Maceo Parker Funk Night: A Celebration Of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop At The Merriam Theater, May 14


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"Hurricane Maceo blew through, delivering a multihour non-stop barrage for an audience that danced itself into a frenzy before the second song was over." —Austin American Statesman

Celebrated saxophonist Maceo Parker makes his Kimmel Center debut at Merriam Theater with Funk Night, a celebration of soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop with “the greatest little funk orchestra on earth" on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8pm. A former member of James Brown's band, Parker first made a name for himself as a prominent soloist on many of Brown's hit recordings, and has also collaborated with genre masters from George Clinton to Bootsy Collins. Today he stands alone with his fresh and stylistically diverse 'Maceo sound,' a deft fusion of James Brown's 1960's soul, George Clinton's 1970's funk, classic jazz, and contemporary American hip-hop.

Joining Parker on stage is Dennis Rollins (trombone), Ron Tooley (trumpet), Will Boulware (keys), Bruno Speight (guitar); Rodney “Skeet" Curtis (bass), formerly of Parliament-Funkadelic; Marcus Parker (drums), his nephew and son of Melvin Parker; whose has worked with James Brown, Maynard Ferguson, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; one of the UK's finest jazz musicians; Corey Parker (vocals) and Martha High (vocals) of the James Brown show.

“Parker is a funk titan. His body of work is as important to the genre as those belonging to James Brown, George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, all of whom have collaborated with Parker...On a broader level, Parker must be regarded as simply one of the all-time great saxophonists. He stretched the boundaries of music, fashioned a new style of playing and, most importantly, made some truly great music." —Mercury San Francisco

Tickets for Maceo Parker Funk Night are available for $25 and $35 by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located at Broad and Spruce streets (open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings).

A limited number of $10 community rush tickets are available for this performance. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office, beginning at 5:30pm. Limit one ticket per person.

Maceo Parker describes his start with James Brown “like being at university." In 1964, Parker and his drummer brother, Melvin, joined James Brown's legendary band. Brown soon coined the signature solo-initiating line, “Maceo, I want you to blow!" Parker continued backing Brown, intermittently, for the following two decades.

From the mid 70s to the early 90s, Parker also backed Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and various incarnations of Parliament-Funkadelic. When not touring with Brown, Collins or Clinton, Parker fronted Maceo & All the King's Men for two years and charted a single ("Party—Part I," 1974) with Maceo & the Macks.

By 1990, Parker began to focus his efforts on establishing a solo career. He released two successful solo albums entitled Roots Revisited (which spent ten weeks at the top of Billboard's Jazz Charts in 1990) and Mo' Roots (1991). His third solo album, the ground breaking live recording Life on Planet Groove (1992), became a funk fan treasured favorite. Since going solo, Parker has continued to collaborate with a range of well-known musical artists. His album dial:MACEO (2000) features guest appearances by Ani DiFranco, Prince and James Taylor.

In 2007, Parker realized a personal dream and applied his funky music to a big band setting. Backed by the Grammy Award-winning WDR Big Band, Parker broadcasted and performed a live series of concerts paying tribute to Ray Charles. This led to his most recent album release, Roots and Grooves (2007), which features live recordings taken from Parker's shows with WDR Big Band. The album has received huge critical acclaim, particularly in the US, and won a Jammie for Best Jazz Album in 2009.

For more information, visit www.maceoparker.com.

Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts' Merriam Theater. Our mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.

The 2010/2011 season is sponsored by Citi, and the Broadway 2010/2011 season is sponsored by Verizon and American Airlines. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

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