It is with a mix of satisfaction, bittersweet nostalgia, joy and excitement that we are announcing the end of Afro Funké’s current incarnation as a weekly event at Zanzibar in Santa Monica. It has been an incredible and amazing 10 + year run for a weekly Thursday evening dance event whose focus has been to share non-mainstream, non-commercial music from far outside our own borders.
The weekly club, Afro Funke’, which celebrated its 10th Anniversary in June 2013, was the brainchild of Afro Roots star, Rocky Dawuni, who realized LA’s need for a night dedicated to African music, culture and art and it’s far reaching legacy around the world. Dawuni, who’s based in LA and his native Ghana, together with talent booker and photographer Cary Sullivan created Afro Funke’, bringing on board resident DJ and partner Jeremy Sole. Sole spins his unique “Musaics,” or sound collage-blends of hip hop, jazz/funk, dub reggae, afro beat, and remixed world beats; pieced together with tribal breaks, and uplifted by dubbed-out turntable manipulation and live instrumentation. Afro Funke’s profile has been greatly enhanced by its unique photo based flyers which feature Cary Sullivan’s cutting edge photographs of West African life as well as images from the club itself. DJ Glenn Red came on board a few years in to become and an integral and endearing part of the AF Family and serves as a resident DJ, musical mastermind and all around smooth operator.
Each week Afro Funke’ has presented international guest DJs, live band performances, guest musicians, dancers, cutting edge films, record release parties, fundraisers, fashion shows, art installations, crafts and more.
From Stevie Wonder jumping up with Rocky Dawuni live to an impromptu show by Zap Mama at their listening party to Yeni Kuti (daughter of the legendary Fela Kuti) tearing it up on the dance floor – one just never knew what to expect and that was always part of the magic of Afro Funke’.
While we will certainly miss serving our wonderful community of music lovers each & every week on the Westside and are grateful to Zanzibar for our wonderful home for the last decade, our decision is based on our plans to expand our mission beyond our great city of Los Angeles and across the globe. We are looking forward to reaching new audiences, hosting larger events and continuing the journey.
Afro Funke’ Press:
Afro Funke’ Saying Goodbye in December – EnclaveLA
Dr Dre Visits Rocky Dawuni’s Afro Funke’ by Oral Ofori
“In A Dance Trance” Los Angeles Times
“Bring in the Noise / Bring in the Funke” The Argonaut
Afro Funke’ Thursdays come to Zanzibar in Santa Monica – Santa Monica Mirror
Culture Features Afro Funke’ – Campus Circle