Funk Engine is one such band. The newly minted Sydney four-piece is dedicated to groove-based music, jazz fusion and reggae. The band members all grew up in Sydney except Felix Lalanne who is originally from Byron Bay. They first met through the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Jazz Workshop. Funk Engine was formed in January 2013 by electric bass player, composer and band leader Siebe Pogson. The other members Nish Manjanuth (tenor saxophone), Holly Conner (drums) and Felix Lalanne (electric guitar) are currently studying jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Funk Engine’s favourite artists include Sydney jazz fusion outfit, The Subterraneans, electric bassist and composer Steve Hunter and Japanese funk powerhouses, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro. Other influences include Bob Marley, Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, James Brown, Parliament, Bootsy Collins, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk.
After a nearly a year of rehearsing, Funk Engine debuted at The Newsagency in November 2013 to great success. The small, intimate setting provided the perfect opportunity to release their unique style of groove combined with improvisation. Early this year they secured a residency at Lazy Bones Lounge, Marrickville where they have been Sunday night regulars. They also appeared at the Beats festival over New Year’s Eve in 2013 at Glenworth Valley, Peats Ridge. The Engine have played a range of other venues around Sydney including Hermann’s Bar, Foundry 616, The Townie, Mr Falcon’s and the Town Hall Hotel Newtown.
Recorded under the guidance of Aria-winning Producer Llew Kiek, Funk Engine’s debut CD was launched at Sydney jazz venue, Foundry 616, on November 26 2014. With a successful release under their belt they arecontinuing to build their reputation as an exciting live band that dig into the groove and excite audiences. They are currently working on a second album due for release around the end of 2016/beginning of 2017.