Soul & Funk

Funk has its roots in the syncopated rhythms of New Orleans drummers, who influenced James Brown and other international stars of funk music when the style emerged in the mid-1960s. Producer Allen Toussaint was the local architect for many funk recordings in New Orleans, ranging from Lee Dorsey’s “Working in the Coal Mine” to Dr. John’s album “Gumbo.” The house band on Toussaint’s sessions included Art Neville on keyboards, Zigaboo Modeliste on drums, George Porter on bass, and Leo Nocentelli on guitar. Known as The Meters, the band recorded several albums of mostly funk instrumentals which only increased in popularity after they disbanded in the late 1970s, and were heavily sampled in hip-hop recordings. Long after funk disappeared from the pop music charts, the style has remained a signature sound of New Orleans, and many of the city’s current bands play funk (Galactic, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Dupstafunk, etc.), as do the most popular brass bands (Rebirth, Hot 8, Soul Rebels, etc.).