5 Fingers Of Funk, NYE, Berbati’s Pan
Years before the Roots released their first album and a decade before the Dap Kings hit the scene, I was in a band called 5 Fingers Of Funk. Nine men strong with a full horn section and the incredible DJ Chill on the turntables, we lit up stages from coast to coast with a sound that was somewhere between A Tribe Called Quest and James Brown. In six years I did more than a thousand shows as the front man of 5 Fingers Of Funk. It’s safe to say that 5 Fingers was college for me.
5 Fingers was a completely independent band that still managed to play shows from New York City to Los Angeles. Despite our travels, our favorite venue was Berbati’s Pan in Portland Oregon. We played Berbati’s when it was just a small Greek restaurant. We played the opening night in 1993 when it became the venerable music venue that would go on to host such greats as Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. We played Berbati’s every other month for years.
Now the venue that has become a fixture in Portland’s music scene is closing its doors for good. For one night only, DJ Chill and I will return to the stage with 5 Fingers Of Funk. Join us on New Year’s Eve 2010 to say hello and goodbye to some old dear friends as we honor the place we called home.