Still Black, Still Proud | 08.23 | D.C.

Images by: Arthur Shim

Still Black, Still Proud - A Tribute To James Brown :: 08.23.08 :: 9:30 Club :: Washington, DC

On August 23, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Vieux Farka Toure and a slew of other African superstars gathered at Washington, D.C.' 9:30 Club to celebrate the music of James Brown with a project called Still Black, Still Proud.

Pee Wee Ellis has been described as "The Man Who Invented Funk" for his work with James Brown, bringing R&B into the era of funk, starting with Pee Wee's seminal 1967 song, "Cold Sweat" – arguably the first pure modern funk song – and 25 more James Brown hits. It started a revolution in music.

Funk was the renewal of the African in African-American music, making James Brown's music immensely popular, deeply felt and vastly influential in Africa.

It did not go unnoticed that first Pee Wee, then Fred Wesley served as James Brown's musical director, arranger and songwriter; they are revered for that as much as their thrilling sax and trombone playing. So it only makes sense that Africa now comes to James Brown with the great Senegalese singer Cheikh Lo, Cameroon's sax star Manu Dibango joining with Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley in a rhythm-fuelled tribute to the worldwide circle that funk has become.

Pee Wee Ellis
Fred Wesley
Vieux Farka Toure
Cheikh Lo
James Morton & Vieux Farka Toure
Vieux Farka Toure
Martha High, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis
Fred Wesley

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[Published on: 9/3/08]

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matthau Wed 9/3/2008 01:00PM
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This is a GREAT show. I caught it a few weeks back in Boston. Funk music DOES NOT get any more legit then this. My favorite parts were when Martha Hine, a original back-up singer for James and co. sang lead. The stank is heavy with this band people. Don't miss it.

iwantstogetfunkedup starstarstarstarstar Wed 9/3/2008 01:12PM
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Long live the spirit of JB! He is hands down my favorite musician of all time. I will always be glad I saw James in '95 in Oakland. I have also had the pleasure of seeing Fred Wesley on many occasions including with the Greyboy Allstars many times, with Mike Clark's headhunters, and with Maceo Parker's bands. (By the way, where was Maceo at this show??) I can't believe these guys are 70 yrs old and still throw down the nastiest funk around. Hopefully many more years to come.

NRSingh Wed 9/3/2008 01:40PM
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uhh, neveragain- first off i hope you're joking. Who the hell do you think the biggest influence is on your white jam bands? Black musicians. You make me want to throw up all over my computer.

adventuresinperception starstarstarstarstar Wed 9/3/2008 01:44PM
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this sounds like an awesome event! wouldve loved to have been there...

neveragain420- you are a fucking KOOK. rock and roll and jazz and improvisation are all inventions of the African American community.

Flat5 starstarstarstarstar Wed 9/3/2008 02:59PM
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AJ81 starstarstarstarstar Thu 9/4/2008 08:42PM
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"People people, we got to get over, before we go under."

mreezal Fri 9/12/2008 09:54AM
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that bass player doesnt really look like an "african superstar" but i bet he throws down hard. keep the funk alive!