Band Bio

"Funk Knuf is “2 % Jazz . . . and 98% Funky Stuff!!” (Maceo Parker)

FUNK KNUF (funk enough) is Colorado’s funk experience, playing fun and solid funk music with a horn section full of monster players!

Funk Knuf pays tribute to funk music from Brand New Heavies, to Liquid Soul, and Jaco Pastorious to Lettuce. You’ll hear Tower of Power, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Galactic, King Hector, some Greyboy All Stars, and much more!

The band is managed by Geno Treppeda on drums (from BiG BaNG!).  Lead vocals are provided by Jill Watkins, who’s powerful vocals with this strong band is a force to experience! Their monster horn section includes John Battista on tenor sax, Dave McLoughlin on trumpet, and Doug Carmichael on alto, bari sax, and flute. The band’s rhythm section includes Rich Benge on guitar, Bill Capsalis on bass, and Joe Conway on keys. 

Funk Knuf plays corporate events, festivals, venues, private parties, and more. Pricing is negotiable depending on travel, back-line, sound, and other variables. We are happy to make you happy and are willing to work with different budgets. 

Some festivals Funk Knuf have played to date are: 

Superior Chili Fest & BV Beer Festival - 9/7/2019
21st Annual Longmont Jazz Festival - 7/20/2019
Downtown Wellington Summer Concert Series - 8/18/2018
Copper Mountain's Mac and Cheese Festival - 7/28/2018
20th Annual Longmont Jazz Festival - 7/20/2018
Rock N Rails Summer Concert Series, Niwot, CO - 6/14/2018
Element Bistro's Summer Concert Series, Boulder, CO - 5/5/2018
Jazz on 2nd Ave Festival, Niwot, CO - 9/15/2017
Sunset at the Summit Concert Series, Silverthorne, CO - 8/5/2017
20th Annual Blues & BBQ for Better Housing Festival - 7/29/2017
KGNU’s Kaberet Show (88.5 FM) - 5/5/2017

"Funk Knuf plays music that will move your body parts! Guaranteed."

Band Members

Geno Treppeda - Drums

Born in Wappinger Falls, NY, just across town from Johnny B, although we never met till our Colorado days.  NY was a tough place to be a kid.  Ya know a loving Italian family, but after 3 near-death experiences from Macaroni with Gravy and Braciole overdoses, I knew it was time to leave. Much too dangerous.

I remember a dear friend and me loading an F-10 Datsun on my Birthday in 1978.  It was tough leaving the nest: A mother, two older loving sisters who thought they were my mother and great younger brother!  They all had the same question for me as I prepared for departure.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I pondered that question for several hours. My reply was quite simple and decisive, “ I want to be a drummer when I grow up”!  They all looked at each other very perplexed and finally my mother turned to me and said, “well you better hurry up and decide because you can’t do both!”  So, again I found myself pondering my choices for the next 10,000 miles in the F-10.  Yep, I decided I’d be a drummer…still looking for lessons.

Jill Watkins - Vocals 

JilliandraminaAlexandriaExpidocious Pork Chop Durban Watkins Michko started singing at a young age in her church choir. As a red-headed-stepchild with a penchant for trouble, Jill was often sent to her room. There, she honed her skills singing into her hair brush along with Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, and more of her favorites. 
With Jill’s high-volume and pulchritude, a life on the stage was inevitable.  Her vocal journey lead her from karaoke contests, to back-up singer, to the Jill Watkins Band, to featured artist with George Whitesell and his All-Stars, to lead singer for the New-Orleans-themed band, Jockamo, to collaborator with the all-women’s show HERmonious, and to the internationally renowned (cuz she told her friend in Canada) band FUNKKNUF!  To learn more about Jill, check out her website.

John Battista (aka “Johnny B”) - Woodwinds...well, 2 saxophones anyway
Johnny B was raised by a pack of saxophone playing wolves in the wilds of Fishkill, New York.  At the age of 12, he struck out on his own and toured the United States, wowing the county fair crowds with his rendition of “The Chicken Dance.”  But in his teen years he rebelled against the family and dabbled in calculus and thermodynamics.  “I always dreamed of being a medical device engineer” says Battista “but my parents encouraged me to be realistic and choose a steady, stable, lucrative career - that’s when I went back into music full time.”  He returned to his funk saxophone upbringing and has been honing his craft ever since.  Since moving to Colorado, Johnny B’s greasy solos have been heard with Swing City, the Legendary 4-nikators, Trouble in the Heartland, BiG BaNG, and of course...FUNK KNUF!
Dave McLoughlin - Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Trombone

Dave grew up in Michigan playing in jazz bands throughout high school and college.  He first started with the triangle, then graduated through the kazoo, the mouth harp and the piccolo, before settling on the trumpet.  He played with several bands in LA and Northern California prior to moving to Colorado, including Mott the Hoople, Dexies Midnight Runners and Right Said Fred. In addition to playing in FUNK KNUF, Dave also plays regularly with SwingCity and Makeshift.
Doug Carmichael - Baritone, Alto, Soprano Sax and Flute

Doug is a music teacher with the St. Vrain Valley Schools and an active saxophonist throughout the greater Denver area.  He grew up in the Longmont area where he attended Erie High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Doug has his bachelors and master’s degree from CU in music education and saxophone performance. He has taught in the Denver Public Schools, Douglas County Schools, Cherry Creek School and the St Vrain Valley Schools. He has played with a variety of groups: the Longmont Symphony, the Longmont Coral, the Lee Thomas Band, Mojomama, the Dale Ness Quartet, the Eric Dorn Group, the Jean Poole trio, See Spot Groove, 3ology, the Matt Pack, DKO, Archie Funker, Makeshift Funk Band, and 3rd Degree Burn, just to name a few. His work with 3olgoy has resulted in three Cds which have received airplay and accolades locally, nationally and internationally. Through 3ology he is on the Creative Music Works and Tapestry label. Doug continues to be a guest artist and clinician for various private, CHSAA, and CBA sponsored events.