have came up with a cool idea for my blog site. Each month, I will do a Q&A session interview with a different local band. This month, I will start off with a Q&A session interview with Albany local rap and R&B band, Ill Funk Ensemble. They are a five piece band that is fronted by, Jermaine Wells, who is a local rapper, and he is also an actor. This band does a mix of both covers and originals at their live gigs. They are fun, entertaining, and you can dance to their music. So if you go check out a show of theirs, be sure to bring your dancing shoes! Continue reading

Hip-Hop: Rooted In Musicality
Utica Observer-Dispatch


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