Happy New Year with Funkadesi!

I worked through the entire holidays, so seeing Funkadesi at City Winery right after the New Year was a reward! Surprisingly, there were people in the audience who had never heard of them. After watching them perform, even they had to admit that they didn’t know they were in for a real treat.

I learned about them when I was a graduate student. I saw them at a local street festival in Evanston. I had no idea that they were Barack and Michelle’s favorite band. I learned that bit of information later. I also learned later that they have won the Chicago Music Awards 6 times. All I knew was they were great performers. There are a number of healthcare workers in the band. They have been together for nearly 20 years. They all come from different ethnic backgrounds: Latin American, Jamaican, African American, and South Asian. The music is a cross section of rap, Latin, Indian music, blues, reggae, and of course, funk.

As a result of this combination of musical and cultural influences, when they perform, you can’t help but move your behind, even if you don’t think you can.

They even cleared the areas near the wall for people to dance, which they did. Their ending song was “Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley, which made the audience feel real good about coming out and dancing in the middle of a cold winter night.

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