Established in 2013, FunkyardX is a collective group of 10 eclectic musicians delivering a powerful show of highly explosive music loaded with head nodding funky rhythms powered with massive energy drawn from rock influences. Their music crosses a wide range of genres including jazz, gospel, funk, rock, pop, and fusion.
In the band's short time together they have performed at the Tri-C jazz festival, Brite Winter festival of Cleveland, the Bop Stop, Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Grog Shop, Beachland Ballroom, BLU Jazz, Fox 8 News, Mitchell's, Take 5 and many more!
FunkyardX has graced the stage with all time greats such as Angie Stone, Boney James, and jazz guitarist Nick Corleone. Their music is powerful, unforgettable, explosive, and fun for the whole family!
FunkyardX Performing Live
Meet FunkyardX on Sunday October 22, 2017 at The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future! FunkyardX is set to take the stage at 7:00pm and we hope to see you there!
22October, 2017 07:00 PMMaltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland, OHStokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future“
50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ historic election as mayor to be commemorated at Maltz Museum of Jewish HeritageFree
02September, 2017 08:00 AMAkron, OHBlu Jazz“
25August, 2017 01:00 PMAkron, OHRubber City Jazz Festival“
23August, 2017 06:00 PMCleveland, OHRock & Roll Hall of Fame“
01August, 2017 12:00 AMCleveland, OHLuke Easter Park“
Cleveland Rally Against Crime!
30July, 2017 12:00 AMCleveland, OHGather in Glenville“
28July, 2017 09:00 PMCleveland, OHThe Night Market“
Rockwell Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
19July, 2017 07:00 PMPeninsula, OHCuyahoga Valley National Park“
1550 Boston Mills Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
23June, 2017 11:00 PMCleveland, OHTri-C Jazz Festival“
Meet The Band
Quick FactsFull Name: Steve Johnson (Keys)
Stephen Johnson, also known to some as Stevej, was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The middle of 5 children, Stevej is an accomplished live performance musician, songwriter and producer who was exposed to various genres of music at an early age. This contributed to his ability to adapt and perform well in different styles of music. In 2013, he formed a Cleveland-based band called The Funkyard Experiment aka FunkyardX. The 10 member band is a spin off of his former Detroit band, The Funkyard.
Stevej performed or toured domestically and abroad as music director with the likes of Dwele, Johnny Gill, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Commissioned, Lashun Pace-Rhodes, Winans Phase 2, Tim Cunningham and multiple stage plays. Steve has also performed or toured as a musician with Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Alexander O'Neal, Jeffrey Osborne, CeCe Winans, Marvin Winans, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Nick Corleone, Boney James, new billboard artist, Riley Richard and pianist for the Detroit and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras.
In 1995, Stevej began to venture off into the world of songwriting and music production. He was groomed as a producer and programmer under platinum producer, Mario Winans. Johnson also credits work as a producer, songwriter or session musician for the legendary Gladys Knight, John Winston, a gold artist and producer, Half Mile Home Ken Reynolds, Dietrick Haddon, Robert Hawkins and Derrick Milan.
Willie McMillon III0
Quick FactsFull Name: Willie McMillon III (Vocals & Keys)
Best Known For
Willie Charles McMillion III, 30, is Husband to Mya McMillion and a Father of 5. He plays the piano, organ, drums, trumpet and Bass. He has had the honor of playing for Sunday’s Best Season 7 winner, Geoffrey Golden, Nu Covenant, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Daniel Johnson, Douglas Miller and Miranda Curtis Willis. He is currently the band teacher at Cleveland School of the Arts (lower campus).His goal is to travel the world and spread the love of God and be a light to his people.
Quick FactsFull Name: John Turner (Drums)Nick Name: Johnny Blaze
Quick FactsFull Name: Richard Williams (Bass Sax)
Saxophonist Richard Williams was born and raised in Camden, NJ. He got into music at the Bonsall Family School, starting on the trumpet at the age of 6, switching to every other instrument until he found the alto saxophone at age 10. He would go on to attend Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy for his high school years. It was here that Richard found a deep love for jazz, R&B, funk, and gospel music. Richard was also a member of the award winning Creative Arts Jazz Band and Camden High School marching band where he lead as drum major for 3 consecutive years. During his freshman year, he switched over to the tenor saxophone primarily while still playing lead alto for the jazz band. He would go on to pick up the soprano sax during high school and the baritone sax during college.
Richard currently attends the Oberlin Conservatory, majoring in jazz studies and studying under Gary Bartz. He is also one of the four founders of the SoundEVR Music Collective and co-leads his own band, N.M.E.
