When the legendary James Brown issued his famous early 70s edict to “Make It Funky”, trombonist Fred Wesley answered the call. As the leader and musical director for Brown's renowned backing band The JBs, Wesley is largely responsible for the arrangements heard on some of the Godfather of Soul’s biggest hits. Wesley and his band The New JBs will headline “A Mid-Winter’s Funk Fantasy” on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141).
Hosting the show is Miami-based non-profit organization Community Arts & Culture, which fosters an appreciation and understanding of a vast assortment of arts and cultures through workshops, lectures and artistic performances in local communities. Founder and Executive Director Jose Elias offers: “I’m truly excited to offer this funk-tastic lineup that not only includes one of the genre’s godfathers, but also features locals Roosevelt Collier, DJ Le Spam, as well as Guitars Over Guns, who do great work with at-risk youth here and in Chicago.”
The event is part of the ongoing A Day at the Beach Concert Series, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary last fall. Tickets are $30 and available online through http://bit.ly/DATB2017MWFF; doors open at 5 p.m. and the show is all-ages.
An active recording and performing artist in his 70s, the Columbus, GA-native Wesley also served as arranger for another standout funk act, P-Funk. He led the Horny Horns and also collaborated on solo projects by fellow JBs alums Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis. Fred has also recorded and performed with Count Basie, as well as on solo outings by George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and countless other names. This will be The New JBs’ first-ever performance in Miami.
Collier is also known as “The Dr.” because of his mastery of the pedal steel guitar. Brought up in the "sacred steel" tradition of the House of God Church, Roosevelt built his reputation alongside his uncles and cousins in The Lee Boys, known for their spirited, soul-shaking live shows. He’s notably performed alongside artists such as the Allman Brothers, Los Lobos and the Del McCoury Band. A favorite on the jam band scene, Collier will be backed by the Phunk Phactory on February 4th.
Andrew Yeomanson AKA DJ Le Spam is an award-winning musician, producer, and funk selector. When not recording local acts, he works to preserve and restore classic R&B and funk at his home studio City of Progress. Yeomanson also leads the premier Miami Latin funk band the Spam Allstars, who recently released a highly-anticipated collection of songs called Trans-Oceanic. He will be spinning records from his collection of rare 45s in between the live acts.
Guitars Over Guns Organization (or GOGO) is the brainchild Dr. Chad Bernstein. Founded in 2008, the volunteer project has offered music and mentoring at seven schools in Miami and Chicago. They work collaboratively with schools and communities to deliver high-impact, arts-based mentoring programs to empower at-risk youth. The GOGO kids ensemble will be performing live, marking the first time many of them will be showcasing their skills in a professional setting.