Funk Evolution was developed in early 2010 to be the next generation of Horn Fueled Party Band in New York's Capital Region. The eight members of Funk Evolution come from various musical backgrounds; Pop, Rock, Funk, Blues, Gospel, Soul, R&B, Jazz & Fusion. This unique mix of musical stylings and experience lends an equally unique sound, and energy, that makes Funk Evolution the region's top party band.
The members of Funk Evolution have performed thousands of shows throughout the US and beyond; supporting numerous national and international artists; on national television; and at some of the Worlds most legendary venues.
Sabrina Gogan -
Sabrina (a Berkshire County Native) holds a BA in Theater and BS in Communications from UMass Amherst where she graduated in 2010. Upon graduation, Sabrina relocated to Florida to perform for Walt Disney World Resorts until 2012 when she returned home to Pittsfield, Mass. Soon thereafter, Sabrina won regional vocal competitions The Berkshire Idol, WGNA Country Idol and was a Platinum Voice finalist (where she first performed with Funk Evolution). In 2014 Sabrina joined the Springfield, MA-based cover band Madison Avenue. Sabrina was chosen to open for the incredible Eli Young Band as a solo artist in 2015. Finally, in 2017, Sabrina joined the Funk Evolution Entertainment Group!
We've been honored to watch Sabrina grow as an artist over the years and are incredibly excited to continue to share our stage with such a dynamic, kind and talented lead lady. Sabrina's Rock-Country style add's to the versatility of Funk Evolution and mesh's incredibly with the FE material that preceded her
Stephen 'Rocco' Christman -
Tenor Sax, Vocals
Founding member of Funk Evolution, 'Rocco' is long recognized as one of the regions leading saxophonists. Rocco has performed more than 2,500 shows with some of the regions most regarded groups over the past 20 years. He's also worked with regional and national artists including Arethra Franklin,The Trans Siberian Orchestra, Slide Hampton, Stefon Harris and studied extensively with world reknowned Bari Sax master, Nick Brignola. He's also had the honor of warming up the stage for artists including Nick Carter, The Village People, Uncle Cracker, The Platters, B.J. Thomas, Average White Band, George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic and The Grass Roots.
Rocco is also deeply versed in Intelligent Lighting Engineering and Sound Engineering. Rocco has provided sound reinforcement for national artists: Chris Daughtry, Rita Ora, Liz Chan, X-Factor's Chris Renee, Britt Nicole, Aaron Carter, Chris Wallace, Cody Simpson and Caanan Smith.
Justin Godlewski -
Alto Sax, Bari Sax, Vocals
The newest member of Funk Evolution is also one of the first members of the Funk Evolution team! After a short hyatus, Funk Evolution welcomes back Justin Godlewski for 2019! A crowd favorite from the beginning, Justin quickly grew to local fame as an original member of Funk Evolution back in 2010 and performed with the group until 2018. Justin returned to the FE stage on January 1st, 2019 and we are very excited to continue making music with our very own 'Sweet Dijon'!
Justin's smooth, funky-rock sax stylings are unmistakable and a cornerstone of our success in the regional music scene. His inspired performances night after night during the 'Long Train Running' Sax Battles with our founding member Rocco quickly became the signature of our performance night after night! We're so happy to welcome Justin back to our team in 2019!
Michael 'Mikey D' Dietlein -
Long time Funk Evolution Trumpet Man MikeyD is not only one of the most respected musicians in the NorthEast music scene but certainly the most traveled and experienced.
Mike's early professional music career (now spanning more than 2 decades) included work with regional groups The New York Players and The Refrigerators. In 2010, Mike began his work abroad as Lead Trumpeter and Musical Director for The Royal Caribbean Cruise-line. Mike has since performed in 72 different countries and on 5 different continents for Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruiseline and Carnival UK.
Upon Mike's return to The Capital Region in 2014, he claimed his post as the Lead Trumpeter with Funk Evolution Entertainment and has been instrumental to our success ever since!
Over the years, Mike has performed with numerous international music acts including Il Divo, The Temptations as well as many Broadway and British West End Sensations.
Jay Dambrose -
Born with a guitar in his hands, Jason Dambrose is a multi-instrumentalist who's performed and taught guitar in NY's Capital region for more than 25 years. Jason worked extensively with hardcore band 'Fugazi' and toured the East cost playing bass with Rolling Stones Editor and contributor to the NY Post, Lisa Robinson. Jay has performed with a virtual 'whos who' of regional bands throughout his decorated musical career and is an original member of Funk Evolution Entertainment.
Jarod Grieco -
Bringing the bottom end to the Funk Evolution rhythm section is master bassist Jarod Grieco! Jarod's myriad of talent and experience is showcased in his unique, super funky bass lines, killer dance moves and passion for being a true entertainer. With over 300,000 views on Youtube, Jarod's performance videos have made him a worldwide sensation.
Jarod holds a Bachelors in Education from SUNY Potsdam and a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase. Jarod is also a celebrated member of the Manhattan based original band MOOSE and the incredible original rock band Maloy!
Alex Hitrick -
A Broadalbin native and graduate, Alex is currently finishing his Undergrad Degree in Music Ed at The College of Saint Rose. A multi-instrumentalist, Alex is also an accomplished composer and producer!
Alex's many talents (Piano, vocals, harmonica, trumpet, guitar) and diverse musical influences (Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Chicago & Nate Reuss) will further Evolve the unique sound-stage that is Funk Evolution Entertainment!
Daryl 'DJ' Jeffords -
At the very heart of the legendary Funk Evolution rhythm section is drummer/percussionist 'DJ' Jeffords. DJ's illustrious career spans more than 4 decades and features an array of the very best musical groups every assembled in our region (including our friends Skeeter Creek).
For more on 'DJ' (or as he says, "the whole long, boring story but with pictures and audio and video"), please visit his website at www.vintagedrummerny.com.