Consisting of a large, multicultural "tribe" of talented musicians and singers, Unified Tribe is a funk and soul group that has gained a sizeable following over the last decade for both its style and its grooves. Formed in the early 80s by Magic, a talented producer who has worked with the Whispers, Phil Perry, Earth Wind & Fire and others, Unified Tribe started in New York and later relocated to Los Angeles, Austin, and most recently to Las Vegas, where the group is now based.
Independent from the get-go, Unified Tribe debuted in 2001 with Listen to This, an album that was well received and resulted a sizeable buzz for the group. They followed in 2003 with Mixed Messages. The diverse sound of the disc and the strong musicianship solidified the relatively small but fiercely loyal following for the group. Mixing a funk foundation with soulful grooves and messages of unity, Unified Tribe may be one of the most talented groups you've never heard of.
Membership in Unified Tribe has changed over the years, but has generally continued to expand. The bandmates, all of whom go by single name monikers, now number ten and currently consist of:
Magic - Lead/Background Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass
Harmony - Lead/Background Vocals
Kal-El - Background Vocals, Trombone, Guitar
Merrily - Lead/Background Vocals, Keyboards
Jessi - Lead/Background Vocals, Sax
Kathy - Lead/Background Vocals, Keyboards
Kay - Lead/Background Vocals, Guitar
Rochon - Bass
Greg - Drums
Orin - Trumpet
After a three year break from recording, in 2006, Unified Tribe self-released FUNKtional Family, their long-awaited third album. It was a hit, and became the group's first album to chart around the world, with the single "Back and Forth" hitting #2 on the R&B sales charts. The following year, Unified Tribe relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2009, UT returned with On Purpose, its critically acclaimed 4th album.
By Chris Rizik