Founder – Multi-talented vocalist, musician, songwriter and music/vocal arranger
Thulani’s musical abilities have been molded from a unique blend of international experiences. Her energetic vocal style is deeply influenced by an appreciation for the Funk, R&B, and Rock classics, broad exposure to the international sound stage and the ability to communicate strong messages to today’s audiences. She is an accomplished songwriter, lyricist, vocal arranger & percussionist who uses her skills to provide a traditional African flair. This influence, pulsating rhythms that convey a message, is the core of Thulani’s music. She believes that people need to understand their heritage to prepare for the future. Consequently, her preparation includes extensive travel within Central and West Africa to refine her skills and explore the synergy created from blending musical styles.
Her sounds combines this background with the music of prominent Funk, Rock and R&B artists such as “Baby Jean” Kennedy from Mother’s Finest and Chaka Khan, which she is quick to acknowledge. Thulani frequently blends these musical elements with strong lyrics that both invigorates and challenges listeners. Her musical expertise also extends into the role of producer, musical arranger as well as vocal arranger, which features her intricate harmonies that takes tracks over the top every time.
Thulani has performed and worked with several world renown artists including: Jerome “Big Foot” Brailey (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Former Drummer with Parliament/Funkadelic), Adam Holtzman (MD for Miles Davis), Dee-Dee Bridgewater (Internationally renown jazz vocalist), Omar Hakim (Drummer for Sting, Madona and Chic), Jerry Barnes (Bass player for Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan and Carly Simon), Dave Mullen (Horns for Brand New Heavies), Jane Getter (Guitarist with the Allman Brothers, The Roots and master guitarist from Saturday night live), James Genus (Bass player for Herbie Hancock and Chris Botti), Allan Holdsworth (Guitarist), Rocky Bryant (Drummer for Faith Hill, Billy Joel, David Sanborn, etc.), Keith Carlock (Drummer for Donald Fagen), Rodney Holmes (Drummer for Santana), Reggie Washington (Bass player for Marcus Miller, David Sanborn and Wayne Shorter), McKinley Horton (credits include Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Vanessa Williams, Sleepy Brown & Outkast, TLC, Foxy Brown, Cee-Lo Green, Organized Noise), Ronald Butler (credits include Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Eek-a-Mouse, Israel Vibrations).
CO-FOUNDER – COMPOSER, PRODUCER, GUITARIST & ILLUSTRATOR
Indigo’s music hearkens back to a rich musical period. His influences include a diverse spectrum of artists such as Hendrix, Santana, Sly Stone, P-Funk, Bob Marley, Led Zep, Miles Davis, Bird, Trane, Monk and other legendary talents. Great music has a transcendental element capable of lifting the soul to heights above and beyond life’s daily grind. Indigo is fully aware of this magic and strives to include this element in all his musical compositions. He’s not subject to the trappings of the past but pays all due respect to the pioneers while carefully guiding his music into the future.
His mother was a renowned artist (abstract/impressionist), his father a sculptor and his grandfather a musician, so it’s safe to say, the creative genes were legitimately inherited. Indigo used his Illustration skills to create the artwork (w/a helping hand from his talented brother, Rolo Ledesma) for United Funk Order. Raised in New York City, he was exposed to a wide scope of musical genres… Funk, Rock, Jazz, R&B, Pop, Latin, Reggae, Classical, etc. and all these styles nurtured his musical abilities. Indigo’s formative years included long hours studying recordings of all the musical giants from classic labels such as Verve, Stax, Motown, Atlantic, Fania, Sun, Philly International, Blue Note, etc. All those talented musicians, songwriters, vocalists & producers played a crucial role in his musical evolution.
Indigo appeared at many of NY’s premier clubs, halls and venues, honing his craft and performing alongside some of NY’s elite players. Here’s a sample of a few artists Indigo has performed/collaborated with: Barbara Tucker (Defected UK, Strictly Rhythm, Fourth Floor Records, Positiva/EMI, MN2S), Myra Singleton (formerly of the Family Stand – Atlantic Records Corp.), McKinley Horton (credits include Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Vanessa Williams, Sleepy Brown & Outkast, TLC, Foxy Brown, Cee-Lo Green, Organized Noise), Ronald Butler (credits include Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Eek-a-Mouse, Israel Vibrations), Adam Holzman (credits include Miles Davis, Grover Washington, Jr.), Alyson Williams (Def Jam), Gichy Dan (Frank Passalaqua/Lourdes Cotto/Kid Creole – ZE/Island), Lonnie Gordon (Positive/EMI Records UK), Rob (Da Noize) Temple & Diamond Temple (Kaleidoscope Records, Soul Groove Records, Phuture Sole Recordings), Curtis Bailey (Unity 2 – Warner Bros. Records), Boyz & Girlz, Chazz, Indira Milini Khan (background Vocalist for Chaka Khan), members of Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, New Edition, Brand New Heavies, Quazar, B.T. Express, Brass Construction, Yambu, The Drifters, The Marvelettes.
