b'Get Down with theEssex Funk CollectiveA multigenerational band wants to make you danceBY BRIAN GLASERSome of the members of the Essex Funk Collective, L-R: Jonathan Glasser plays guitar and Kenny Vaughan, Faith Taylor and Nigel Finley sing.A lthougheveryperformanceSkip Burns. It also has Glasser on guitar, Lawrencerock music. Having multiple generations brings in by the Essex Funk CollectiveAllen on keyboard, Brian Swisher on bass and Stevena wider range of songs and music, says Faith Tay-is different, theres one thingFeldman on drums. lor. Weve incorporated rap into many of our songs, thats always the same: peopleTrue to its name, the band has deep roots in thewhich a lot of traditional R&B bands wont do. Ki-come to dance to the music.local community. The Taylors, Finley, Glasser andyomi adds, Our band is a reflection of that varied Were a dance band, saysVaughan are from South Orange, with other mem- age makeup, but the music is timeless. Its just good JonathanGlasser,thebandsbers from nearby towns. When the band fills the guitarist and co-founder. Were playing music thatstage with members who are Black, white, older and everyone loves to dance to. Its infectious groovesyounger, it is putting into musical action the values played by your neighbors. that are so important to the South Orange-Maple-Essex Funk started in 2019, when Glasser andwood community. Faith Taylor gathered friends and family membersWhat I really treasure about our community is to cover soul, disco, funk and R&B classics. Theythat its integrated and you have opportunities to included The OJayss Love Train, Al Greens Letsmeet people that in other towns you would never Stay Together,ChakaKhansSweetThingandmeet, says Glasser. I think our band is a celebra-Lets Groove by Earth Wind & Fire. The Collec- tion of that.tive has grown to nine members, with a vocal lineupIts especially unusual to see a multigenerational thatfeatures Taylor,herdaughterKiyomi Taylor,group of men and women on local stages that mightNorman Skip Burns is the groups rapper, background Nigel Finley, Kenny Vaughan and rapper Normantypically feature Dad Bands playing straight-aheadsinger and hypeman. Photo credit: Alan Holzman.16/ matters magazine / winter 2024'