Kung Fu kicking it into town

By Ryan Kaplan

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The band Kung Fu will perform at the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton this Saturday. A New York Tri-State Area-based funk-fusion super-group, Kung Fu is made up of musicians Tim Palmieri (guitar), Todd Stoops (keyboard), Adrian Tramontano (drums), Robert Somerville (tenor sax) and Chris DeAngelis (bass guitar). The members all come from the bands The Breakfast and Raq, both of which are native to the Tri-State Area.

Kmeron/ Flickr

The band attempts to blend 1970s fusion music, from acts like Herbie Hancock to Weather Report, with modern dance music. Kung Fu aims to make listeners groove along to music many people would not have previously considered party material.

Kung Fu started as a result of jam sessions between band members working with fusion music back in 2009. What started off as a laid-back, unofficial side project eventually gained steam as the band realized how much fun both the fans and themselves had at their shows.

The band released their self-titled debut in 2011. Due to its success and their relentless touring, Kung Fu was able to open a mini-residency at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City during April of 2012.

Though they incorporate electronic influences into their music, Kung Fu relies on the idea that people will never stop getting tired of seeing musicians play real instruments in a live setting. And this seems to have held true for them, as the band has been rapidly expanding its following with constant touring all over the country. The band has made appearances at major music festivals such as Mountain Jam, Gathering of the Vibes and Camp Bisco.

As is typical of the genre, the band relies heavily on improvisation to take their shows to the next level. The band members all share an amazing chemistry with one another, and it is this chemistry that drives the band’s performances into unique, exciting territory. Fans of jam music have capitalized on the band’s improvisational methods, taping their shows and trading them online via the Live Music Archive at archive.org. No show is the same as the last, but every show is full of electric energy and funky, head-bobbing grooves.

Tickets are still available for the show on the Nov. 2. They are $12.50  in advance and $15 at the door. The openers will be the funk and roll band Shantyman & The Speakeasies, as well as the funky, organ-heavy Alan Evans Trio. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Ryan Kaplan can be reached at [email protected]