With roots that go as deep as the history of funk itself and a long list of collaborations with the biggest names in the genre, funk wouldn’t be funk without alto-saxophonist Maceo Parker. For two nights only, Parker will be getting the “groove on” in Pretoria on 8 May and Johannesburg on 9 May.
In what he describes as an experience akin to university, Parker perfected his sound as sideman to James Brown. During the 1960s Parker and his drummer brother Melvin joined the James Brown band; it was the start of a partnership that would last for the next decade. Parker’s signature sound led, in part, to the band being recognised as early pioneers of modern day funk and hip-hop.
Constantly redefining his style, Parker continued to live the spirit of funk. He joined George Clinton’s P-Funk Mothership, followed by stints with a number of other groups, becoming a golden thread that linked the style. In 1970 Parker, with some fellow James Brown band members, formed Maceo and All the Kings Men and released two albums that continue to remain popular. To date he has collaborated with Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, Prince, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
In 1990 Parker embarked on a solo career and while funk still defined his style, his music has become richly nuanced with the sounds of jazz and soul. He released two successful albums Roots Revisited (which spent 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Jazz Charts in 1990) and Mo’ Roots (1991). His third solo album Life on Planet Groove, recorded live in 1992, established him as a contemporary artist and boosted his exposure to a college-going audience. Albums like Funk Overload, Dial M-A-C-E-O and Made by Maceo cemented his catch phrase “2% Jazz, 98% Funky Stuff” with his audiences.
Parker has toured extensively with his own band and since 1999 he has participated in some of Prince’s tours when time allowed. In July of 2012 Parker was presented with Les Victoires du Jazz in Paris: a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to music and during the same weekend he was presented with an Icon Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.
The youth band Nu-Notes will be opening for Parker at both performances. The band is a group of young talented jazz musicians who are being mentored by trombonist, arranger and conductor Dan Selsick. They form part of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra programme that aims to develop young South African musicians, through music education, skills development and creating performance platforms for young musicians.
Parker will be performing on the 08 May at the Brooklyn Theatre, Pretoria and 09 May at the Wits Theatre, Johannesburg. The concert starts at 20h00 and tickets cost R180.
Tickets can be booked from www.webtickets.co.za
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Issued by JT Communication Solutions on Behalf of Cape Town Jazz Orchestra