Cymande, the British-based funk music pioneers, emerged as innovators of the funk music scene during the early 1970s. Influenced by their Caribbean heritage, the band combined reggae and Rastafarian rhythms with funk, soul, R&B, jazz and rock to create a new and exciting sound which captivated audiences throughout the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and the continent of Africa. The music of Cymande conveyed a true spirit of “togetherness”. This isreflected in the band’s emblem which incorporated a dove with the head of a Rastaman and symbolizedpeace and love.
Cymande was formed in 1971 by Patrick Patterson and Steve Scipio. The core members of the band comprised Patrick Patterson (guitar, vocals), Steve Scipio (bass, vocals), Sam Kelly (drums), Mike Rose (sax, flute, percussion), Pablo Gonsales (percussion, vocals) and DerrickGibbs (alto sax). They were later joined by Ray King and Joey Dee (vocals) as well as Peter Serreo and Desmond Atwell (sax).
In 1971 the group met and began to work with record producer John Schroeder, and with his guidance, Cymande recorded their debut album called simply “Cymande”. The group defined their sound as “NYAH-ROCK” based on the fusion of Rastafarian rhythms with other musical styles, R&B, Soul, Jazz.
Cymande’s first album was released in the UK on the Alaska Record Label in1972 and later in the same year,was released in the USA under Janus Records, a division of Chess Records. From that album,the group released two singles “The Message” followed by “Bra”. “The Message” ignited a wave of interest and generated a large following of fans in the U.K and the U.S.A. and was listed as no.20 on the U.S. pop charts. The Group began touring across America with the likes of R&B soul music super star “Al Green”and later went on to tour with Jerry Butler, Patti La Belle, Billy Preston, Ramsey Lewis, Edwin Starr, Albert King,