Very excited to share this with you!  Beyond many performance option, Funkadesi is expanding its reach in addressing inclusion, equity, and belonging in a deep way .  .  .  through our music, and our 23 year journey as a multicultural band . . . .

Learn to connect more deeply to yourself, to others, and engage in important conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and much more. Small and large group trainings custom-designed through expert training, facilitation, and hands-on multicultural drumming. Contact: Dr. Rahul Sharma / / 773.220.6711 /




3/9-13 Week-long Holi (Spring Festival) Residency, Latin Lower School

3/14 Global Connections: Holi (Spring Celebration), Navy Pier (FREE EVENT!)  12:45-5pm (Funkadesi at 3pm). Bandleader Rahul Sharma will also serve as emcee for the festivities.

4/30 Private Venture Capital Workhop & Performance

6/5 Jamming Jean Festival, Levy Center, Evanston

6/14 Midsommarfest (Andersonville).  8-10pm, Summerdale Stage.  (Festival is between 5200-5500 N. Clark St.).!/details/Andersonville-Midsommarfest/7910497/2020-06-14T12

6/20 Buttermilk Jamboree, Delton MI.  Details TBA



Thurs 2/13, ACAID reception, School of the Art Institute

Sat 2/8 Free & Family Friendly Juicebox Series, Garfield Conservatory, 11-11:45am

Fri 2/7 Free & Family Friendly Juicebox Series, Chicago Cult Ctr, 11-11:45am

Sat, 2/1 Live at legendary FItzgerald’s — $15!  8:30pm show – 2 sets.  6615 Roosevelt Dr., Berwyn, IL.

Thurs 1/23 National Day of Racial Healing — Funkadesi’s Rhythm Ambassadors lead an experiential drumming celebration with Ugochi! FREE!

SOLD OUT Fri, 1/17, 8pm Funkadesi at Evanston Space!

Thu, 1/2, 7pm. Chicago Music 2020: Funkadesi & Friends Featuring PHENOM, Amyna Love, Nicholas Barron, Ugochi, Chicago Bucket Boys, Renee Ruffin & More!                                                                  

12/8 23rd Anniversary Concert

9/28 Chicago World Music Fest @ Concord Music Hall

10/5 LIFT 10th Anniversary Gala, 6-10pm, Amazing Space,

10/6 First United Methodist Church Arlington Heights 9:30am service

10/16 Upwardly Global Gala, Venu West

11/14 Dr. Rahul Sharma & Funkadesi’s Rhythm Ambassadors Experiential Keynote at Illinois Psychological Association’s Annual Convention:  Making Meaning Making Music

In the meanwhile, also visit:


BOLLYFUNK — July camps for kids featuring Bollywood Groove & Funkadesi!!!

Funkadesi partners with Bollywood Groove for July Kids Summer Camp!
BollyKids Summer Camp is a week-long multicultural experience coordinated by Bollywood Groove–Chicago’s premiere Bollywood dance company, and Funkadesi!  For three weeks in July, Bollywood Groove (bG) will be partnering with Funkadesi to bring a groovin’, jammin’ summer camp that focuses on global enrichment and is jam-packed with experiential learning.

All age groups will focus on three-tiered curriculum of yoga, multicultural percussion workshops and Indian dance. We use engaging activities that promote:

Cultural Appreciation
Regard for Others
Format: Participants from ages 3-15 will learn the basics of Bollywood dance, African dance, percussion, and yoga. The camp culminates to an end-of-the-week recital for family and friends!
Location: Dance Center Chicago, 3868 N. Lincoln Ave.
Dates: July 13th-31st, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Week One — Kinder (ages 3-5)
Week Two — Kids (ages 6-10)
Week Three — Tweens (ages 11-15)

July 2015 -- have your kids get their culture on!!!
July 2015 — have your kids get their culture on!!!

