Funky Spuds features some the Bay Area’s best multi-instrumentalist and multi-genre talent, playing a variety of jazz, rock, and funk music. Utilizing the repertoire and swing of Coltrane and mixed with the wailing guitar and energetic drums of Hendrix, Funky Spuds has a dynamic range unique to today’s jazz, funk, and rock communities.
Leader of the band and sousaphone player, Shane Cox (Jazz Mafia, La Misa Negra, The Purple Ones), expands the traditional use of tuba with harmony, beatboxing, improvisation, and more. Shane started playing at a young on age on trombone in Boise, Idaho. After performing on trombone for a number of years, eventually adding trumpet as well, Shane turned 18 and as quick as he could, moved to New Orleans. That's where Shane discovered the potential of the sousaphone. Inspired by great tuba players such as Matt Perrine, Marc Bolin, and host of players he met in New Orleans, sousaphone is now the instrument of choice for the young multi-instrumentalist.
Legendary saxophone and guitar player, Paul Branin (Levon Helm, Zigaboo Modeliste, Groovality) leads the band musically with his blazing solos and veteran experience. Paul Branin began his musical journey playing guitar in his early teens. Paul played for years until an accident left him with an injured hand that left him unable to play guitar. He proceeded to pick up saxophone, using that as a new musical outlet. Eventually, Paul's hand healed, and he has since become on of the top names in the bay area on both guitar and saxophone.
While playing with Levon Helm, Paul has backed up Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and a host of others as well as playing with other members of The Band, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. He has worked with jazz legends like Jimmy McGriff, Hank Crawford and Jack DeJonette.