ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat came to life in 2013, drawing from the members' shared love of funk, soul, and high energy music. Earning their start as the house band for a live music night in downtown Chicago, the rotating members collaborated live on stage until a solid foundation assembled. With a growing setlist of original material, co-founders, Armando Pérez and Kevin Miller, released their first original recordings on an EP mixtape. Catching the attention of tastemakers, promoters, and booking agents, they began to play festival stages and open for national and international touring acts. Releasing their eponymous self-titled full length album to critical-acclaim a year later, the band toured through the midwest to the Gulf of Mexico and back.
Having just been named "Best New Band" and "Best International/World Music Act" by the Chicago Reader, ESSO is set to release their remix album "Pueblo Unido" (Sonic Octopus Recordings) in the Summer of 2016. With a tour through the Midwest and the East Coast to follow, ¡ESSO! continues to bring their contagious fusion to premier music venues and festivals across the states.
***Their experience and active work in performing for grassroots community organizations has helped raise awareness and vital funding for important after-school and immigrant justice programs across Chicago.
ESSO (El Sonido Sonic Octopus) performs funky Afro-Latino and roots rock inspired dance music. The ethnically diverse crew of musicians establish driving polyrhythmic grooves, combining biting twang guitar with the strength of brass horns, coro group singing, and urban poetry all in an eclectic mix of raw energetic sounds. All members bring a vital contribution to the band's unique "afrojam funkbeat" style. Inspired by Chicago's soulful blues, jazzy house, and global fusion heavyweights, the group deliver their performances with purpose and direction; unifying
through music, dance and collaboration.
ESSO has shared the stage with Natalia Lafourcade, Bomba Estereo, Los Amigos Invisibles, Sonido Gallo Negro, Kinky, Cafe Tacuba, Chicha Libre, Saul Williams, Jeremy Sole, Los Rakas, Hello SeaHorse!, Jenny & the Mexicats, Gaby Moreno, Alice Russell, Eufórquestra and Boogat.
Members: Armando Pérez (guitar/vocal), Kevin Miller (saxophone), Dan Lieber (drums/percussion), Ezra Lange (bass), Diana Mosquera (vocals), Julian Harris (trumpet), Puerko Pitzotl (percussion), Jess Anzaldúa (percussion), Luis Tubens (vocals), Matthew Davis (trombone) and special guests.