FUNKADESI: A YEAR IN REVIEW (Dec 6 2013 – Dec 6 2014)

FUNKADESI: A YEAR IN REVIEW                     (Dec 6 2013-Dec 6 2014)

Folks, what a great year it’s been!  As we celebrate our 18th year anniversary TONITE , we thought it would be fun to reflect on highlights since last year.  We have to start with the wonderful Martyrs’ celebration this time last year,

Funkadesi 17th together cakewhich included a surprise proposal by our very own Carlos to Michelle!!!

carlos proposal

In January, we were received wonderfully by the Tulsa Children’s Museum as we did an all-ages show there. Tulsa

In February, we were thrilled to be named Artist-In-Residence by Lake Forest College, doing 3 days of workshops, classroom visits, and performances.

lake forest why notA highlight: the 2-part workshop entitled Drumming for Social Justice: Forming a Multicultural Drum Circle.  The first night, we had eight people show up.  The next night, we had 50!!!

Later in February, we performed (for the first time in YEARS) at the Chicago Music Awards, where we were honored to receive the award for Most Outstanding Group. We were thrilled to also be there for our very own guitarist Abdul Hakeem getting a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD!!!

Chicago Music Awards 2014

Abdul Award Worthy

Fast forward a bit, and we get to do more of the innovative programming we’ve been preparing to do.  In June, Camp Masala (a wonderful group of parents that have adopted or are going to adopt children of South Asian origin) wrote a grant to have us come out to St. Paul, MN, and do a performance and workshops on culture and identity, centering on the notion of “Cultural Fusion.” — and we were blown away by the response to us all talking about our own identities, and what fusion means to us, musically and culturally.  Some folks were moved to tears, and when we left that banquet lunch after the workshops, we got a standing ovation!  The post-weekend huddle at the airport shows you how much we were glowing after such a unique and delightful experience!

Camp Masala lunch

camp masala prep huddleAfter that, we were all thrilled that Carlos followed through on the betrothal 😉  — a grand celebration it was!  (As you can see, even the groom can’t stay away from jamming with the band!)

carlos michelle wedding Carlos at his own wedding










We had a marvelous summer with festivals and such (including a photo-shoot for an upcoming “Men of Funkadesi” calendar),  :-0

Men of Funkadesi calendar

Our Fall was largely filled with out-of-town, Performing Arts Center concerts.  What made them all the sweeter was coupling them with daytime, school-oriented performances & workshops!!! Chico, CA, Fayetteville, AK, Lubbock, TX, Spencer, WI, Detroit Lakes, MN — all integrated performances & workshops with the community!  After the wonderful Lubbock performance, where our CD signing lasted 90 minutes, we thought it important to pay tribute to Tim Cole by visiting his statue.  (Cole was an African-American college student wrongfully convicted of rape, who died in prison.)

Lubbock Funkadesi Tim Cole statueWe are all deeply moved by the historic and ongoing miscarriages of justice, and our common conviction to combine compassion with an INSISTENCE of MUTUAL RESPECT, and FULL HUMANITY is only made stronger.  Ashe Tim Cole.  May we honor you and other victims of injustice through remembering, and peacefully and consistently crying out for justice for all.

Taking on a 1400 mile road trip, our dear Funkadesi friend and photographer Mark Ness joined us as our driver for our last tour through the midwest.  Mark Ness on da road

The trip culminated in a “van jam” live on the radio — KFAI Minnesota Public Radio. You can check out a clip on our Facebook page — it went kind of viral!

And so, here we are, 1 year later, hopefully wiser, and most importantly, committed to each other, and excited for what’s next.  Our heartfelt thanks to all those who have continued to love & 18 years blow out the candlessupport us all these years!nice stage shot hands up

Funkadesi kids camp enterculture at circle pines july 21-27!

ENTERCULTURE -- Funkadesi and Circle Pines July 21-27 2013July 21-27
Away camp for children ages 8-17

It was such a great pleasure to partner with Circle Pines in Delton, Michigan last year! This year, kids can come to experience “Enterculture: A Funkadesi & Circle Pines Experience”. Have fun learning Latin, Caribbean, African, and Indian music and culture while learning about affirming identity, getting along with others, & more!

Email if interested!