What they say…
“70’s afro-american music is at the root of their sound, rearranged with the distinctive Funkallisto touch!”
In 2004 six musicians joined forces in the heart of Rome at the infamous bar – il San Callisto. They started jamming in Alex’s basement round the corner and soon after, equipped with a car battery and a power inverter, began performing on Ponte Sisto – a historical bridge in Trastevere, as Funkallisto. Word got out quickly in Rome’s underground scene and people soon flocked to enjoy the weekend Summer nights atop of the bridge, soaking up the party atmosphere.
A decade on, Funkallisto have independently produced 4 albums on their own label, Express Yourself, selling over 20,000 copies. The band’s style draws inspiration from Afro-American culture from the 70s but it is hard to categorize as each musician brings elements ranging from jazz-funk, afrobeat, rock, latin and soul into the mix. The result is an esplosive kaleidoscope of relentless, bass-heavy grooves and soulful, melodic interplay.
Being a purely instrumental band, collaborations have been numerous and varied. Jess Roberts, Lil’ Giselle, Chelsea Como, Luca Sapio, Randy Roberts, Remo Remotti, Cor Veleno, Tonico Settanta, Adriano Bono & The Pink Puffers. They have supported the likes of The James Taylor Quartet, The Baker Brothers and James Senese.
Funkallisto have travelled extensively playing in clubs, festivals and on the streets. Notably the UK’s Soul Cellar and Yardbird, Veneto Jazz Festival, Bern Busker Festival, Cairo’s El Sawy Culturewheel, Shanghai’s Italian Fiesta Carnival, Edinburgh’s Jazz Cafe, Berlin’s Cafe Zapata , the Barcelona Busker Festival, Milan’s Connie Douglas and Leoncavallo and Ravenna’s Boca Barranca organized by Milanese label Record Kicks. They have also performed for international breakdancing competition, A funky Afternoon.
“Live a Ponte Sisto” was released in 2006 and distributed by Goodfellas with one of the tracks being remixed by DJ Margoo for Brioche Records. The follow-up, “Soul Ragu” was released in 2009 with one of the tracks being selected for the compilation, “Funk in Italy”, promoting Italy’s homegrown talent. “The Soul Street Brothers”, recorded entirely on the streets of Rome, was released in 2014.
Radioplay on numerous national radio shows over the years is a testament to the appreciation and fervor the band has created. In particular, “Troppo Avanti Show” on Radio Città Futura, “Diesel” on Isoradio, “Macondo” on Radio Rai 1, “Aladino” on Radio Rai 3 and “Uno mattina weekend” on Rai 1.
As Funkallisto prepare to launch their fifth full-length, the time is ripe to take their sound beyond the borders of the Italian peninsula, and present them to the world!