Press Release


Press Release

Funk Quartet Rock Candy Funk Party to Unleash “Groove Is King” on July 31

Download the free song “Uber Station”

Los Angeles, CA, June 29, 2015: On July 31, funk and jazz band Rock Candy Funk Party (RCFP) will release their sophomore studio album Groove Is King, an aural kaleidoscope that mashes up funk, rock, dance, electronica, jazz and R&B into 14 original tracks and 2 covers full of space, texture, and virtuoso musicianship. Included is a bonus DVD with over 50 minutes of in-studio footage.

Powered by a lineup of world-renowned players, the group came together for the sheer fun of making music—and a mutual love of genre-blurring grooves, they are:  album producer Tal Bergman (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus (guitar), and Mike Merritt (bass).

Groove Is King —due out on Bonamassa’s independent label, J&R Adventures— was recorded at Tal Bergman Studios in Los Angeles, California. Unlike RCFP’s debut album We Want Groove (2013), which tipped its hat to Miles Davis’ classic 1982 live instrumental LP We Want Miles, Groove Is King pulls away from the jazz-funk sounds of the first album into a modern sound, with focused compositions and arrangements and a slick production. “This time around, the concept was less jazz and more modern dance with layered grooves. The rhythm section laid the foundation and then we’d add in strings, sythns and an incredible horn section, all while keeping it funky,” says DeJesus.

Also new to this album are horn arrangements by Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker, and contributions from Daniel Sadownick (percussion), James Campagnola (saxophone), Ada Rovatti (saxophone), and Fred Kron (keys). Renato Neto, who played on RCFP’s debut album, joins the lineup again on keys while ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons lends his trademark growl to the album as the master of ceremonies aka “Mr. Funkadamus.” Together, these players weave into the mix heavier dance beats, rock, and pure unadulterated funk, citing influences such as Daft Punk, the Brecker Brothers, Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars, Massive Attack, Sade, Prince, and Led Zeppelin.

These influences can be heard in many of the tracks, including the more rock-driven “Don’t Funk With Me” and “Uber Station,” a couple of tight, funky tunes punctuated with horns that recapture some of that classic Brecker Brothers sound, while “Low Tide” and “Groove Is King” feature a more stripped down, guitar-driven funk. “There was a definite intention of making tracks that are danceable,” said Merritt about “Don’t Be Stingy With The SMTPE,” “C You On The Flip Side,” and the EDM mash-up “The Fabulous Tales Of Two Bands,” which has traces of Prodigy’s 1997 hit “Firestarter.” “East Village” and “The 6 Train To The Bronx” both feature a cool, relaxed jazz feel while “Cube’s Brick” has a world music groove reminiscent of Weather Report; a funky yet ethereal treatment can be found on a re-imagining of Peter Gabriel’s “Digging In The Dirt.”

RCFP grew out of Bergman and DeJesus’ 2007 instrumental album Grooove Vol. 1, and subsequent live dates at L.A.’s storied jazz spot The Baked Potato. They encouraged other musicians to jam with them, including Merritt and Neto, who joined the line-up early on. Bonamassa made his RCFP debut in early 2012 during one of his rare breaks from the road when Bergman—who has toured with the guitarist—invited him to sit in on a pair of gigs.

To celebrate the release, RCFP will play two exclusive shows each night on July 24 and July 25 at 9:30pm and 11:30pm at The Baked Potato (3787 Cahuenga Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604). Buy advance tickets here:


Groove Is King Tracklisting:

  1. Introducing the Master of Ceremonies Mr. Funkadamus
  2. Groove Is King
  3. Low Tide
  4. Uber Station
  5. East Village
  6. If Six Was Eight
  7. Cube’s Brick
  8. And now a word from our find sponsors with Mr. Funkadamus
  9. Don’t Be Stingy With The SMPTE
  10. C You On The Flip Side
  11. Digging In The Dirt
  12. Don’t Funk With Me
  13. The 6 Train To The Bronx
  14. Rock Candy
  15. Funkadamus thanks all the señors but especially the señoritas
  16. The Fabulous Tales of Two Bands


CONAN Is Having A Rock Candy Funk Party On Feb 10th


Rock Candy Funk Party to Release Live DVD/Blu-ray and 2-Disc Companion CD Feb. 25th

Genre-Bending Groove Machine Features Music Legends Joe Bonamassa, Tal Bergman, Mike Merritt, Ron DeJesus, Renato Neto and Daniel Sadownick

Los Angeles, January 21, 2014: CONAN is gearing up to celebrate funk on February 10 when the show brings in jazz-funk groove machine Rock Candy Funk Party (RCFP) – a band that delivers a sound that’s as celebratory as the name suggests – for their late-night television debut. With a music-loving, guitar-playing host, CONAN is known for its impeccable musical tastes and with RCFP’s reboot of classic ’70s/’80s jazz-funk, will be bringing the genre to the forefront. Powered by a lineup of world-renowned players”album producer Tal Bergman (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus (guitar), Mike Merritt (bass), Renato Neto (keys), and Daniel Sadownick (percussion)” the band came together for the sheer fun of making music, and a mutual love of genre-blurring grooves.

