Louisiana, United States
Dr. Funk is a talented group of musicians that brings a fresh sound of funk from New Orleans. The group was formed by Tulane medical students Jeff Della Volpe and Erik Anderson in 2005 while the two were evacuated to Houston in the time following Hurricane Katrina. Upon returning to New Orleans in the summer of 2006, they sought to incorporate their love of music with their love of the city. Since their return, Dr. Funk has played at some of the city's most prestigious musical venues, such as Tipitina’s, The Howlin Wolf, Club 300, the Republic, and The Boot, entertaining crowds of all ages and backgrounds. With a fat horn sound and a tight rhythm section, Dr. Funk is a band of extremely funky musicians which is sure to please. Please allow me to introduce the members.
With a fat horn sound and a tight rhythm section, Dr. Funk is a band of extremely talented musicians. Please allow me to introduce the members.
Trumpet/Vocals: Jeff Della Volpe
A fourth year medical student at Tulane University, Jeff has been playing the trumpet for 16 years. He studied under the New England trumpet great, Jack Martin. A member of the Barbary Coast Jazz Band at Dartmouth College, Jeff continued to play through college until coming to New Orleans in 2004. He has played with many jazz greats, including Wynton Marsalis, Tim Green, Arturo Sandoval, Kermit Ruffins, and Dave Holland. The co-founder of Dr. Funk, Jeff now leads, plays, raps, and composes for the group.
Drums: Erik Anderson
A classmate of Jeff’s, Erik has been a drummer his entire life. In his hometown of Portland, Erik studied under Jeff Cumpston and Don Worth. Before coming to New Orleans, he played the music scene of Sunset Blvd with his band Not Art. A student of all styles, Erik has performed with the Los Angeles Afro-Peruvian group Sabor y Sentimiento on the cajon, as well as percussion onstage with country artist Shania Twain. Currently with Dr. Funk, Erik is right where he wants to be, living the good life in New Orleans.
Guitar: Hiro Mano
Hailing from Japan, but living in New Orleans since 1996, Hiro Mano is as entertaining to watch as he is impressive to hear. He plays weekly all over New Orleans and has toured the country from the east coast to the west with Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove. Hiro has played with many greats, including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cyril Neville, and his own band in Japan, Go Ahead. He has played at the New Orleans Jazz Festival 11 times, sharing the stage with Johnny Adams, Eddie Bo, Iron Board Sam, All That, and Kirk Joseph.
Trombone: Paul Robertson
Born and raised in New Orleans, Paul Robertson is a sophomore at Xavier University studying music education. Paul has been playing the trombone since he was 5, and has been inspired and instructed by Claire Conti, Delfeyo Marsalis, and Jeff Albert. He now plays with several other groups, including Algiers & Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, Pin Stripe Brass Band, New Wave, Living Legends, the Palmetto Stompers Jazz Group, and the Soul Rebels. Last year, he and his brass band accompanied Nora Jones on her European Tour. Paul’s powerful sound never fails to draw attention his way.
Bass: Tommy Knapp
A professor of funk in his own right, Tommy knows how to lay down a groove. He has been playing the bass over 20 years now all over the state of Louisiana. An icon of New Orleans flair, Tommy performs regular gigs on Bourbon St. with Dwayne Dopsie and Gary Brown. He has also ventured away from the quarter with these groups, touring in South America and Europe. Tommy has also played with Dorian Rush, Jimmy Thibodeaux, Groovesect, Category 5, and Eddie Bo. Currently a member of 3 groups, Tommy’s fast fingers and funky beats suggest immortality.
Bari Sax: Mona Lisa Della Volpe
It’s no coincidence that Mona Lisa shares a last name with the trumpet player. She is his sister, who moved to New Orleans last year to work as a Structural Engineer to help in the rebuilding efforts. She studied jazz under the piano legend, Matthew Quinn, of Newport, RI, before playing in the Notre Dame Jazz Ensemble. These days, she keeps Dr. Funk in check with a low and dirty sound.
Keyboard: Jonny Cohen
A sophomore at Tulane University from New York, Jonny has been playing the piano since he was 7 years old. He gigs around NYC in the summers and New Orleans during the school year as a member of the Tulane Jazz Band, the Tulane Combo, and Dr. Funk. He has studied under Fredrick Sanders, Tom Brendal, and Jessie McBride. He played at the 2007 New Orleans Jazz Festival with the Tulane Combo. Inspired by Keith Jarrett and Stevie Wonder, Jonny adds a funky combination of soul and technique to the group.
Vocals: Chris Joplin
A vocalist and drummer, Chris Joplin has been contributing to New Orleans’ rich and varied musical fabric since 1999 when he helped form the uproarious nonet Colonel Sanchez. Sanchez was a permanent installment at the famed Mermaid Lounge, shared the New Orleans Jazz Fest stage with Los Hombres Calientes, the Howlin’ Wolf stage with John Scofield, and performed Jesus Christ Superstar in its entirety (with Chris as Judas Iscariot). He continues to add life and flair to his music, both at the mic and occasionally behind the skins.