Rich Fracasse; founding member of the Funk Junkies, grew up in Newburgh NY-a city just north of NYC. At the time, Newburgh had some of the highest violent crime rates in the country because of its depressed urban environment and lack of opportunity. During his adolescence, Rich gravitated toward music- avoiding of the many potential pitfalls that existed for young adults in his community. He was also fortunate enough to have played with many local inner city musicians during that time. Many of these musicians were involved with the church and played Gospel music.

“Having the opportunity to play with these talented guys growing up gave me the ability to really know syncopation and the groove… I learned and felt things playing with those guys that no music theory teacher could ever teach you. That feeling is embedded in me forever now.” At 12 years old Rich was listening to bands like Chicago and three dog night but quickly gravitated towards real funk and soul like James Brown, EW & F, The Ohio Players, AWB, Al Green etc… While all of my friends were listening to Led Zeppelin and the hard rock stuff I was mesmerized by guys like Larry Graham, Bootsey Collins and Stanley Clark.”

For the past 8 years Rich has been the Funk Junkies lead and founding member. “Since starting this band about 8 years ago I’ve again had the great opportunity to perform with, befriend and be befriended by some of the best musicians in the Tri-State area. When this band performs the good time we’re having on stage is obvious and I think our audience picks up on that, making them want to be a part of it. We welcome them in and feed off of their energy also. It’s like a ping pong match and the groove is the ball. I’d like to thank all of the Funk Junkies fans and members past and present for making this band so enjoyable for me and I hope the band creates the same enjoyment for all of you!”