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Mike Thomas

Lead Vocals, Guitar

 One of the very best vocalist/frontmen the region has ever known, Mike performs locally, regionally, and nationally on a regular basis. Performing with the likes of Moxy and Big Nixon, Mike is also a traveling musician, regularly performing throughout the US and Canada.

 

Featured on Season One of ABC's "Americas Got Talent", the 2006 "Vans Warped Tour", and several other regional/national broadcasts, Mike is one of the most successful unsigned musicians in the local, regional and National scenes. With unmatched stage presence; Mikes contemporary funk flare, solid guitar stylings, and electronic vocal effects make him a unique addition as the lead singer of Funk Evolution.

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  Stephen 'Rocco' Christman

Tenor Sax, Backing Vocals

 

Founding member of Funk Evolution, 'Rocco' is long recognized as one of the regions leading saxophonists.  Rocco has performed more than 700 shows, with some of the regions most regarded groups, in the past 10 years.  He's also worked with regional and national artists including Arethra Franklin,  The Trans Siberian Orchestra, Slide Hampton, Stefon Harris and studied extensively with World reknowned Bari Sax master, Nick Brignola. He's also had the honor of warming up the stage for artists including Nick Carter, The Village People, Uncle Cracker, The Platters and BJ Thomas.

 


Rocco is upstate NY's only fully endorsed artist of Cannonball Saxophones. These amazing instruments are designed & built in Salt Lake City, Utah; each a true work of art!  Check them out online at www.CannonballMusic.com.

Chris Mattice  <aka - Thrice As Nice>

Trumpet/Vocals

One of the regions hottest young trumpetors, Chris 'Thrice As Nice'' Mattice has performed as lead trumpet with nearly every major group on the local horn-band circuit: The Alan Payette Band, The Electric City Horns, The Refrigerators,  Groove Therapy and various ST. Rose Ensembles.  Chris has performed up and down the east coast. Chris has had the honor of performing with jazz greats John Fedchock, Vince DiMartino, and Denis DiBlasio.
 
Chris has been greatly influenced by musicians such as Maynard Ferguson, Rashawn Ross, Australian trumpet great James Morrison, Roy Hargrove, and groups such as Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Soulive, and Lettuce just to name a few.Photo 

 

Photo Courtesy of: Aaron Currado Photography

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Justin Godlewski    <Aka -Sweet Dijon>

Bari/Alto Saxophones  

Justin recently graduated from the College of St. Rose with a degree in music and currently works as a public school teacher. While at St. Rose Justin had the opportunity to play for great musicians like Billy Taylor and Bob Mintzer. Justin actively performs in a variety of settings through out the Capitol Region and continues to direct a jazz ensemble during the summer.

Musical Influences: Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago, Billy Joel, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Maceo Parker, Lenny Pickett, Sean Jones.

Photo Courtesy of: Best Bytes Media ~ Jamie Ross 

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Matthew Izykowski (Izy)
Lead Trumpet/Vox

Starting his illustrious performance career right here in the Capital Region, Matthew's passion of music began with the Empire State Youth Orchestra. Performing at venues such as: "Carnegie Hall" and Tanglewood's "Ozawa Hall", a career in music was soon to evolve. Receiving a Bachelor's in Music Performance from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst; under the study of Eric Berlin, Matthew has built a sound musical foundation off of the techniques of Boston Symphony's Charles Schlueter and Thomas Rolfs, as well as New York Philharmonics Vincent Penzerella. Matthew has performed with prestigious ensembles around the Northeast, including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, Keene Symphony Orchestra, and the Commonwealth Opera. Though a concentration in orchestral studies, Matthew has also performed in pit jazz orchestras such as: "Ain't Misbehavin'", "Hello Dolly", "Little Women", "Beauty and the Beast", and "West Side Story" as well as the Glens Falls Jazz Orchestra. Matthew's diversity in performance genres will certainly contribute to Funk's "Evolution".

Jason Dambrose <Jay>

Lead Guitar 

A talented multi-instrumentalist, ‘Jay’ brings over 20 years of composition, recording, performance and reputation to the FunkE stage. 

 

Jay has performed throughout the Northern East Coast and Canada with his original band Terrorcake. His group was featured on both local and nationally distributed compilation albums, and performed at the World famous CBGB’s in NYC.

 

Jay also had the honor of performing extensively in an original band managed by acclaimed rock Journalist Lisa Robinson (long time writer for Rolling Stone magazine and music columnist for the New York Post.)

