When the professional development sessions wind down on the first day of the Wisconsin Leadership Summit on October 10, the rhythm and soul will ramp up.
Madison-based R&B and soul band Kinfolk will take the stage and entertain attendees at the fifth annual event. Organizers from Madison365, which hosts and produces the Summit, have given first in-person Summit since 2019 the theme, “Family Reunion,” which fits exactly what the band hopes to accomplish.
“It’s just family, kinfolk,” said bassist and cofounder Corey Saffold. “It’s getting together wth close family, friends, having a good time. That’s what the band represents.”
The band’s origins come from Fountain of Life Church on Madison’s south side, where Saffold, Dr. LaVar Charlston, Anthony Ward and Marcus Fleming were church musicians. Each of them were regularly asked to perform at weddings and other functions, and over time it became clear they had something special.
Nearly 15 years later, with help from a few Milwaukee-based musicians brought in for gigs, the band was performing around the Madison area about once a month at functions like Live on King Street, Dane Dances and other local festivals and venues. After nearly two years off during the pandemic, things have ramped up, and the band now plays multiple gigs every month.
“Since the pandemic has been letting up … people have been coming back out to things. It’s picked up this summer,” Saffold said.
Most of their gigs consist of covers, with a handful of originals mixed in. They’ve realeased two songs on all the music streaming platforms — “Easily” and “Waiting in Vain” — with two more coming soon. Saffold said they’re looking to play more gigs around the region, regularly performing in the Fox Valley with an eye toward performing in Milwaukee and Chicago.
You can catch Kinfolk for free at the Mad Lit concert from 8-11 pm Friday on the 100 block of State Street in downtown Madison.
Other entertainment booked for the Wisconsin Leadership Summit include DJ Ree Maniac for the lunch hour and Beat Chefs between sessions. Registration is now open at https://wisconsinleadershipsummit.com.