Quick FactsFull Name: Michael Spealman (Trombone)
Quick FactsFull Name: Jeremiah Napier (Bass)
Jeremiah Napier is a bassist, arranger and tech in Cleveland, OH. Napier works on stage as well as in the studio with a number of artist and bands on local and national levels. He got his start as a trumpeter at the age of 11 and continued through high school. At age 16 he began playing the bass guitar and soon after joined several bands. Jeremiah is well versed, playing multiple genres of music including Rock, Gospel, Pop, Funk, Soul and Country just to name a few. He joined the FunkyardX in late 2014 as their bass guitarist and has been around since.
Jeremiah's gear: Mtd (Michael Toibias Design) Basses, Markbass Amps and Cabinets, Korg MS2000 Synthesizer, Aguilar Effects/Electronic, Mono Cases, Ultimate Stands
Quick FactsFull Name: Chris George (Guitarist)
Best Known For
Multi-instrumentalist Christopher George was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 8th to Robert and Ethel George. Chris was educated in the Euclid City School District and began playing the drums in church at the early age of 5, and the guitar at age 12. In high school, he played the saxophone in the marching and concert bands respectfully. Following High School he attended Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) where he majored in Recording Arts and Technology and also took music courses to enhance his knowledge. Chris is now a trained sound engineer.
At age 21, Chris began playing music professionally. He has played for National artists such as: Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, Martha Munizzi, Jonathan Dunn, Jonathan Nelson, Vashawn Mitchell, Isaac Simpson, Conya Doss, Dwele, William Murphy, Todd Galberth, L.E.D (Light Ends Darkness), Angie Stone, Syleena Johnson, Monifah, Jeff Bradshaw and many more. He is currently the guitarist for Sunday Best Season 7 winner Geoffrey Golden, and “The Baby Hold On to Me” play (a tribute play to Gerald Levert featuring Eddie Levert).
Chris is able to play many genres ranging from Hip-Hop to Gospel and from Fusion to Rock and R&B, and finds joy playing in local bars and music venues around the Cleveland area.
Quick FactsFull Name: Daniel Spealman (Trumpet)
Quick FactsFull Name: Matt Segall (Tenor Sax)
Matt Segall is a saxophonist and composer from Palo Alto, CA. After graduating from Palo Alto High School, he attended Oberlin’s Double Degree program where he earned a BA in Economics and a Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies. In 2014, he received a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award and a CIGSIE entrepreneurship grant from Oberlin's Office of Creativity and Leadership. He has performed with jazz greats Dave Liebman, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and Jeff Clayton, among others. Currently based in Cleveland, Segall leads his own quartet and is a member of the horn section for FunkyardX, a progressive funk band. In his time on the Cleveland music scene, he has performed for Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, NFL Hall of Famer Orlando Pace, and recorded for Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design. Outside of the music world, Segall serves as the Business Manager at Cleveland Public Theatre.
Quick FactsFull Name: Leon Turner (Keys)
Leon was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Music has been apart of Leon’s life since the age of 5 years old. Leon comes from a family where everyone has musical talents. Leon had his first start with his family and their gospel recording group. From age 10 to 15 Leon was a dedicated musician for The Turner Singers. The year 2006 marked the start of Leon’s career in the music industry. That year he began performing with the gospel sensation J Moss. Leon’s career took off thereafter.
Specializing in keyboard, synths and piano, Leon has worked with The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Yolanda Adams, Eddie Levert of the Ojays, Donnie Mcclurkin, Legendary Phil Perry, Dwele (who is a grammy nominated artist), Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill from the hit 90’s group New Edition). There is no genre that Leon cannot deliver. Whether it is Jazz, R and B, Neo-Soul, Gospel, Classical or Country he continues to embrace every facet of the music industry. From production to his own solo project, he hopes to encompass it all. When asked what music means to Leon, his response is simple “music is my life”. Leon has performed on several world tours with some of the worlds best artist and began traveling at the age of 15. Leon is currently the Music Director for R & B superstar and 9 Time Grammy Award Winner Mrs. Gladys Knight. Leon travels for Gladys Knight’s R&B shows, Piano duo shows as well as her Grammy winning gospel choir shows. Leon also played and produced on Gladys Knights most resent Gospel album. In 2015 That album won a NAACP Image Award for best gospel album of the year titled (Where My Heart Belongs). Leon currently endorses Korg, NORD, Gorilla Ears & Mono Cases Leon has started and now own's a production company called (Turner Productions).
While currently residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Leon has lived in Las Vegas, NV where he worked with many talented and notable artist.
Music is universal and if it feels good it doesn’t matter where you are, what nationality you are, you’re going to feel it and you’re going to get up and dance.
FunkyardX is unqiue. They create their own sound and they do it well.
If you are ever looking for something refreshing and fun, go see FunkyardX live. Their show is high energy, fun, and kid friendly. Once they get going, you can't help but dance.
FunkyardX takes all these different genres and they fuse them all together. Many artist follow. FunkyardX makes their own path.
We take popular songs, that’s what we’ve been doing until we write our own, and we make them ours. Whether its rock, funk, old school, it doesn’t matter what it is, we’ll take it and make it our own.