On the 50th anniversary of Umbria Jazz, Funk Off celebrated their 25th birthday as a band onstage. At the same time, their latest album came out, with special guest Gegè Telesforo, who wrote the lyrics for a new song of the band.
There’s no need to introduce Funk Off to those who attend Umbria Jazz. The Tuscan street band has become very popular with its original and recognizable formula: to overcome the concept of a marching band in the New Orleans tradition by proposing enthralling, spectacular, modern, and engaging music, always composed and arranged by Dario Cecchini, the band’s charismatic leader.
This is how Funk Off have become the audience favorites since Umbria Jazz introduced them in 2003. Their original music reminds of James Brown, Frank Zappa, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, and George Clinton’s pure funk. The Tuscan band has performed almost every year in Perugia, Orvieto and Terni, and has become a regular attraction of the Festival. The same success has been achieved abroad, from Melbourne to New York and China.
The reason for such popularity is straightforward: the group is fun, it plays good and original music, and its sense of entertainment, together with its musical innovations, manages to renew a century-old genre such as the marching band, which is part of the dawn of jazz music.