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Funk Deity Maceo Parker Lands in New Orleans


Funk fanatics can rest easy tonight knowing Maceo Parker and his sidekick sax will be returning to the New Orleans stage (excluding a Jazz Fest or two) for the first time in decades. Renowned for his vital role alongside George Clinton in Parlaiment-Funkadelic and his sultry saxophone solos beside James Brown, Maceo has been a household name since the seventies.  

 

After decades of solo work and recent years rubbing shoulders with Prince on the road, he now brings his talent to Tipitina’s this Thursday at 9 pm.  

 

“Anyone who loves funk music but especially James Brown or Parliament needs to be at the show because Maceo was an integral member during their prime time,” said Melissa Weber, who will be opening for Maceo as fellow funk artist DJ Soul Sister.  “Prince fans should be excited too.” 

 

“If you’re still coming down off of Mardi Gras this is the best pick me up I can think of,” said Weber.  

 

In honor of his upcoming performance, tonight at 7 pm Weber’s ongoing series of music-themed films, “Musically Speaking,” will feature Markus Gruber’s 1996 documentary My First Name is Maceo.  The film delves into Maceo’s impact on funk music, holding his own against modern day music legends like James Brown, Prince, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton and numerous others. The screening is at Antenna Gallery (3718 St. Claude Ave.)

 

“It’s a great documentary.  Rebirth Brass Band makes an appearance.  It’s a fun film filled with lots of funk,” said Weber.  Who would expect anything less from the funkadelic man himself.  

 

While not all the films in Weber’s music series are related to funk, she showcases films that highlight significant musicians who have fallen out of the public eye.

 

“They are films featuring music that we might have forgotten or don’t get shown in New Orleans.  I want to highlight important films that are being overlooked or haven’t been remembered,” said Weber.  

 

Her next few films bring to light everything from a trio of talented Harlem songstresses to the life of jazz giant Sonny Rollins and to a member of Cream exploring the African bush.  On Tuesday, March 19 Weber widens the lens from Maceo to encompass all of Parliament-Funkadelic in Yvonne Smith’s One Nation Under Groove.  

 

Weber is familiar with P-Funk both on and off the screen.         

 

“I have opened for almost everyone in the Parliament Funk,” said Weber, mentioning Bootsy Collins and George Clinton. “I’m a huge fan [of Maceo].”

 

Weber, like Maceo, is no stranger to the stage, and will add Maceo to her impressive list of openings.  Aside from hosting a radio show on WWOZ she has performed throughout New Orleans, earning the title, “the queen of rare groove,” and an award for “Best DJ” in New Orleans.    

 

“I never know what’s going down,” said Weber of her show.  “So it’ll be a surprise to everybody.”  According to her one thing is for certain: “It will be something fun [and] if the band is happy then the crowd is happy.”  

 




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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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