Dayton Funk All-Stars and Philharmonic to perform together on Saturday to celebrate the city’s musical history
The Dayton Funk All-Stars and a few very special guests will join the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy” at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Saturday November 6th.
The concert is the closing event of the Dayton Funk Symposium which opened on Wednesday at various locations around the city.
“Last week I had my first rehearsal with the Dayton Funk All-Stars,” said DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman. “I went over to them and sat down, so to speak, during their rehearsal and they sound great. I was sort of playing and making sure the arrangements and everything worked out and it was just great because they’re a fabulous band. They really cook.
“The Motown Sounds of Touch sang on a few numbers with us and they sound fabulous,” he continued. “It was a bit loud for my classic tender ears, but I put on my protective earplugs and typed on my small portable keyboard. I’ve never played in a rock band and I never will, so it was a lot of fun.
Today’s funk numbers incorporated elements of jazz, rock, and pop into this filthy brand of R&B. They weren’t just four-man garage groups. The Ohio Players, Sun and other bands had additional brass sections, keyboards and percussion, so much of the material is perfect for a symphonic presentation.
“Some of these funk songs really lend themselves to the orchestra,” Gittleman said. “While they were writing some of these songs, they deliberately created spaces for the brass section, a string section and even the harp in a few places. Once synthesizers started having string patches, in some places those keyboard parts mimicked the sounds of stringed instruments.
The concert features symphonic versions of indelible classics like “Always and Forever” by Heatwave, “Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players and “Fantastic Voyage” by Lakeside. There will also be lesser known songs like “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Platypus and “Wait for Me” by Slave.
“These are basically recreations of the original songs,” Gittleman said. “We have a string orchestra and we have brass, flute and harp, so these songs will sound pretty much like they sounded in the original, but with fuller and deeper accompaniment in the background. Ken Burns is a crackerjack arranger so that will be great.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or by email at [email protected].
HOW TO GET THERE
What: Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Funk All-Stars present “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy”
Or: Schuster Center, Second and Main St., Dayton
When: 8 p.m. Saturday 6 November
Cost: $ 27 to $ 90
More information: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org