Tribal Nation has been performing in and around the US for over 12 years, in both electric and acoustic settings to fit any occasion. Tribal Nation offers a crucial mix of hot dance inspired reggae and funk music, delivered in a different style. The Tribal Nation show rocks with a funky reggae flavor creating a natural environment for those who like to catch some positive lyrics and feel a jazz inspired funky reggae beat. Whether you like to listen composed of seasoned musicians from three of the more popular reggae and funk bands, with former members of the Killer Bees, Root 1, and the Gingerbread Men, joining together with Tribal Nation's veteran musicians to form a powerful musical mixture that will definitely keep you on the dance floor. The majority of Tribal Nation material is original, drawing from the combination of four singer/songwriters. Each artist shares an array of songs, creating a mix that explodes with the distinct, funky, reggae style of Tribal Nation. The vocalists create tightly woven harmonies that are full-bodied and sweet. Bubbling keys and rhythmic guitars, pumping intertwined leads, alongside two hot saxophones, a mesmerizing trumpet, and a wailing trombone fashion the melody of the music. Bass and drums set a rootsy, reggae pace.
Bob Marley claimed he was born wailing, well Philip White aka Professor Permananz aka Phillipidon was born chanting. Permananz was awarded his cognomen from Mike Franklin because he has been such a permanent fixture in the local reggae seen over the years. Permananz is noted for instigating cantankerous mayhem amongst audiences with his impromptu outbursts during live performances, and he has chanted and sang his “sing-jay” tradeoffs while being a member of groups such as Liberation and the Yard Band from outta Houston and Root 1 and Raggamassive conceived in Austin. However, being one not too self-effacing when it comes time to sharing a ubiquitous, uniting vibe, Permananz has also shared the stage with the likes of the Killer Bees, Dee Madness, Don Chani, David Garza, Ruthie Foster, Patrice Pike, Chris Brown, Bigga Riddim, Mau Mau Chaplins, Judge and Dr. Dubbist and Carlton Pride among others. Being a man who believes in the dissemination of irie vibrations live or on the disc, Idon, as (Mike Hale of Hale Marley would say), has recorded with the likes of Liberation, Root 1, Raggamassive, Chris Brown and Calvin Owens. Always looking forward to raising the spirits of people globally with a little gravelly, gruff combined with a somewhat velvety escape, Permananz now finds himself securely ensconced among the brilliant and majestic timbre of horns, “O-Jay harmonies,” and the orchestrated yet also extemporaneous grooves of Tribal Nation; a sure harbinger of iconoclastic rebellion … signals ruff neck business fe bruk down banal barriers.
Prof Permananz | Vocalist & Reggae Toaster
Mike Franklin | Keyboard and Vocals
Mike Franklin grew up surrounded by music. He began with a rhythmical start as a drummer at the age of five under the guidance of jazz artist James Polk. Winner of his high school talent contest, Mike pursued playing the guitar for various pick-up bands during his college years. One of the founders of former Austin-based - Moving Parts, an established funk/reggae/jazz band, Mike brought it in hot, opening for such notables as Larry Carlton and The Neville Brothers. Firming his lean towards the reggae, Mike was instrumental in forming One Nation. With Tribal Nation, Mike now shares his incredible talent from the keyboards.
Dwayne Jackson | Bass and Vocals
Dwayne “Dee“ Jackson is originally from Dallas, Texas. He graduated, in 1993, from the Texas School for the Blind. While attending TSB, Dee played the violin and received first place in UIL competition. He also won second place in the State Regionals for playing jazz on the drums. Playing the bass guitar, Dee traveled with the TSB Jazz Band to Europe and Canada. Dee’s many talents include a fabulous voice, song writing, keyboards, and guitar. With Tribal Nation, Dee plays the bass, his face, and often sings as the lead-vocalist. Dee also performs as D-Madness and has opened for Roots and Black-eyed Peas. D-Madness has shared stages with DJ Crush, DJ Logic, and John Scholfield. On any given night in Austin, you can find Dee onstage, sometimes with 2 or 3 gigs a night.
Hoppy Hopson | Drumset
Hoppy Hopson was born in Lubbock, raised in Fort Stockton, Texas, and started playing drums in 1967. Hopson cut his teeth, playing in country & western bands throughout West Texas, such as Joe and Johnny Stout and the Country Squires, Cold Chisel with Gene Dunn, Blaine Wilson, and Steve Ham, Earl White and the Show Band from Midland, Texas and the legendary Sons of the Pioneers. Hopson toured the West Coast and Canada with California band, The Brothers and Sisters Band. Hopson even played a stint with world-renowned musician and performer, Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1988, Hoppy moved to Austin and joined Spy vs. Spy, a Killer Bee spin-off band featuring guitarist Malcolm Wilborn and keyboardist Stanton Hoffman. The Spies merged with reggae veteran band Pressure to form Spies under Pressure. The Killer Bees reunited in 1995 with Hopson on the drums, until Michael E. was no longer able to perform.
