In the fall of 2008, a first-year student at the California Institute for the Arts approached Drake Peterson and Chris Stewart asking if they might happen to want to start a band with roots in the Reggae tradition. His name was Alex Emami, and together with actor and bassist Jake Weary, he had come up with a few ideas for songs. As a trumpet player, Drake contacted another CalArts student, Tony Rinaldi, to play trombone and The Mother Funk Yas were born. Within a month, the group had added drums, keyboards, and percussion and recorded a demo at the Dizzy Gillespi Recording Studio at CalArts. Originally, The Mother Funk Yas were a phenomenon at CalArts, but recently have decided to branch out into the Los Angeles music scene. Alex's soulful voice, hard-hitting bass lines, traditional skank guitar and a tight jazz drummer round out the rhythm section. This coupled with tight brass lines and an electric violin played through effects give The Mother Funk Yas a fresh and unique sound not formally identifiable as Reggae, Rock, Funk, or Jazz but with clearly discernible elements from all those genres.
In addition to the founding members, The Mother Funk Yas are now thrilled to include Sam Kauffman on drums and bassist Morgan Fitch. Sam brings his unique jazz and groove chops and takes the band to a new level. Morgan's aggressive and punchy bass-lines bring an entirely new dynamic to an already hard-hitting group.
Currently the Mother Funk Yas can be seen every Wednesday at the Key Club, opening up for RnB Live Idol, as well as monthly at the Prince of Whales, among other popular venues around the greater Los Angeles area.