Fronted by vocalist Erica T. Bryan, the band pays homage to classic throwback sounds while adding their own distinctive flair. The Hartford Courant sums it up best – “West End Blend sounds like the funk giants George Clinton, Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, but it’s closer in spirit to the more recent acid jazz: the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Digable Planets and others, who pull together various strains of funk, soul, hip-hop and jazz.”
Bryan is joined by Sam Horan (drums), Mike Dipanfilo (guitar/synth), Jesse Combs (guitar), Mike Badundo(vocals/trumpet), John Mundy (trombone), Tom Sullivan (bass) and Paulie Philippine (keys), solidifying their 8-piece lineup. Formed during Halloween 2012, The Blend made their debut in the basement of the “Funkhaus,” the Hartford, CT-based house in which almost all of them lived, rehearsed and recorded during that time. Today, many band members still reside in the “Funkhaus” which has matured into a fully operational recording and filming studio.
In their short tenure together, West End Blend has shared the stage with nationally recognized acts such as Charles Bradley, Turkuaz, members of Snarky Puppy and Lettuce, Break Science, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, The Nth Power, The Motet and countless others. Their horns have also been featured as special guests with bands such as Dopapod, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Twiddle, TAUK and more.