James Brown collaborator Pee Wee Ellis and singer China Moses bring Funk: A Music Revolution to Brighton Dome on Sat 29 Feb. A celebration of the genre’s influence, it features a line-up of renowned musicians channelling the spirit of funk across the generations.
Acclaimed saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis co-wrote the hit song Cold Sweat with James Brown and will play music highlighting famous and surprising tunes that have been inspired by funk. “From 1967 when Mr. Brown and I wrote Cold Sweat until today, Funk has been woven into the DNA of popular music,” says Ellis. “We want to tell that story.” The show encompasses six decades of music including new arrangements of funk classics, medleys that embrace some of the most loved funk riffs and classic samples encapsulated in all genres of popular music from disco to Afrobeat to hip hop.
The band features key players from the UK and US scene. Among them trombonist Dennis Rollins MBE, soul singer Omar MBE, bass player Neville Malcolm (Incognito & US3) and US drummer Daru Jones (Q Tip, Jack White), plus saxophonist Camilla George and rapper Lady Sanity.
Dance crew, The Locksmiths – who also perform as part of Jonzi D’s Breakin’ Convention at Brighton Dome in May 2020 – will join the band, showing off their locking and popping skills.
Originating in the mid-1960s, funk was a natural permutation of the exhilarating jazz and soul scenes that had burgeoned over the previous decades. It drew on soul, jazz and R & B but added bold syncopations and prominent bass lines. Through the 1970s the movement continued to be a soundtrack to the social evolution of the civil rights movement and a bridge between music and society. Whilst some artists continued to progress the music, the earworms of the 1970s also became the samples for hip hop artists.
FUNK: A Music Revolution comes to Brighton Dome on Sat 29 Feb 2020