Download the free single “We Want Groove”:

On February 25, RCFP will follow up last year’s debut album We Want Groove with Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York – Live At The Iridium (J&R Adventures) – a live DVD/Blu-ray package which includes a 30-minute documentary and an exclusive live companion double CD featuring over 100 minutes of music, all filmed and recorded over 3 nights at the legendary Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.

Pre-order Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York – Live At The Iridium:

Watch the EPK:

Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York – Live At The Iridium features eight live renditions of original tracks from RCFP’s debut CD We Want Groove that mash up funk, jazz, and rock with virtuoso musicianship, as well as four cover songs. A selection of songs from the DVD debuted on a November episode of PBS’ popular music performance series “Front & Center.”

Praise for Rock Candy Funk Party:

“If you could put James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Joe Satriani, Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive and the Heavy in a blender, you might wind up with Rock Candy Funk Party, whose music sounds exactly like its name. It stands to reason…just get down with it.” – JazzTimes

“This quartet repurposes the jazz-funk sounds of yesteryear into a tasteful, eclectic mix, packed with memorable compositions.” – All About Jazz

“A great funk escape this album is a “must buy.” It’s a culmination of five of the best musicians at their craft bonding for a common purpose, and that purpose is funk… Run, don’t walk to the Rock Candy Funk Party.”

– Funkatopia

For tracklisting and more information about the DVD or Band visit:

Download the free single “We Want Groove”:

Something Else Review


December 21, 2013 –

When I sized up the best fusion jazz discs of 2013 at mid-year, I came up with ten I really liked a lot. And it didn’t matter if it was the cerebral, episodic prog rock of Guapo, the cross-generational world fusion of Maria Marquez or the fun and funky instrumental party music of Rock Candy Funk Party. Over the last six months, I came up with ten more, encompassing everything from the modern jazz-derived Prism by Dave Holland and his new, all-star quartet to the mathematical gamelan rock of Indonesia’s simakDialog.

And this time, there aren’t any that finished just short of being heartily recommended. No “honorable mentions,” here, just twenty excellent albums that are so divergent but share terrific musicianship, challenging harmonies and an adventurous bent. You’ve surely heard of some of these acts, but hopefully there’s a few in here that present some discovery opportunities.

Because we’re using such an inclusive definition of what is called “fusion,” it would be just as easy to slot some of these picks in other genres. Marc Cary’s Four Directions is roughly split in half between straight jazz and vintage style fusion songs. In spite of the split personality, it’s wholly fantastic. Guapo’s History of the Visitation would be the Album of the Year on a prog rock list, if I were to put one together. And don’t ask me where else should I place Koby Israelite’s Blues From Elsewhere. All I know that this record had to go on a “best of 2013″ list somewhere.

These choices below are the cream of the crop at the top of 2013, in no particular ranking or order, except for one that stands above the rest. Click on the nested links in the titles to get the full reviews…


PBS’ Front and Center Features Rock Candy Funk Party


Exclusive DVD Will Be Released In Stores Early 2014

November 8, 2013 (New York, NY)-An all new episode of the popular music performance series Front and Center will feature the collaborated power of Rock Candy Funk Party. The next episode in the line-up premieres nationwide on public television starting this Saturday, November 9th in the New York Metropolitan area (check local listings). The series’ eighth episode showcases RCFP’s world-class musicians including producer Tal Bergman (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus of Planet Funk (guitar), Mike Merritt of Conan O’Brien’s late show band (bass), Daniel Sadownick (percussion) and Renato Neto, who recorded and toured with Prince for nearly a decade (keys). This episode of Front and Center was filmed at the legendary Iridium Jazz Club in Times Square. Highlights of the show include “Octopus-e” and “New York Song”.

“Playing for Front and Center was a great experience for me and the band. You can really hear the enjoyment we all had playing the music we love so much for everyone,” says Rock Candy Funk Party’s Tal Bergman. The complete version of this show will be available everywhere at music/video retail stores in early 2014. For more information visit:

The diverse musical line-up of Front and Center’s Season 2, spanning genres and generations, includes Jack Johnson, Train, Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Rides (featuring Barry Goldberg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Stephen Stills), Rock Candy Funk Party, Zakk Wylde & the Les Paul Trio, Jake Bugg, and JJ Grey & Mofro. “Front and Center brings the audience up close offering fans a unique perspective with no barriers between them and the music,” said the series’ executive producer Don Maggi.

