2014 Funk Festival at the Fox Theatre Set for 10/4
In celebration of the life and times of funk master Rick James, the 2014 Funk Festival is taking over the Fox Theatre on Saturday, October 4 at 8 p.m. The lineup is loaded with funk stars including Cameo, the Mary Jane Girls featuring Val Young and The Family Stone, the Zapp band, Al Hudson and One Way and Jalil and Exstacy of Whodini. Funny-man Charlie Murphy of the Dave Chappelle Show will host the festival celebration.
Tickets ($29.50, $49.50, $69.50 and $79.50) go on sale Saturday, August 9 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611. *Line-up subject to change.
Cameo topped the R&B charts for more than a decade and has sold more than 17 million albums through its expansive career. The New York City-based band is led by drummer Larry Blackmon and founding member Tomi Jenkins. The kind of non-stop activity that Blackmon creates has consistently propelled the across-the-board success that Cameo has enjoyed for over three decades. Blackman and Jenkins emerged as recording artists with Cameo via the 1977 debut L.P. Cardiac Arrest. Since then, Cameo has enjoyed a chart-filled career including the 1986 platinum-selling album Word Up which won "Album of the Year" at the 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards in 1987.
The Mary Jane Girls were created by Rick James in the early 70s when he hired the girls as background singers for his Stone City Band and was later signed to Motown in the early 80s. The Mary Jane Girls self-titled debut album, released in 1983, boasted hits such as "Candy Man" and "All Night Long". The group's sophomore album Only Four You contained the number three R&B hit "In My House" and the number ten R&B hit "Wild and Crazy Love."
Val Young was formerly in George Clinton's Brides of Funkenstein and became a solo artist after meeting Rick James and signing to Motown. Young worked with James on her LP titled Seduction which ended up on the Top 20 and Top 30 R&B Album charts in 1985. Her 1986 single "If you Should Ever Be Lonely (Remix)" landed in the number one spot of Billboard's Dance Music chart.
The Family Stone features the powerful voices of Alex Davis and Nadia with Nate Wingfield on guitar, musical director Blaise Sison on bass, Greg Errico on drums, Cynthia Robinson on Trumpet and Jerry Martini on saxophone. Based in California, The Family Stone paved the way for modern funk with hits like "Dance to the Music". The band played at the 1968 Fillmore East concert, the 1969 Woodstock festival, and it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
The Zapp band's original lineup featured Roger Troutman, Larry Troutman, Lester Troutman, Terry Troutman and Gregory Jackson. Between 1980 and 1985, Zapp released gold-selling albums such as Zapp, Zapp II, Zapp III and New Zapp IV U. Throughout Zapp's tenure, the original five-member lineup grew to around fifteen. In 1993, the group scored their biggest-selling album when a compilation album, Zapp & Roger: All the Greatest Hits, was released. Featuring remixed cuts of Roger's solo singles and featuring the "Mega Medley", the album sold over two million copies giving the collective their most successful album to date.
One Way scored five Top Ten R&B hits, with the biggest being "Cutie Pie," which reached number four in 1982. The band moved to Capitol in 1988, where they released A New Beginning in 1989. One Way is comprised of Al Hudson, guitarists Dave Robertson and Cortez Harris, bassist Kevin McCord and drummers Gregory Green and Johnathan Meadows.
Jalil Hutchina and John "Exstacy" Fletcher of Whodini burst onto the New York rap scene in the early 80s. They were one of the first rap groups to add an R&B twist to their music, laying the groundwork for the new jack swing movement.
Top-billed international comedian, Charlie Murphy has spent over a decade performing stand-up, playing to sold-out audiences around the globe and solidifying his position in Hollywood as a true acting, writing and producing talent. Murphy toured nationally with the Chappelle Show, produced feature films such as Moving Day and A Perfect Holiday and his screenwriting credits include Norbit starring Eddie Murphy.