CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — The Afrofunk Experience is back. The ensemble's instrumentation of dual guitars, bass, drums, percussion and trio of horns plays free in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room on Friday, Sept. 7. The Mark Sexton Band plays the after-party in the Red Room.Formed in 2004, the band has played in the Red Room before, but has made the jump to the larger venue on the west side of the historic casino. This marks Afrofunk's fourth Crown Room appearance. Band co-founder and bassist Wendell Rand (who has performed with Pleasuremaker and Afrolicious) leads the cast with low-end dance grooves. Tasteful, precise and very funky drummer Tai Kenning (Junk, Yacouba Diarra), is a serious study in afrobeat/afrofunk drum work. Guitarist David James (Beth Custer), former six-string slinger for the Coup and Michael Franti's Spearhead, brings his explorative, sinewy, rhythmic approach to counter guitarist Ken House's (H. P. Riot, Wade Love Band) chunky funk rhythms and funk metal solos that recall the heyday of Parliament-Funkadelic. Saxophonist David Boyce (Broun Fellinis, Ronkat Spearman), trumpeter Mike Pitre (Bohemian Knuckle Boogie, Joe Louis Walker) and trombonist Andre Webb (Howard Wiley), also offer stylings from classic Wailers to Ethiopian-style Randamp;B of the early ‘70s. The Afrofunk Experience is a recent winner of The SF Weekly Music Award's Best International Act. The band has played the Boom Boom Room, 111 Minna, The Independent, Slim's, the Great American Music Hall, and The Mezzanine and many other live music venues in the SF Bay Area. Festival appearances include Stern Grove, Fillmore Jazz Festival, Outside Lands and the Carnival. Other performances were at many world music parties like Earthdance SolFest, Sierra Nevada Music Festival, Salem World Music Festival, Cape May Jazz Festival, San Francisco Best of the Bay and S.F. Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay Awards.
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