NYC: 5 under-the-radar hip-hop & funk shows you don't want to miss in July

Amanda Mester - AXS Contributor
By: AXS Contributor Jun 24, 2014
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New York City draws some monstrously huge names to its stages, and July alone features shows from Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce & Jay Z. However, the city is also good to the less-known, and although by no means all-inclusive, this list of 5 shows happening next month will provide funk and hip-hop fans with awesome live music by up-and-comers.

  • 5.New York Funk Exchange
    On July 5, the New York Funk Exchange will be performing at Club Groove, a venue in the village notorious for hosting the greatest funk, sou
    Toshi's Living Room

    On July 5, the New York Funk Exchange will be performing at Club Groove, a venue in the village notorious for hosting the greatest funk, soul, and R&B performances. Representing Brooklyn, the New York Funk Exchange are a 9-piece ensemble, led by vocalist Serena Fortier, whose voice has been compared to that of Sharon Jones. Performing everything from soul, jazz, and funk, NYFE have shared the stage with Galactic, Fred Wesley & the New JBs, Nas, and Damian Marley since their 2007 genesis. The show begins at 9:30pm at Club Groove, which is located at 125 Macdougal St. in New York City.

  • 4.Bridge City Hustle
    Also hailing from Brooklyn, this 4-piece funky soul act is made up of vocalist Johnny Burgos, bassist Pete O'Neill, drummer & keyboardist Da
    The Russell Brothers

    Also hailing from Brooklyn, this 4-piece funky soul act is made up of vocalist Johnny Burgos, bassist Pete O'Neill, drummer & keyboardist Dave Zerio, and sax man Dan Cherouny. Their genre-bending sound can be attributed to the multifaceted backgrounds each of these young men bring to the stage. Burgos has produced beats for hip-hop stars Mobb Deep and M.O.P.; O'Neill has shared the stage with the godfather of soul, Mr. James Brown; Zerio studied at the prestigious Hartford Conservatory; and Cherouny has been performing electronica at festivals. The fellas have recorded their first EP, a self-titled projects featuring the Marvin Gaye-inspired single "Can't Let Go." Although having only been together since 2012, Bridge City Hustle have already been featured on NPR's WNYC Soundcheck radio program and are planning an east-coast tour. On July 11th, the band will be rocking the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. Along with Evolfo Doofeht and Nuf Said, Bridge City Hustle will be performing their original tunes live. Show begins at 8pm, and tickets are $8.

     

    For more information, you can visit their official website.

  • 3.The Stooges Brass Band
    Although technically a jazz-based brass band, the Stooges infuse their stellar live performances with hip-hop beats and can get down-right f
    CR Photography

    Although technically a jazz-based brass band, the Stooges infuse their stellar live performances with hip-hop beats and can get down-right funky. The New Orleans-based crew have been touring considerably in the last couple of years, including a tour as US cultural ambassadors in Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Closer to home, the Stooges have shared the stage with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Black Star, Ozomatli, and fellow list-member Galactic. After winning the Red Bull Street Kings Best Brass Band battle in 2010, the Stooges have scooped up a Big Easy Music Award, a slot at Bonnaroo, and a gig at the Brooklyn Bowl on July 12th. For a preview of what you can expect from their live performance, check out this video. The show begins at 8pm (with doors opening at 6pm), and tickets are $12.

  • 2.Pigeon John & Tanya Morgan
    Both the east & west coasts will be in the building for this July 19th show packed full with some of the best underground hip-hop around. Lo
    Matt Wignall

    Both the east & west coasts will be in the building for this July 19th show packed full with some of the best underground hip-hop around. Los Angeles emcee Pigeon John has been a mainstay in the indie rap circuit since the '90s, working with alternative hip-hoppers Blackalicious, the Grouch & Eligh, and Murs. After co-founding the hip-hop collective L.A. Symphony, Pigeon John went on to record six studio albums, the most recent being Encino Man. Released in April, the album features the single "Oh Yeah," whose video has reached over twenty-five thousand hits on Youtube.

    Joining Pigeon John will be Tanya Morgan, a duo hailing from both Cincinnati and Brooklyn. Comprised of MC Donwill and MC/Producer Von Pea, Tanya Morgan have earned press in Wax Poetics. XXL, and the Source. New Yorkers familiar with the underground hip-hop scene in the city should be familiar with the name; Tanya Morgan have performed at the annual CMJ Festival, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, and performed just last week at Williamsburg's Spike Hill venue. Collaborations include work with Drake and 88 Keys and their release of one (and sometimes more than one) project annually since 2005 make them some of the hardest-working acts out here.

    This not-to-miss hip-hop extravaganza is happening at the Studio at Webster Hall on Saturday, July 19th, at 7:30pm. Opening acts Playdough, Ant Matos, and Chano Migs will also be joining the fun for the 19+ show. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased here.

  • 1.Galactic
    Another NOLA representative rounds out this list, and fittingly so since Galactic are known for incorporating both funk and hip-hop into the
    Marc Millman

    Another NOLA representative rounds out this list, and fittingly so since Galactic are known for incorporating both funk and hip-hop into their music (among other things). A sextet made up of guitarist Jeff Raines; bassist Robert Mercurio; drummer Stanton Moore; organist Rich Vogel; vocalist Theryl DeClouet; and saxophonist Ben Ellman, Galactic have reached interstellar success (pun intended) through performing with the likes of the Roots, B.B. King, and Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious). With 4 consecutive shows at the Brooklyn Bowl, beginning on July 23rd, Galactic are clearly one of the most in-demand funk acts. With special guests Cyril Neville (of the Meters) and New Orleans saxophonist Glen David Andrews, the 21+ show is set to be a night filled with fantastic, funky, groovy jams. The show begins at 8pm (with doors at 6pm) and the $15 tickets can be purchased here.

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