ROX Radio


Monday, May 20, 2024

Ana Popovic gets funky!



Celebrated guitarist and vocalist Ana Popovic brings her new musical adventure “FANTASTAFUNK” Big Band Project to prestigious music festivals this summer, including Monterey Jazz Fest, California, Notodden Blues Fest, Norway, Pori Jazz, Finland, and more.

To coincide with the news of the Big Band Project, Ana has released the live single “
Queen Of The Pack” on all streaming platforms HERE

The live performance video of “
Queen Of The Pack” is now available on YouTube HERE.

Get your dance, get your groove!  
FANTASTAFUNK yourself! Indulge in this super exciting powerhouse funk & blues, rock & soul, gospel, and R&B experience.  A superb band FANTASTAFUNK merges styles and is a musical fusion of Stax and Motown with contemporary guitar-driven grooves and delivers the sound that you have never experienced from Ana Popovic before.

It’s based on some of Ana's songs delivered in a new way.  It’s also been made for this new project, mixed with some great funk, soul, gospel, and blues sounds and standards - that the audience will love hearing again, great grooves and excellent musicianship. Multiple vocalists, percussionist, drummer, 3 horns, bass, keys, guitar, it’s an 11-piece band that will be a showcase to remember on any of the leading music festivals today.

About the making of FANTASTAFUNK

“I felt ready to form a big band, for quite some time,” explains Ana.  “I just felt I knew exactly what I wanted to hear from my live performances, and what instrumentation was missing for that sound in a 6-piece band formation. The final push was the making of my 2023 album,

Continues Ana, “An album like Power demands a band like this, one that will really be able to fully come to life. That’s the way it was originally thought of and created.  I felt ready to give myself a chance to create that kind of a sound.  So many new influences, such as gospel, old school funk, soul, R&B, I really wanted to bring that record to life on stage. 

“This is how the idea of the big soul funk formation came about. Power was recorded in different cities in Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Orlando. It gave me - exactly what it’s title states - Power to get through most difficult time in my life, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. It practically infused ‘life’ back to me.”

“Now, four years later, and leaving all that behind, I feel great in my skin, I delivered a positive, inspiring record, and so much fun to play live. Following hundreds of shows since then, as energized as I was after my treatment was done, I was ready to take on, not just touring, but fronting a 11-piece power / jam / groove formation!”

The FUNTASTAFUNK live performance videos were recorded in November ‘23 at the Bloom Recording Studios in Rome, Italy. Engineered by Fabrizio Ludovici, video production by Daniele Chinelli.

“I had three days off, and I almost single-handedly organized the whole thing!  Got the studio, organized musicians, cameras, engineers, and chose the songs for the videos. I also play a big part in editing my videos. I have an idea how I want them to sound and look. It was hard work, but also so much joy of getting friends together, enjoying each other’s company, post-recording, in a cosy Italian restaurant, eating great pasta and having great wine and Apperol spritz! Those were perfect three days - such energizing work, with sweet people - family!”

Some of the songs, like ‘Queen Of The Pack’ are from the album Power but done in the big band style and others (to be released) are all-new, never-previously-released tracks that will culminate into my next record that’s being finished as we speak.

There’s a U.S. line-up and a European line-up.  I’m very excited to be able to present the band already on 3 major Jazz and Blues festivals, on both sides of the ocean, Monterey Jazz Fest in California, Pori Jazz in Finland, and Notodden Festival in Norway. 

The line-up varies but consists of these fabulous musicians:

Ana Popovic - Lead singer, guitar player, band leader (US)
Buthel - Bass (EU/US)
Jeremy Thomas - Drums (EU/US)
Francisco Mendolia - Drums (EU)
Michele Papadia - Keyboards (EU)
Aaron Mayfield - Keyboards (US)
Karl Vandenbossche - Percussion (EU)
Jerwayne Maclin - Percussion (US)
Noreen Stewart - Background vocals (EU)
Jacob Atta Kaakra Eggay - Background vocals (EU)
Geraldine Reid - Background vocals (EU)
Claudio Giovagnoli - Saxophone (EU)
Davide Ghidoni - Trumpet (EU)
Evan Knight - Saxophone (US)
Jordan Carr - Trumpet (US)
Jonathan Mones - Saxophone (US)
SueAnn - Background vocals (US)
L Young - Background vocals (US)
Madam Dee - Background vocals (US)
Letitia Dei - Background vocals (EU)
Barbara Caldini - Background vocals (EU)
Nadia Guelfi – Background vocals (EU)

Musically, Ana Popovic never stands still.  She pushes boundaries, challenges genres, and reinvents the music and herself with each new record and each new concept.  With her mesmerizing stage personality, the award-winning and hard-touring guitar hero turns her concerts into irresistible experiences. Ana Popovic & “FANTASTAFUNK” Big Band Project is a unique concert that you can't miss!

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