 

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Dave Teta
Drum Kit

Funk Evolution Drummer, Dave Teta, has worked with a 'whos who' of local & regional artists including Big Nixon, Moxie, Nate Donnis, The Chris Dukes Band, Erin Harkes, Jericho Joe & Pat Tiernan.  Dave is a dynamic musician with a unique style and stage presence that engages every audience.

 

Teta's early influence from 'Rush' Drummer, Neal Peart, got him behind the kit at age 13.  His other influences include greats Rodney Holmes, Carter Beauford, Taylor Hawkins, Stewart Copeland, Steve Jordon. 

 

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Josh Herzog

Bass Guitar

 

Funk Evolution bassist, Josh Herzog, has been playing bass for more than 25 years.  A self taught multi-instrumentalist, Josh is also a well respected studio engineer in our community, having recorded over 100 of the areas best bands in his career.

 

Josh has been a bassist in many local groups including: Arc, The Roundbale Conspiracy, The Chris Dukes Band and Wylder.   Josh's unique style on bass is reminiscent of many of his biggest influences: James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke, Geddy Lee, Aston Barrett, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Prince.

Chris Carballeira
Keys/Synth/Organ

Born and raised in upstate New York, Chris Carballeira has consistently sought to explore new musical genres, ranging from Soul Jazz and Blues to Funk, Fusion and World Music. His interest lies in performing innovative music that pushes boundaries and gets you moving simultaneously.

 

Since returning to the Capital District in 2010, he has been seen performing with popular bands such as Dirty Paris, The Chronicles, BOM Big Band, and Los Duenos de la Salsa, as well as various jazz combos including some of Albany's best. He currently studies the Hammond Electric Organ. 

 

 

 

 

Tim Fiato

Organ/Synth

Funk Evolution is proud to welcome master synth and organist Tim Fiato to our lineup in the spring of 2014.  Tim's early influences from the Lynard Skynard Band, J.Geils Band, The Allman Brothers Band and Elton John later developed into a passion for organ masters Billy Preston, Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff.  Tim's unique style and blend of funk/rock/jazz keys is an homage to the incredible musicians he grew up admiring.  

 

 

Tims extensive career encompasses a who's who in the regional blues scene. Tim has worked extensively with artists such as Ernie Williams, Charlie Smith and George Boone (who he still performs with).  Tim has also performed with cover groups 'The Alan Payette Band' and 'Doc Orloff'.  Of particular note is Tim's extensive background in original groups Nautilus & Viscous Jimmy (to name a couple).  Tim's style and presence behind the keys makes him an enormous asset to Funk Evolution and he's sure to be a fan favorite in no time!  Tim and Chris Carballeira will be 'trading off' work in Funk Evolution to afford FE the greatest creative influence possible..with two master organ/synth guys!  We're honored to welcome Tim to our group.

 

 

 

 

Funk Evolution Alumni

 Michael Dietlein 

 Lead Trumpet/Vocals

Michael has been playing professionally both regionally and internationally for the last decade. In that time, he’s played locally with Capital District groups including the Refrigerators and The New York Players among many others, as well as having opened for such groups as The Village People, Uncle Kracker, The Average White Band and The Tokens. He’s shared the stage with The Temptations; Jazz Legends Rufus Reid and Wycliffe Gordon; as well as the Emmy nominated, and Tony Award Winning, Leslie Uggams. Mike can be heard on UK recording artist John Garrison’s debut album “Above The Cosmos” and Colleen Pratt’s latest release “I Though About You” with the Empire Jazz Orchestra. He’s toured Europe with the American Music Abroad organization, and for the last few years has played Lead Trumpet on luxury cruise liners Royal Caribbean and P&O UK. His playing has taken him to 42 different countries on 5 continents. Mike has now returned to The P&O Cruise line traveling the World in pursuit of musical fulfillment!

Mike Finch   <Aka - Finchy>

Trumpet, Aux Percussion

Michael Finch is one of the most active young trumpet players in the Albany area.  Only one year removed from college, Michael has already played many venues both big and small, from Citi Field and Proctor’s Theatre to the Manhattan nightclub scene. He has held lead and Principal positions with various performing ensembles in the area, most recently playing with Classic Rock Productions in the  ‘Return to Woodstock Tribute’ show. 

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Greg Greene

Bass Guitar, Vocals 

Original Funk Evolution member, and Long-time FE Bassist Greg is one of the regions hottest and most recognizable bassists with a fat nasty groove and a style all his own.  Greg was one of the FE 'Original Nine' and is also the bassist of one of the regions most innovative groups, Buck2Fifty.   

Funk Evolution Is The Official Party Band Of:
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