Phat Phunktion is a 9-piece tour de force that was born out of UW-Madison in 1996. They quickly rose to prominence in the midwest region and went on to tour all across the United States and Internationally as well. They have won countless awards including Madison Area Music Awards and Wisconsin Area Music Awards. Rolling Stone Magazine and Jazz Times have heralded their performances. Let's face it, it's just really damn cool to have a big horn section in front of a rhythm section that sounds like a freight train coming down the tracks
Sounds Like: Earth Wind & Fire, Bruno Mars
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Phat Phunktion BIO
Phat Phunktion, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison music students formed in 1996, have built a loyal following of listeners around the Midwest and throughout the country. A nine-piece tour de force that combines the polish of top 40 with the smooth feeling of 60's soul and the raw groove of 70's funk, Phat Phunktion is today one of the most talked about bands in the Midwest. Their self - produced CDs have sold in the thousands, and their live shows sell-out virtually everywhere they perform. In their hometown of Madison, WI, they attract crowds of upwards of 5,000 people.
In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine singled out Phat Phunktion as a "band on the rise." During the same year, they won a Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award, or WAMI, for "Best R&B Band." In May 2003, a panel of Billboard Magazine judges selected the band as one of six acts to perform at the Disc Makers' Independent Music World Series, Midwest regional final, where they funked up the Elbo Room in Chicago. Of the six finalists, Phat Phunktion and Chicago's Orbert Davis took top honors. The band has appeared numerous times at the Madison Blues Festival, Milwaukee's Summerfest, and the House of Blues in Chicago, with television and radio appearances, including "The Jenny Jones Show" and Michael Feldman's "Whad'ya Know?"
In 2004, Ben and Leo Sidran's Nardis label picked up the band, and their 3rd, self-produced CD, You and Me, was released for international distribution. Since then, You and Me has received substantial interest at home and abroad. In America, nearly 5,000 CDs have been sold to a devoted fan base via word-of-mouth and Internet sales. In Japan, large sales spurred a re-release of the disc on the Japanese label, Groovetime Records. In Europe, the record played on radio stations throughout Italy and Spain. In July/August 2004, JazzTimes reviewed You and Me, saying:
"Phat Phunktion has a horn-driven sound that draws inspiration from
'70s funk, and on 'You and Me', the band's first release on a national label, producers Tim Whalen and Al Falaschi demonstrate a talent for crafting strong, danceable tracks.... Musically, the album is first rate."
In 2005, You and Me received the Madison Area Music Award, or MAMA, for "R&B Album of the Year."
During the summer of 2005, Phat Phunktion embarked on their first National Tour. Following the Nardis release of You and Me, the tour has been a turning point for the award-winning, Madison, WI band. But, as Tim said recently, "We are not just a local band anymore." The band played festivals and clubs throughout the summer: venues like the Bele Chere Festival in Ashville, NC, the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, TN, and the Art Tatum Jazz and Heritage Festival in Toledo, OH. They've played clubs in New York City, Detroit, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Kalamazoo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, plus a two-week swing of the eastern seaboard from New England to the Carolinas.
Shawn Beckner of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch wrote: "They are quite simply the best dance machine to roll through the river city in a while." Mark Kennedy, Features Editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press wrote: "I was having Tower of Power flashbacks... Since 1976, I've been asking myself the cosmic question: 'What is hip?' Well now I know: Phat Phunktion."
Another chapter began when the band toured Japan in February of 2006. This very successful tour had the Japanese press and fans alike hailing Phat Phunktion as the new Tower of Power.
Phat Phunktion has shared the stage with musical legends The Temptations, Tower of Power, WAR, Cameo, Morris Day and the Time, The Original "P" (featuring original members of Parliament), The Average White Band, Chick Corea, Taj Mahal, Rick James, Clyde Stubblefield, and The Brothers Johnson. Their dynamic stage show and incredible musicianship have initiated thousands of faithful "Phatheads," who are now spreading the word.