20th Annual Joshua Tree Music Fest May 12-15, 2022 Cimafunk, celebrated by Rolling Stone Magazine, performing!

By Ray Rodriguez

“This perpetual showmanship and natural ability to hear music in everything is Cimafunk’s signature.”
– Rolling Stone

JTV WARNING: You are going to be moving your body, and your spirit will be loving you for investing in the experience known as the Joshua Tree Music Festival. Particularly when you receive the Cuban Afro Funk infusion of Cimafunk.

In fact, any contact with Cimafunk and Erik Iglesias Rodriguez – the charismatic, legitimately cool, humble, creative force behind the band taking Europe and the US by storm – is guaranteed to leave you in a better place. A much better place.

Cimafunk offers a musical tribute to his Cuban, African, Jamaican and American Funk influences, and best describes this innovative blend as “groove music”. Following his recent successful tours of Europe and the U.S., he acknowledges, “I was scared! We were touring and scheduled to play at The Blue Note in New York. Me, playing Funk at the House of Funk? What I learned, is that when you get into the groove, everybody is the same.”

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“The audience is an injection of energy,” he shares. “I tell The Tribe (the name he gives his band) that our best shows are when we are the same as the crowd, when we are not performing for the crowd, when we are a part of the crowd.”

Cimafunk has done well for a young man who dropped out of medical school in his second year after hearing the King of Miami-Cuban music, Ray Fernandez, perform. Even though he came from a predominantly medical family, Cimafunk has plenty of artistry and music in his roots that provide solid support and honest input. “We’re not music professionals, but everyone sings and dances on Sundays at my grandmother’s house. Watching my uncle dance with my mom is a family celebration. And my father is very quick to give me tips on my shirts and the dance moves in my videos.”

“Cimafunk is the one, the next one.”
– George Clinton

Cimafunk’s videos are a celebration of their own, whether it’s the instantly catchy, “Me Voy” from his 2017 debut album, Terapia (Therapy), or a collaborative effort from his recent second album, Alimiento (Nutrient). With “Funk aspirin,” featuring George Clinton, or “Rompelo,” featuring rapper Lupe Fiasco, Cimafunk captures the essence of musical celebration from private moments to full concert jams. Many of the videos show people singing or dancing alone, as if no one is watching or listening. This is not by happenstance. “The first time most people sing, it’s in the shower,” the artist explains. “You learn to move and dance alone in your private place. It’s where you can really be yourself. I didn’t study video or film, but I have been involved in the direction and scripts of our videos. The last few, I stepped away from direction, but I still script them.”

When speaking of his recent collaborations on “Alimiento,” Cimafunk speaks plainly, “If someone would have told me 5 years ago that I would just be able to meet George Clinton, I would have thought it impossible; it would have been a dream. He is one of the best people on the planet.” Working with producer Jack Splash, or making music with Chucho Valdes or Lupe Fiasco, leaves him eager and open to future collaborations. When asked what message Cimafunk has for Southern California music fans, he quickly gushes, “Let’s get into the groove. Let’s be in the groove; let’s enjoy it; let’s dance in our own way to our own tempo.”

Until then, dial up “Caramelo” on YouTube, and find your groove.

To join the Cimafunk groove, get your tickets at https://joshuatreemusicfestival.com/may-2022-event-info/

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