A life long dream of Joe was to arrange the music of the legendary 80s, No-Wave band Defunkt into Big Band arrangements. In 1999 Byron Bowie arranged the first big band charts from a selection of classic Defunkt songs and the Defunkt Big Band was born. Performing in the band was a “Who’s Who” of New York’s finest jazz musicians. The Debut concert was the Texaco Jazz Festival at the Knitting Factory in NYC. Afterwards the Defunkt Big Band did a European tour playing festivals in Finland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. The sound was absolutely “AWESOME”, the groove and power undeniable! THERE IS NO BIG BAND SOUND COMPARABLE!!!... This is the sound of the Legendary Defunkt merged into big band style.
This formation was incredible!!! In 2003 Joe designed “Big Band Funk” and targeted young aspiring musicians at Music School jazz programs, Colleges & Universities as well as professional and Youth big bands throughout the world performing this music in a residency situation, i.e. Barbary Coast Ensemble at Dartmouth College - Dir. Don Glasgo, the biggest supporter of this program over the past 12 years and also a contributing arranger, The Zagreb Jazz Orchestra in Croatia/Jazz Orchestra at Graz Conservatory - Dir. Sigi Feigl and the HSLU Big Band - Dir. Ed Partyka. Big Band Funk is an eye/ear/soul opening experience out of the realm of standard Big Band curriculum. Charts and mp3/video samples for full big band are sent in advance so the musicians can prepare for the rehearsal period with Joseph Bowie, where musicians are fully engaged in the style, focus and high energy of this music.
Licks & Brains is a Dutch 18 piece Soul/Funk/Jazz big band directed by Rolf Delfos, recording artist of over 100 records and one of the leading alto-players in the Netherlands. The band recently toured in China and France, and regularly features top-artists from the Dutch Jazz/Funk scene including Eric Vloeimans, Anton Goudsmit, Ben Herman and Thijs van Leer (Focus), as well as international artists including Houston Person (USA), Laura Vane (UK), and Nils Wogram (GER). Licks&Brains just released their 5th album "NEXT!” featuring Defunkt's creator, lead singer and trombonist Joseph Bowie (USA), with whom they regularly perform on stage.
Joe Bowie’s Big Band Funk combines a new approach to orchestral style with quality arrangements and primary focus being showmanship and performance at the highest level !