Funkdafied have been proud to tour the highly successful Kashmere Stage Band with sold out shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Live performances were accompanied with screenings of the award winning documentary ‘Thunder Soul’ at selected shows.
Tour Dates and Locations
January 18th 2013
Sutherland Entertainment Centre with documentary screening Thunder Soul
January 19th 2013
Parramatta Festival Opening Night – Performance Only
January 20th 2013
Paradiso at Town Hall – Sydney Festival, with documentary screening Thunder Soul
January 25th 2013
Brisbane Powerhouse with documentary screening Thunder Soul
January 27th 2013
Melbourne – Performace only.
Australian audiences witnessed for the first time ever, the compelling and rare musical ingenuity from 10 original members of the legendary Kashmere Stage Band – the all funk big band survivors of the 1970’s United States band competition. At a time when citizens took to the streets in unison with clenched fists held high as a powerful symbol of unification and resistance, racial segregation and political uncertainty and compounded civil unrest, one band stood to overcome the violence that permeated an entire nation, uniting a country together to break the profound racial tension through Funk music!
If you’ve never heard of the Kashmere Stage Band, by the end of Thunder Soul you will wonder why – New York TimesIn 1967, Texan music teacher Conrad O. Johnson formed a band with his all African American high school students at Kashmere High School called the Kashmere Stage Band. Competing in the fiercely competitive, conservative and almost entirely white national High School Stage Band Competitions, the Kashmere Stage Band exceled beyond expectations. Combining the passion of soul and the energy of funk with the dexterous arrangements of big band jazz, Kashmere Stage Band became an elite performing unit of the school for almost 20 years. Johnson and his big band broke down racial barriers and challenged the status quo with their elaborate funk arrangements. He also changed the band’s look, encouraging them to embrace their own inimitable style by introducing an unprecedented element of showmanship; with each section choreographing slick moves with their instruments.
Amassing multiple awards around the nation, they went on to perform in Europe and Japan upon invitation. Reigning as the untouchable champions of this prestigious competition for years, Johnson not only changed the lives of hundreds of students, he instilled racial pride, faith and inner strength. Ultimately, his teaching methods went on to impact an entire education system to value and place importance on the arts.
The band’s recordings have been collected by crate-diggers, feted (and sampled) by luminaries like DJ Shadow, and reissued by respected label Stones Throw.
Live performances were preceded by a screening of the fascinating documentary entitled Thunder Soul, narrated by Jamie Foxx. An inspiring documentary that details the history of the band and them coming together again for a special performance 30 years later. It is a truly inspirational documentary that shows in detail the legacy of both the Kashmere Stage band and their legendary teacher Conrad ‘Prof’ Johnson.
“It’s an inspiring story about one man changing the lives of hundreds of people, at a time when they were at their most vulnerable, putting them on a path of creative expression…through arts education.” – Director Mark Landsman