For LMT Connection, Funk is the Final Frontier
Veteran soul group LMT Connection has been turning music fans into full-blown funkateers for more than a quarter century, playing over 6500 shows, helmed by a front man on the cusp of his 73rd birthday. True masters of their craft, they’ve toured internationally and released six self-produced albums independently, without the support of a record company.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Detroit, singer/guitarist Leroy Emmanuel was not only an active member of Motown’s thriving music community at its height, supporting the likes of Marvin Gaye, Bohannon, and Bettye Lavette, but an influential artist in his own right, earning a significant cult following with his group The Fabulous Counts (Westbound Records). Not long after a serendipitous relocation to Niagara Falls, Canada, Emmanuel founded LMT Connection with drummer Mark Rogers and bassist John Irvine. The year was 1989 and the newly formed trio hit the ground running.
Right from the start, they adhered to a philosophy of playing every show with stadium concert intensity, regardless of attendance. This mantra manifested many opportunities for the band along the way, sharing the stage with Al Green, Tower of Power, jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, and blues legend BB King on his 80th birthday tour. In time, their original music found its way into the hands of producers, promoters and distributors in Europe, which opened new doors overseas, and connected LMT with the world-renowned Chops Horns.
The New Jersey-based horn section already had an impressive resume of their own; they had just come off the road with Alicia Keys and were known for having played with The Police, The Rolling Stones, and George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, to name a few. In 2005, they joined LMT Connection for a month-long tour of Europe, adding keyboardist Joel Parisien to the mix, and doubling the original line-up to a now expanded six-piece. (As another note of interest, the same personnel, with Parisien up front, would go on to form a highly successful side project called Newworldson, garnering four Juno© nominations – the Canadian equivalent to a Grammy© – for Gospel Album of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013).
For LMT Connection, funk is truly the final frontier; the expedition progresses unabated, and the borders continue to be explored and re-drawn.
Recently Performed International Festivals:
Budapest, Vienna 2018
Sweden, Norway 2017
Cotton Club Tokyo Japan 2016
Catfish Festival Louisianna 2015
Festival One New Zealand 2015
Midi Festival Shanghai 2014
Midi Festival Beijing 2014
Big Church Day Out England 2014,2016,2018
Parachute New Zealand 2014 (w Newworldson)
Seaside Festival Norway 2013
Gulibranna Festival Sweden 2013
BB King’s 80th Birthday Tour
Berlin (Germany) Jazz Festival
Easterfest Australia 2013 (w Newworldson)
Gronau (Germany) Jazz Festival
Wendelstein (Germany) New Orleans Festival
Detroit – Windsor 300th Birthday Celebration
Szigit Festival Budapest Hungary
NAMM (Anaheim, CA)
Toronto Jazz Festival
Belgrade Beer Festival Serbia
Brugnera Italy (Northern Soul Nights)
Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival
Cologne Germany Northern Soul Festival