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The Funk Ark: After a highly praised debut, Washington DC’s The Funk Ark is back with an even tighter follow up album. Less than a year has passed since the release of "From The Rooftops" on ESL Music and the world funk ensemble has established itself as a frontrunner in the world music scene both in the studio and through high-octane live performances. "High Noon," The Funk Ark’s sophomore release, was recorded and produced by Adrián Quesada of the Grammy award winning group, Grupo Fantasma. The album immediately received strong reviews and coverage from national outlets and tastemakers like KCRW, NPR, Billboard, AllMusic, NPR Alt.Latino, OkayPlayer, Performer Magazine, Giant Step, FlavorPill, Paris DJ's, Brightest Young Things, plus print and radio in major markets nationwide.
The Funk Ark is the creation of Will Rast, the band’s composer, pianist, and spokesperson, fulfilling his lifelong desire of turning his soul over to The Funk. “I decided to become a musician in high school,” he recalls. “I played my first gigs when I was 15, in bars and jazz clubs around Washington, DC.” Rast worked as a freelance jazz session player and made a name for himself as a stylistically versatile sideman with various R&B and world music artists. With The Funk Ark, he gets to play an amalgamation of all the sounds he loves with some of the best musicians in the DC area. “To me, funk is the universal connection linking all music - people like James Brown and the JBs, The Meters, Santana, Fela Kuti, Medeski, Martin and Wood and The Fania Allstars. The Funk Ark is my shot at making the music that I love to listen to.”
The Funk Ark has toured nationally over the past year, sharing the stage with Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band and Grupo Fantasma, as well as Thievery Corporation, Trombone Shorty, Chuck Brown, Keller Williams, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and many more. Upcoming shows will see The Funk Ark share the stage with STS9, Santigold, Major Lazer, Girl Talk, Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory, and more. The band has reached #1 at college radio in markets on both coasts and enjoyed significant success at CMJ 200 and CMJ World. The Funk Ark is on tour throughout 2012.
Jimmy Lifton, born in Detroit, Michigan, has had a storied musical career. Beginning with Motown’s Groovesville Recording Studios and being one of Detroit’s eminent session players, Lifton was signed to Atlantic Records as a solo artist and sold numerous songs to Motown. Lifton has also directed and produced award winning music videos for Atlantic and Island Records. He has produced sixteen feature films, won five Golden Reels and won Emmy’s in 2011 and 2012. He also launched the Lifton Institute of Media Skills to great success.
Jimmy Lifton has put together an eclectic combination of musical instruments and vocal textures to create a familiar yet hauntingly unique sound. It is a combination of Delta Blues and Rock with a definite Gospel influence. Each instrument and vocal arrangement is given its proper due.
Jimmy Lifton’s lineup includes Ken Christianson on violin, Patrick Taylor on upright bass, Lucas Ventura on drums, Uli Sinn on pedal steel and Dobro, Ben Burget on Bass Clarinet and Tenor Sax, David Williams on Acoustic Slide and Mandolin. Providing mind-blowing vocals are Reverend Cookie Brown, Reverend Darlene Watley and Toni Jones, three of the most captivating Gospel, Blues singers of today. Lifton is on keys and lead vocals.
The musicians are currently in the studio with tracks to be released this year.
For more information:
jimmylifton.com, oraclepost.com, liftoninstitute.com.