Eddie McNames | Trumpet
Eddie was born in San Clara, CA and has been playing the trumpet for 20 years now. He spent 7 years as a founding member of Gingerbread Men from Austin, Texas. In addition, he has recorded with Blue Construct, Teratoma, Gibb Droll Band, and Tchiya Amet.
Eddie says he’s currently on a search for the meaning of life. He likes being able to live in Austin and play with world class musicians.
Wallace Hawkins | Trombone
Wallace Hawkins, an Austinite, began his career at the early age of 13. He toured nationally with some of the greats: Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Killer Bees, Johnny Taylor, and Tyrone Davis. Wallace has also played with Jay Williams Tribe, One Nation, and UZ2BZ. A multi-talented musician, Wallace has been instrumental in lending his expertise and professional knowledge to enhance the sound of the Tribal Horns.
Melvin Wilburn | Tenor Saxophone
Melvin Wilburn, originally from Oklahoma, came to Austin in 1968 to study electrical engineering at UT. Bitten by the music bug early in 1972, he played saxophone in the funk-soul-R&B band start-up Jus Walkin’. This spun-off to become Steam Heat and later was named Extreme Heat. In 1977, Melvin met up with Jay Williams to organize one of Austin’s funk avenue, he later joined Jett Express. From 1982 to 1986, he dedicated his talents to The Earnest Needom Jazz Group, where he really had a chance to hone his sax chops. At the same time, Melvin started another project with Jay Williams. The Jay Williams’ Trio turned into a long running engagement at Trudy’s Texas Star Café. The band soon became a 10-piece band called the Jay Williams Tribe, who provided a diverse mixture of funk and reggae. In 1989, Melvin put his energy toward reggae with the Kaya band and later played with Tchya Amet at Reggae on the River.
Mark Wilson | Baritone Saxophone
Inspired by Boots Randolph and the Pink Panther, Mark Wilson started playing Tenor Sax at age 12 in San Angelo, Texas. At 13 he switched to the Baritone Sax and two years later played his first professional gig with a local R&B band. He was a music major at Sam Houston State University in 1979 and was a founding member of Prison City Slammers, the party band of the 80's, in and around Huntsville, Texas. During those years, Mark had the opportunity to take the stage with many great Austin bands and after a year with The Usuals in Houston, moved and made Austin his home in 1985. Mark joined Not For Sale and with Rabid Cat Records, made their first U.S/European album in 1986. He played baritone for Alejandro Escovedo's Orchestra, Wajumbe, House in Orbit, Dino Lee, Atlantic Soul Revue, and still plays with Ted Roddy's King Conjurer Band. He recorded with many other bands as well - Poi Dog Pondering, The Shoulders, Killer Bees, Bad Mutha Goose and the Humpty Dumpty Horns, and Retarded Elf. In 1991, Mark began recording and touring with Burning Spear in Europe, Japan, Brazil, the Caribbean and the U.S. Mark played tenor on Grammy-nominated recordings - Jah Kingdom-91, The World Should Know, Love & Peace - Live in 1993, and Rasta Business-95. His tenor can also be heard on Burning Spear's Living Dub. Vol. 2 & 3, Reggae on the Rocks - 10th Anniversary, and Island Records - Burning Spear Anthology. Currently, Mark plays with several bands, including Bob Schneider. Mark's influences are Gerry Mulligan, Saxa, Dean Frasier, Fela Kuti, Tommy McCook, Rolando Alphonso, Nick Brignolia, and King Curtis.
Evan Hegarty | Keyboard, Piano
Evan Marley Hegarty, born on The Farm in Tennessee, started piano at the age of 6 and guitar at 13. His introduction to the professional reggae scene began with recording for reggae legend Mikey Dread (aka Dread at the Controls). After numerous national and international tours with Mikey, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Feb. 21st, 2007, he recorded on Mikey’s last album Life is a Stage along with Sly Dunbar, Lincon ‘Style’ Scott, and Flabba Holt. He has also played keys for Calton Coffie of Inner Circle (Grammy winner in ’93 for reggae album Bad Boys), played as a backing band for Cedric IM Brooks and Kevin Batchelor of the Skatalites, and performed on stage at Bear Creek festival with Bernie Worrell (of Parliament-Funkadelic and Talking Heads) and Fred Wesley (Legendary Trombone from James Brown). He has recorded albums and played with numerous other bands with styles ranging from funk, blues, rock and afrobeat to salsa, timba, jazz and Hip-hop. Now attending graduate school for Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, you can find Evan performing with local and international bands in the thriving Austin music scene between his studies and research.