Front and Center is presented nationally by WLIW21 for WNET and is filmed in high definition. The series caters to the live music fan, with each episode delivering top-notch performances from some of the biggest names in music.

For a full list of episodes and exclusive clips you can visit or check out the series’ YouTube page at

Something Else Review

The diversely talented guitarist John Scofield revisits fusion jazz with a vengence, this being one of his main areas of expertise. It’s just too good to leave off the list on a technicality of being released two days after the first half of the year.

Most of the other winners are by little-known acts who managed to edge out quite good records from the likes of Kevin Eubanks and The Yellowjackets, records I’d still recommend. But these choices below are the cream of the crop at the top of 2013, in no particular ranking or order. Click on the nested links in the titles to get the full reviews…

John Scofield - Uberjam Deux: This is funky fun that’s not even close to being lightweight. It’s the rare sequel that lives up to the hype generated by the original installment.

Steve Jenkins and the Coaxial Flutter - Steve Jenkins and the Coaxial Flutter: Jenkins keenly leverages fusion ideas from classic Jeff Beck all the way to David Fiuczynski but this ain’t no retro music. He’s always looking forward by also pulling in ideas from all across the current landscape of modern, edgy music. Jazz-rock of the future.

Koby Israelite - Blues From Elsewhere: Illustrates what a fertile ground the blues can be for avant-garde artists looking to flex their creative muscles into unfamiliar territory. The thing is, Koby Isrealite makes it seem so familiar, like these crazy hybrids were meant to be.

Dave Haskell Group - Pivot Point: There are no filler; the only moments found here are the good ones. While nothing about Pivot Point is groundbreaking, records as solid as this one are just as hard to find. Haskell may have put away his wings, but he’s still soaring.

Kendrick Scott Oracle - Conviction: What makes this truly great is the coherency, depth, and yes, purpose. Just because an album is spiritual doesn’t make it great, but Scott has solved the puzzle on how to apply the power of spirituality into great music that cuts across genres and temperaments

Maria Marquez - Tonada: Marquez shows how reaching back to the rich, under-appreciated rich heritage of Venezuelan music can be pushed forward and made relevant in the 21st century.

Troy Roberts - Nu-Jive 5: Roberts combines an old feel with inspiration from fresh sources, and then throws in enough creases to give the music depth and lasting attractiveness. This is the rare fusion jazz record that excels in all facets of fusion.

Rock Candy Funk Party, featuring Joe Bonamassa - We Want Groove: A record that lives up to the name of the band playing it, We Want Groove is fusion party music that perfectly captures the spirit of when such party music made jazz so much fun for non-jazz fans to listen to.

Sean Nowell - The Kung-Fu Masters: Many sparks are created from two opposing forces: a rhythm section is often moving between 70s style fusion and 21st century electronica while the horn section roots itself firmly in the soulful hard bop tradition of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers or the 60s version of the Jazz Crusaders.

Guapo - History Of The Visitation: In the wide field of instrumental or progressive rock, these are the guys at the part of the spectrum who seem least concerned about commercial impact. That’s the very reason why fans of the purer, more adventurous forms of the style should be paying close attention to them and their latest album.


New Joe Bonamassa Goes 70s Funk


Just when you thought Epiphone’s Joe Bonamassa could not possibly have a spare moment left to make any more new music, comes news that on January 28, Joe and pals Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt, and Renao Neto will release a new album, We Want O Groove. They’re calling themselves Rock Candy Funk Party.  The album was produced by Tal Bergman.

“Tal did a great job making sure the album didn’t become over indulgent,” said Bonamassa. “The challenge was to keep it fresh without our influences overwhelming the music—to keep the band vibe without it becoming too many ideas from too many people. It was important to commit to the moment and keep it fresh, and fun.”

With titles like “Spaztastic,” “Root Down and Get It,” and “We Want Groove,” we expect no less.


01.14.2013 –


All About Jazz We Want Groove Review


This quartet repurposes the jazz-funk sounds of yesteryear into a tasteful, eclectic mix, packed with memorable compositions and aided by the crystalline recording process, enabling the music to breathe amid great detail and depth. Featuring blues-rock guitar hero Joe Bonamassa trading licks with guitarist Ron DeJesus, Rock Candy Funk Party was recorded at drummer Tal Bergman’s studio, denoting the band’s debut. Continue reading