Monday, July 25, 2011

Long Beach Funk Fest Aug. 20

Summer And Music (SAM) has officially announced the line up for its third annual Long Beach Funk Fest (LBFF), which takes place on Saturday, August 20, 2011, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Pine Avenue and the Promenade between Broadway and 3rd Street in Downtown Long Beach.

The caliber of talent at LBFF over the past two years has made this celebration of funk a national player in the summer music derby. This year’s lineup will push LBFF’s reputation into a whole new arena of funk respectability. Live performances include sets by Fred Wesley & the New JB’s, Steve Arrington (formerly of Slave), Zigaboo Modeliste (of the Meters), Ronkat Spearman’s Katdelic, Naked Funk (featuring veteran P-Funk bassist Lige Curry), Delta Nove, The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown and more.

Long Beach Funk Fest—hailed by singer, songwriter, producer and sax-playing icon Jimmy Castor as the “best fest ever,” and called “one of the best gigs of my career” by Dawn Silva, of the Brides of Funkenstein—has transformed Long Beach into a national funk stomping ground over the past two years. This free event, SAM’s biggest showcase of the summer, has brought more than 15,000 funk fans out each year to witness some of history’s most respected funk royalty as they perform live in the streets of Downtown Long Beach.

“Funk Fest is a diverse event that welcomes people to Downtown and shows off the great things Long Beach has to offer,” said Kraig Kojian, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) President and CEO. “The entire series of SAM concerts provides a unique and exciting platform for further involving people in Downtown and bolstering support for our local businesses. We’re proud to be a part of these events and look forward to another great Funk Fest.”

LBFF will feature eight memorable funk performances on two solar-powered stages, numerous DJs, as well as a variety of on-site activities and vendors. In between sets, 21 eclectic DJs will be spinning well into the night. Rickey Vincent, author of Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One, returns to emcee this year’s Funk Fest.

Kids can join in on the “fun(k)” with drumming, face painting, eco-minded arts and crafts activities at the Kid’s Zone of Funkativity, as well as enjoy a showcase with the Lil Big Ups where they can make a rubbabox, which is a handmade string instrument that makes funk and funky sounds. Lil Big Ups is an educational program presented by legendary bass player Lonnie “Meganut” Marshall that teaches kids how to express themselves through music, art and creativity. The day will also be accented by the live painting of local artist group Tinder Box! and various street vendors.

Ric Wilson of the iconic funk band Mandrill, complimented the leadership of LBFF mastermind and Delta Nove member Bobby Easton, and SAM co-founders Justin Hectus and Rand Foster, attesting that LBFF, “will certainly be a special affair for years to come.”

Alternative transportation to the event is encouraged, with several public transit options offered by Long Beach Transit. Long Beach Cyclists will also be offering free bicycle valet parking to folks who commute to the show on bikes.

Showcasing a renewed focus on environmental concerns, all large-scale SAM events will be held on self-contained solar-powered stages. The DLBA and Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA), SAM’s major sponsors, in conjunction with SAM founding members, are partnering with Sustainable Waves, a San Diego/Austin-based all-solar staging, lighting and sound company offering 100 percent pollution-free concerts.

The SAM series features a stockpile of local and regional talent, including Long Beach musicians, writers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers and media professionals, as well as enormous support from local businesses and community organizations. This year, SAM is also fortified by the dedicated efforts of an entire team of event-coordinating music lovers and by a unique partnership with DLBA. It’s truly of the people and for the people.

For more information, call (562) 436-4259 or check out the website:

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