The JUNGLE FIRE sound digs deep into Afro/Latin Funk with an approach that is authentic and highly explosive! The Los Angeles-based TropiFunk juggernaut pulls its influences from the music of legends such as Irakere, Ray Barretto, James Brown, Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango (just to name a few) while creating a melting pot of Afro-Caribbean and West African rhythms with a heavy break beat funk.
Originally conceived as a one-off project in 2011, JUNGLE FIRE quickly gained attention by lighting up local clubs and underground warehouse parties in Los Angeles’ thriving funk/soul scene. A healthy buzz about the band spread by word of mouth, eventually connecting them to Colemine Records, the Ohio-based indie soul label which cut their first 7” single, “Comencemos” (a cover of Fela Kuti’s “Let’s Start”). Lauded by DJs, radio stations, tastemakers and rabid funk fans across the globe, “Comencemos” (with its B side, the original tune “Tokuta”) sold out internationally and paved the way for the band’s second 7” Colemine release titled “Firewalker”. In September 2014, the group’s debut LP titled “Tropicoso” was released to great critical acclaim via Los Angeles’ own Nacional Records. Their follow-up album “Jambú” (also on Nacional Records) debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Latin charts in February 2017 leading to many features in a wide variety of films, commercials and TV shows including spots for VICE, Lipton, Starbucks, NIKE, the 2019 Emmy Awards and the sound track to Lionsgate’s “How to Be a Latin Lover” with Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek among many others. The band is set to release a self-titled album consisting of all new original material in February 2020.
JUNGLE FIRE’s members’ diverse musical and cultural backgrounds are a direct reflection of the musical and cultural landscape of Los Angeles, with the city’s unique international and multicultural mix of sounds and flavors being critical components of the group’s sound. Individually and collectively, JUNGLE FIRE’s musicians have recorded, toured and/or played with Stevie Wonder, Breakestra, Ozomatli, Rhye, Quantic, Alice Russell, De La Soul, La Santa Cecilia, Celia Cruz, Natalia Lafourcade, LCD Soundsystem, U2, The Greyboy Allstars and Kelis among many others.
JUNGLE FIRE’s live performances serve up a healthy dose of originals and deep Afro/Latin Funk covers all cooked up together in a live mix-tape style, ensuring an energy that is nothing short of burning. Juno Records (UK) accurately sum up the JUNGLE FIRE live show experience: “Few bands live up to their name in the way JUNGLE FIRE do… each JUNGLE FIRE jam blazes the floor with real power”.
Since their inception, JUNGLE FIRE has played an impressive amount of club dates and festivals both domestic and abroad having shared the stage with the likes of Shuggie Otis, The Blackbyrds, Lee Fields, Charles Wright, Brownout and The Budos Band.
During the winter of 2013 JUNGLE FIRE embarked on a massively successful 8-city tour of the UK, playing to packed venues at every stop, including headlining Craig Charles’ Funk Club (Band On The Wall) and BBC 6 Radio. The band’s performance in the 2014 Mompox Jazz Festival (Colombia) was hailed as one of the high points of the event by the local press. In 2015, they played to a full dancing house at New York City’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, gave two sold out back-to-back performances in São Paulo’s famed SESC Pompéia and headlined Los Angeles’ 2016 NYELA celebration for a crowd of over 50,000 attendees. After their well received performances in Madrid and Barcelona in October 2017, JUNGLE FIRE returned to Spain for a 6-city tour in July 2018, earning standing ovations in festivals including Tenerife’s famed Canarias Jazz & Más. The band spent most of 2019 composing and recording new music for varied projects (including their first foray into film scoring) and are currently setting tour dates in Europe and the Americas in support of their upcoming February 2020 self-titled release via Nacional Records.
The JUNGLE FIRE Family consists of:
Steve Haney (Percussion)
Alberto Lopez (Percussion)
Sam Halterman (Drums)
Joey Reina (Bass)
Sam Robles (Baritone Sax, Flute)
Judson McDaniel (Guitar)
Patrick Bailey (Guitar)
Sean Billings (Trumpet)