The Wali Sanga and Ghost Funk Orchestra
7pm doors • 8pm show
Two New York collectives, The Wali Sanga and Ghost Funk Orchestra, join forces for the first time in a lively evening of soulful, boundary-pushing music. Both bands expand their normal lineups, comprising some of the most sought-after musicians in the New York scene, to include a string section. The night will also feature appearances by National Sawdust 2018-2019 Artist-in-Resident J. Hoard (The Lesson), Michelle Willis (David Crosby’s Lighthouse Band), Maralisa (Space Captain), Julius Rodriguez (Brasstracks/Onyx Collective), members of Apartment Sessions, Aberdeen, and more.
The Wali Sanga has released their debut album, Big Ears. Led by Baltimore/Tallahassee transplant Alex “Sheriff” Ariff, the Brooklyn-based ensemble’s incandescent spirit owes as much to Sun Ra’s cosmic cool as to Michael McDonald’s yacht rock bops. On Big Ears, a core roster of NYC jazz and R&B mainstays plea for clarity and compassion with layered wit and disarming charm, working their way back through a musical lineage that includes Natalie Prass, Mr. Twin Sister, Corinne Bailey Rae, Steely Dan, and War. Mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Nic Hard (Snarky Puppy), the group’s crowdfunded debut is a vulnerable, ambitious, and deeply soulful statement from some of the city’s most decorated musicians.
Ghost Funk Orchestra started as a one-man basement recording project in 2014. Since then, GFO has evolved into a 10-piece psychedelic soul band that blends influences from jazz to stoner rock, and from Afrobeat to surf rock. In August 2019, they released their debut LP, A Song For Paul, on Ohio’s premier soul label, Colemine Records. This marked a huge step forward for the band in terms of complexity, ambition, and songwriting sophistication. Making their first appearance at National Sawdust, Ghost Funk Orchestra is bringing in an expanded lineup to fully realize some of the more involved arrangements from the record, as well as some new and never-before-heard material.