“If further proof were needed that London is a hotbed of cross-culturally inspired expression, it’s new record label Funkiwala” Evening Standard
Funkiwala Records was created by musicians Kishon Khan and Justin Thurgur, who for over twenty years have been at the heart of a global music community based in London.
The label was set up to represent some of the unique music coming out of this scene - British Afro-Jazz, Sufi Samba, Bengali Reggae, Cuban Funk, Mystic Dub, BanglaAfroLatinJazz – a scene committed to breaking down musical borders.
LoKkhi TeRra – No Visa Required (2010), Che Guava’s Rickshaw Diaries (2012),
Bangla Rasta (2016)
Justin Thurgur – No Confusion (2016)
Shikor Bangladesh AllStars – Soul of Bengal (2016)
Motimba – Nobody’s business (single 2016)
Kishon Khan is a pianist, composer, arranger and producer, born in Bangladesh, but brought up in London. He was classically trained from the age of 4, and turned to jazz in his teens.
Since then, he has established himself as a formidable bandleader, as well as one of London’s in-demand session pianists. He is part of a community of critically acclaimed musicians, focused on playing different traditional styles authentically, but also making a name for himself as an innovative composer and arranger. His versatility is reflected in the vast array of artists he has collaborated with, from across the genres, including legends from across the globe.
Artists performed with include Hugh Masakela (South Africa), Ayub Ogada (Kenya), Geraldo Piloto, Julito Padron, Oswaldo Chacon (Cuba), Johnny Clarke, Cornell Campbell, Michael Prophet, Earl 16 (Jamaica), Pandit Dinesh, Hariharan, Faizal Qureshi (India), Tony Allen, Kolobo, Dele Sosimi, Bukky Leo (Nigeria), Orchestra Imperial, Dadi, Kassin (Brazil), Denis Bovell (UK) to name a few.
Contemporary collaborations include Soothsayers (Afro Dub), Nick Smart’s Trogon, Arun Ghosh (contemporary jazz), Kumar, Danay (Cuban Hip Hop), Afro Spot (Abajazz), Greymatter (dance), Kingpin (UK Hip Hop), Vince Vella, Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura (UK/Cuba)
He won the SAIFF award in New York for his soundtrack for Channel 4 film “The Last Thakur” in 2010.
“A formidable jazz pianist” Simon Broughton, Evening Standard
Thurgur is most known as the trombonist from the seminal folk group Bellowhead but for over twenty years he has also been at the heart of a wider international scene centred in London. Particularly, his nineteen years as the right hand man of Afro-Beat maestro Dele Sosimi and twenty-two years collaborating with fellow Funkiwala partner Kishon Khan, but he has also worked with such luminaries as Tony Allan, Giraldo Piloto, Julito Padron, Changuito, Pandit Dinesh, Cheick Tidiane-Seck, Fatoumata Diowara Nozrul Islam, Tony Kofi, The Levellers and The Selecter.
Throughout his career Thurgur has been committed to the idea of breaking down borders and creating music that explores the diverse global musical languages that have surrounded him in London and been part of his community.