Father Funk is a top
notch five piece classic r&b and smooth jazz performing ensemble
based in Central Jersey. They are guaranteed to bring the house down
every time the lights go up. The group consists of Thomas Duffy on
Keyboards, Matt Polashek on Saxophones, Joe Lisa on Guitar, Dale Graham
on Bass, and Dan Zegart on Drums. Although the styles Father Funk
performs may include r&b, funk, soul, rock, latin, and jazz; the
underlying element of "groove" remains constant throughout.
The band's extensive and varied repertoire spans five decades of music
and ranges in genre from the early r&b and soul pioneers like James
Brown and Marvin Gaye to today's popular artists such as Norah Jones and
Alicia Keys. This broad and diverse range of music is what makes Father
Funk appealing to a capacious audience.
Tom was born and raised in Northeastern PA. He began studying music at age 5. While in High School, he was voted "most musically talented" by his fellow classmates and started playing professionally with area bands. Tom graduated Cum Laude from Marywood University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance. Upon graduating, he quickly began performing with the top acts in NEPA. Tom has performed with groups that have supported legendary acts such as Aretha Franklin, Average White Band, and The Spinners. One of the groups that Tom was a member of was a favorite of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, as they had been invited to play at both of President Clinton's Inaugural Celebrations and even a private party at the White House. He has also performed with Steve LaSpina (Bassist for Jim Hall) and Marko Marcinko (Drummer for Maynard Ferguson). When Tom left NEPA for Atlantic County NJ, it did not take him very long to have equal success there. Now living in Hamilton Twp NJ, he has recruited the area's finest musicians to form Father Funk. His style of playing is a "fusion" of the two styles of music he loves to play the most, jazz and funk. Tom's major influences include: Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, and Steely Dan keyboardist and co-founder Donald Fagan.
Born in Waterloo IA,
Matt is currently an Associate Editor for Silver Burdett Ginn's
Joe is originally from Jersey City NJ, and is now living in Port Monmouth. He began studying guitar at age 6 and drums at age 9. In High School, he studied with both classical and jazz guitar instructors. Joe obtained his Bachelor of Music Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Wilkes University. At Wilkes Joe continued to perform both classical and jazz; performing works of J.S. Bach, Villa-Lobos, Albeniz while also a member of the University Jazz Band. Joe has over 15 years of professional experience. He has performed with musical theatre orchestras in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area and spent two years as a member of the house band at Split Rock in the Poconos. His credits also include performing at weddings as a classical guitar soloist, as part of a flute and guitar duo, as part of a jazz guitar duo, and with top 40 bands. In addition, he has been a member of various rock and r&b bands, including his own original project Crazy Helen, and Triple Play which he has been performing with around the Jersey Shore. Joe sites an eclectic group of artists as his influences including: Robben Ford, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen.
Originally from Wisconsin, Dale now resides in Ewing NJ. Dale received his formal musical education at Music Tech of Minneapolis and studied privately with Chris Ray at College of Lake County. He currently studies with Jim Kelly, Music Department Coordinator of Mercer County Community College. Dale's professional experience is numerous and varied. In Canada he toured with the rock band Mask, playing large outdoor festivals with Canadian band Trouper in cities like Winnipeg, Brandon, and Ottawa. Dale performed throughout central Oklahoma with guitarist and songwriter Ben Blankenship. He also played on Blankenship's CD "Black Lipstick". For nearly three years Dale was a member of a house band aboard Carnival Cruise Lines. There he played six nights a week performing at a variety of functions. Before joining Father Funk, Dale had most recently been a member of the 7 piece funk group Mojo. In addition to being an accomplished musician, he is also a Certified Professional Trainer through the American Council on Exercise.
Dan is originally from Nyack NY and now lives in Pennington NJ. He received his musical training at the Drummer's Collective in New York City. He has studied with Ed Blackwell (Drummer for Ornette Coleman) and Terry Silverlight (Drummer for Barry Miles). Dan has extensive recording and performing experience in the NYC and Philadelphia areas. He has performed at the New Music America Festival and toured nationally with the band Sono. Dan has recorded with Nenad Bach and Albert Bouchard and has performed with Max Romeo, Page Hamilton, Orleans, and the Bodeans. Some of the famous venues that Dan has performed at include: the Chestnut Caberet, CBGB's, Maxwell's, the Stone Pony, and the Peppermint Lounge. He lists Ed Blackwell, Omar Hakim, Steve Gadd, Tony Williams, and Frankie Mallabe among his influences.