“Funk with Soul” band AZTEC SUN has hypnotized the ears and feet of live music lovers since late 2012. No matter the scale of the venue, this Washington DC-based ensemble produces an upbeat and retro groove steeped in 70’s Funk and Soul with overtones of Jazz, Afrobeat and Motown-era pop.
What started at DC’s One World Studios as a Funk-Rock 4-piece outfit assembled after a Craigslist ad quickly became a go-to band for live events, house parties and bars throughout Washington, D.C. Over time, band member departures and new arrivals saw AZTEC SUN evolve into a larger group modeled in the Funk and Soul traditions – with horns, group singing, coordinated outfits and synchronized dance moves. Today, AZTEC SUN performs with a collective mindset, drawing a parallel between the communal nature of music and the community that has grown around the band. Thus, while the performers may vary from show to show, at its core stands a diverse and tightly-knit ensemble with a shared affinity for groove music.
AZTEC SUN’s infectious songwriting, rhythmic versatility and energetic performances have yielded rewards for the group, most notably being named Best Local Original Band by the Washington City Paper in 2016 and 2017 (runner-up). These accolades, along with the group’s reputation as a well-oiled machine, have made AZTEC SUN an ideal local act to pair with internationally touring artists passing through the DMV. To name a few: Everyone Orchestra (Matt Butler with members of moe., The Bridge, Marco Benevento, Furthur, Soulive, and The Disco Biscuits), Lee Fields & The Expressions, Shaun Martin of Snarky Puppy, Burning Spear, The Suffers, The Pimps of Joytime, and Naughty Professor.
The band marked the end of 2016 with the release of their debut studio EP, Set You Free. The self-produced project is both an example of the group’s melodic creativity and a preview of what the band had to offer. With this EP under their belt, 2017 saw the band taking their music to new markets and audiences with the same passion for spreading feel-good music. In early 2018, AZTEC SUN traveled to Iron Wax Studios in Erving, Massachusetts to record their first full length album with Soulive’s Alan Evans. The recording process saw the band seeking to capture the essence of their live performances by focusing on group takes recorded together in a single room. As the band marks its sixth anniversary, this will be an opportunity to show the meaning of their “Funk with Soul” brand.