Life at the Jersey Shore is exciting, especially during the summer season, yet there’s one thing to keep things alive during the rest of the year and that’s finding a good band to spend an evening out listening to. There’s many bands around the Shore area, yet two years ago my love introduced me to a band like no other I’ve ever seen before: Funktion 11.
This band stands out above any I’ve ever seen before, and not just because it’s an 11 piece band, but because there’s something incredibly special about them. They put their heart and soul into their music, which includes songs of Aretha Franklin, Kool and the Gang, Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis, to name just a few !They have a unique blend of musical genre, from Funk, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, and Rock. They truly put the “funk” in the Funktion 11 band!
I’ve been following them for the last two years, and each time I see them I’m more blown away by their talent and unwavering energy! This band plays song after song without a breath, and you can’t help but get up and dance, especially while watching the bands’ distinct choreography of their own. If you’re looking to keep in shape, Funktion 11 will have you dancing non-stop! Every time I’ve seen them perform the dance floor is packed with people both young and old, men and women. And trust me, I love to dance and know that when Funktion 11 is playing, you better get your spot on the dance floor early! It get’s even better, because this band is interactive with their fans and audience. You’ll find the three lead vocalists getting right down on the dance floor with everyone, dancing, singing and getting everyone involved! They possess a unique quality in that you feel like they’re performing just for you, and that’s because they’re so up-close and personal with everyone who comes out to see them.
Funktion 11 barely takes a break between sets, and when they do you’ll find them out among the crowd, taking the time to talk to their fans. You don’t find that very often in most bands, and aside from their incredible talent and music, that’s one of the things I love about them. I’ve become friends with band leader and percussionist, Ronnie Nalven, over the past few years and have had the opportunity to speak with all the band members. They’re always available for a picture and truly care about their fans, and their dedication shows.
I sent a message Ronnie a week before they were playing at the River Rock in Brick, NJ, that it was my two year anniversary and wondered if he could announce it to surprise my love. He told me “yes” and to let him know when I got there so I could remind him. Well, with Funktion 11 all you need to do is ask and you will receive. My love and I got there a bit late, yet only minutes after we sat down, Ronnie grabbed the microphone from lead singer, Vanessa Perea, and made our anniversary announcement. I didn’t need to let him know I was there or remind him: he saw us come in and made a beautiful announcement for us. You see, that’s the thing about this band, once you see them perform and meet them, you feel as if you’ve known them forever, and they make you feel as though you are truly part of their Funktion 11 family.
Funktion 11 is made up of the following band members: Samar Newsome: Musical Director, Keyboards, Vocals;Rob Edwards: Associate Musical Director, Trombone, Tony Zeke: Lead Male Vocals;Vanessa Perea: Lead Female Vocals;Misha Fatkiev: Lead Guitar;Kelvin King: Drums; Andy Gutauskas: Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Flute; Richard Polatchek: Trumpet; Alex Parchment: Trumpet; Ronnie Nalven: Percussion, Band Leader.
I’m so grateful for that night two years ago that I first saw Funktion 11, and for the opportunities they’ve allowed me as a fan to get to know them. Their talents, their music, their camaraderie and their true love of the fans is what makes them a one-of-a-kind type of band, and that I know for sure. I’ve driven through a major snow storm, and through torrential rain to be able to spend an evening watching them play.
Funktion 11 is without a doubt one of the best bands I’ve ever seen perform, and I can promise you that it will only take you one time of listening to them play for you to become a “forever fan.”
Be sure to check out their Facebook page at “Funktion 11” and visit their website at http://www.funktion11.com where you can listen to them and see their calendar of events.
Take the time and treat yourself to an incredible night of music with “Funktion 11!”
Wishing you love and light,