Make It Funky

James Brown earned his title of the Godfather of Soul via his other title, the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, and he ruled his funk empire like a Mafia don, exuding both discipline and generosity. In his five-decade career, Brown was a performer, bandleader, and label and radio station owner; he nurtured the careers of many musicians, including his band, the J.B.’s, and singers Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson, and Hank Ballard. From his debut with the Famous Flames in 1955 until his death on Christmas Day 2006, he influenced soul, pop, funk, and hip-hop artists around the globe. And who could top his intricate shuffling dance moves? Brown and his offshoots’ music can easily fill four hours or more with soul-satisfying grooves, which is what “The Godfather: James Brown Tribute Party” aims to achieve. Similar events have taken place in Atlanta, Miami, and New York since his death; the S.F. installment features DJ sets by Stones Throw artist and Beat Junkie member J-Rocc, Bugz in the Attic producer Darren “Daz-I-Kue” Benjamin, and Rude Movement’s Karl Injex. Under his Bloodfire alias and with U.K. group B.I.T.A., Benjamin has invoked Brown’s syncopated beats and emotional soul on a slew of international releases. Likewise, J-Rocc’s heartfelt '07 tribute podcast showcased his turntable mastery, as he brilliantly cut and blended Brown and all his Funky People. Although it’s damn near impossible to literally follow in Brown’s footsteps, we can all get down to his jams.
Sun., May 30, 10 p.m., 2010

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