When going for their six hours to get their learner’s permit, the majority of people would not think that their driving instructor would be their future bandmate. This was the case for David Gonçalves, a junior education major.
Gonçalves started to play the saxophone at age 7, and currently has 13 years of experience. After playing in school bands from a young age, Gonçalves began recording his music around age 16, which also happened to be when he completed his six hours.
“My driving instructor was a drummer in a band, so when we would drive, he would play his recordings from his studio sessions,” Gonçalves said. “I would play some of my stuff, and we would just talk about it while we were driving.”
After completing his six hours, Gonçalves said that his driving instructor, Kevin Permision, promised to keep in touch and that they would jam together one day. Permision kept his word when he contacted Gonçalves three years later.
After the two got together, they started to look for other musicians to create a band. In his freshman year, Gonçalves met Paul DeStefano, a junior audio engineering and sound major, through the jazz band, where DeStefano played bass. Gonçalves asked DeStefano to play bass for his band, which he agreed to. Nick Afflitto was the last person to join the group; together, the four members make up K’ND FUNK.
In regards to joining K’ND FUNK, DeStefano said, “I mostly play heavy metal, so when I was asked to join, I thought it would be a nice change of pace, and it sure was.”
K’ND FUNK consists of Gonçalves on saxophone, Permision on drums, DeStefano on bass and Afflitto on guitar. Although the band features various members on vocals, Afflitto is usually the one singing.
K’ND FUNK mostly plays old funk tracks, but they try to mix it up as much as they can. The band covers artists like Bob Marley, The Meters and The Grateful Dead, but they also play their own tracks.
Gonçalves said that his involvement in K’ND FUNK has helped him break out of his shell.
“As a musician, I’ve played in schools since seven or eight, but that’s always been a group setting, and you have the chance to hide behind people,” Gonçalves said. “When you’re in a band of four guys, if one of you isn’t really giving it your all, you can really tell.”
Although K’ND FUNK does not currently have any music available online, people can hear their music live. One show that they played this summer was Sweet Sounds Downtown Music Festival in Westfield, N.J. on Aug. 6.
Norberto Diaz, a sophomore biology major, attended that show and said that his favorite part about the show was hearing the original songs.
“I’ve known David since I was in the sixth grade, so seeing the passion for music he has always had go into these tracks was really great to see,” Diaz said. “It was clear that there was a lot of passion and dedication going into the performance of these songs, especially evident in the various solos each member played throughout the set.”
With the start of the school year, K’ND FUNK is taking a brief break so Gonçalves and DeStefano can focus on their schoolwork. When they reconvene, the band will plan more gigs and decide whether or not they want to record and post their original tracks online.
Brooke McCormick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.