Gregg “Daffy” Fitz is a Composer/Producer/Keyboardist/Vocalist, who is truly an innovator and funk pioneer. He’s worked with legendary funkateers and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famers, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins & The New Rubber Band, Sly Stone, Bernie Worrell & The Woo Warriors and Jerome “Big Foot” Brailey & Mutiny. Gregg was also one of the original members of Glen Goin’s amazing funk band, Quazar. He has also performed and collaborated with such notable artists as, Elisabeth Withers, Kool and the Gang, Color Me Badd, Forecast, Gloria Gaynor, Underground Funk, 420 Funk Mob, The John Hickey Band, Funk-Kin and Van McCoy, to name a few…
Jerome “Big Foot” Brailey is a legendary Drummer/Producer/Composer/Vocalist and 1997 Inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s best known for his work with P-Funk, which included the bands Parliament, Funkadelic, and numerous related projects. Brailey started performing around 1968 with the R&B group The Unifics continuing with The Five Stairsteps and The Chambers Brothers. Jerome played on the original studio recording of the classic R&B song, O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps later joining George Clinton‘s P-Funk collective in 1975 and appeared on many of their most popular and classic recordings. Samples from that body of work have since appeared on hundreds of hip hop and contemporary R&B songs. After leaving P-Funk in 1978 Brailey started working closely with Glen Goins who also left the P-Funk unit and started production for the funk group Quazar featuring Kelvin Goins and Gregg “Daffy” Fitz. After the Quazar album was completed, Brailey continued on with the concept and the group Mutiny was formed and signed to Columbia Records. Mutiny record and perform in a way not far removed from the classic P-Funk style, with emphasis placed on dual lead guitar work similar to other Funk & Rock bands. They released their debut album Mutiny on the Mamaship 1979, followed by Funk Plus the One in 1980. Brailey has appeared as a session drummer with a diverse group of artists, including Keith Richards, Bill Laswell, James Blood Ulmer, Dave Stewart, and Lucky Peterson
Co-wrote one of the classic funk cuts of all time:”Give Up The Funk”(Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)
Dave Mullen is a virtuoso Saxophonist, Producer and Recording Artist who has performed and/or recorded with the Legendary Gloria Gaynor, Funksters Parliament Funkadelic, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron, The Brand New Heavies, Blue Man Group, Nile Rodgers, Mark Egan, Marc Ribot, and many others.
His critically acclaimed album “Mahoney’s Way” on RMG Records has been played on numerous radio stations nationally and abroad, including CD 101.9, WBLS, KISSFM in New York as well as SIRIUS and Worldspace Satellite Radio.
Oral “O” Brennan aka Melodic (Background Vocals) has been heavily influenced by the sounds of Motown especially by the likes of Michael Jackson & the Jackson Five, Shalimar & the Whispers. Without a fight the path chose him as to where he would go as a powerhouse vocalist. No newcomer to the music circuit having started out under Sonny Cassella of A&M Records and then went on to sing with various bands and back up for recording artists such as Christopher Williams, Kevin Owens of Ray Goodwin n Brown, Ted Mills of Blue Magic and Kalid. He went on with a multitude of producers and songwriters including Andre Booth and Marly Marl. While with music production companies such as Spotlight he opened for such acts as Tony Terry, Aaron Hall and After Seven.
Ever Wood aka Danger’s (Background Vocals) musical roots started as a young girl listening to the Motown & R&B legends such as, Gladys Knight, Patti Labell, and the incomparable Chaka Khan. As a veteran in the music business powerhouse/vocalist Ever Wood aka Danger has worked with various producers including Darryl Payne (Powerhouse Records), “Smooth Azz” Guitar Player Charlie Street of the popular band BBCS&A, also the super producer Stephen Cumberpatch, toured extensively with the recording artist Lisa Joy and was the lead vocalist of Powerhouse Recording Pop group Creamsicle.
Larry Marsden (Guitarist/Vocalist) recognized his talent with the guitar early in life and knew since his first gig at the age of 16 that music was his true calling. Strongly influenced by the late great Jimi Hendrix, he’s quick to acknowledge his Trinidadian roots by playing with the top reggae bands such as Mighty Sparrow, Steel Priest and Maxi Priest. As he continued blasting his vibe, he found himself sharing the stage with musical giants such as the Funk Legend Eddie Hazel, vocalists Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx and Cheryl Lynn, as well as Vernon Reid & Hugh Masakela.
Larry’s recorded, toured and played with many other top artists, including EMI Recording Group First Circle who featured such hits as: “Miracle Worker”, “Can’t Find the Love” and “Working up a Sweat” (Written and arranged by his fellow band mate drummer extraordinaire Chango Everett).
Linda “Legz” Shider
Linda was born in Columbus, Ohio where as a child she studied piano and dance. She moved to Washington, D.C. as a teenager and sang with various local groups during her college years. She also did some modeling and began writing poetry. She met George Clinton and P-Funk while traveling around the country and eventually turned her writing and musical skills into platinum selling albums as part of the funk family of hitmakers.
Linda wrote for the Parlets, P-Funk and her own band Legz which performed in the Atlanta area for several years. She married Garry Shider of P-Funk fame and the rest is history. She performed on many of P-Funk’s major hits over the years and also toured and sang background with them. She also appeared in many films, commercials, plays and TV shows while living in the Atlanta area. She now resides in Maryland where she continues to write songs and perform.