Maceo Parker saxophone
OPENING ACT: Sugar Pie DeSanto
Countdown the end of 2017 with the king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B, Maceo Parker. He spent the first half of his career in the service of funk’s founding fathers, and in his second act as a bandleader, the unrelentingly soulful saxophonist/vocalist has ascended into the funk firmament in his own right, leading a righteously grooving outfit that plays with ecstatic precision and ferocious drive.
The altoist made his mark as an essential voice in the powerhouse horns backing James Brown, contributing classic funk solos on some of the Godfather’s iconic hits. He went on to join George Clinton’s moveable funk feast in Parliament/Funkadelic during the ensemble’s most creative era. He was part of the James Brown offshoot JB Horns led by fellow Brown alum Fred Wesley and saxophonist Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, and has contributed to albums and tours with artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keith Richards, Dave Matthews Band and most extensively, Prince. Since the early 1990s, Parker has been spreading gospel of groove, a dedicated entertainer who believes in funk’s power to transform and heal.
Opening the show will be Bay Area blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto. Recording for Chess Records, duets with Etta James, and a two-year stint as the opening act for James Brown put DeSanto on a star-making trajectory, and she’s never looked back. She’s written over 100 songs that have been performed by the likes of Little Minnie Riperton and Fontella Bass.
Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.
Everyone knows by now that he's played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as " like being at University "; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy's Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher which unravels dance music down to its core.
His collaborations over the years performing or recording or both have included Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His timeless sound has garnered him a fresh young fan base.
It is almost impossible to separate which came first, Maceo or the funk. The amazing P-funk Parker has been at it with his legendary alto horn for some time dating back to the 1960’s. That’s when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky soul funk train. It wasn’t long before James coined the solo summoning signature, “ Maceo, I want you to Blow!”. To most musicologists it’s the muscially fertile group of men from this period of James Brown's band who are recognized as the early pioneers of the modern funk and hip-hop we still jump to today.