Alfred Howard and the K23 Orchestra (AHK23) combined in-the-pocket funk, staccato spoken word, classic soul, aggressive rock, and vintage psychedelia. Their musical style moves seamlessly through tightly arranged changes to extended open jams with powerful crescendos and quick shifts in dynamic, while Alfred Howard's lyrics transcend a style or genre, appealing to humanity's most primal essence.
The band's five strong rhythmic voices (Rhodes & organ, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals) sculpt a collective and cohesive expression delivering a high-energy live show fueled by rapid-fire conscious lyricism. AHK23 has found an audience in the world of funk fiends, indie-rock fans, hip-hop heads, reggae followers, and even poetry lovers. Their message is one of social change through music and art.
K23 won the San Diego Music Award for "Best Funk/Hip-Hop Band" three consecutive years (2003 - 2006) and preformed at festivals on the West Coast like High Sierra, Xingolati, Reggae on the River, Earthdance, Harmony Fest, the Whole Earth, and Wakarusa.
Alfred Howard has sat in with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Umphrey's Mcgee, Perry Ferrel, Digital Underground, Garaj Mahal, the Slip, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, ALO, the Breakfast, and many others.
Steve Craft (drums & percussion) is influenced by everything from jazz to '60s and '70s funk, rock and roll, soul, real R&B (not the crap they call R&B today), and even metal.
Ian Wright (guitar) has been playing guitar for 17 years in various Southern California bands. Versed in rock, blues, funk, ska, and jazz, Ian stands at 6'8" with a stage presence just as large.
Matt LaBarber (bass) is from the Buffalo area of New York and likes to rock.
Josh Rice (keyboards) has played locally around San Diego since 2000.
The band is now defunct, as of a final gig at Winston's on December 5, 2008. "We will be kicking it Tupac style with a posthumous release somewhere down the line," says Howard on the band's website.
In 2009, Howard launched a new band, the Heavy Guilt.