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The 2nd annual Funk Parade will take place this Saturday, May 2, giving us a funk ton to get excited for. To those unfamiliar with the Funk Parade—yes, it includes a genuine parade, though not the kind with huge balloon figurines and hokey floats. It’s something closer to a New Orleans’ jazz parade, with everyone welcome to bring his or her own instrument and participate in the action. However, the event in full consists of much more than a physical parade of brass instruments and drums blaring down U Street.

Tear the roof off the sucker -George Clinton - Imgur

The event can be broken down into three distinct segments: beginning with a day fair (12-5pm), then the actual parade (5-7pm), followed by the musical festival (7-10pm). There’ll also be an after party show at Howard Theater featuring Lee Fields and legendary D.C. go-go band Trouble Funk. Also, did I mention every show (except for the after party at Howard theater) is totally free?

bootsy collins The music festival alone will showcase approximately 16 different artists playing at over 10 different venues. Here are the shows that we’re especially pumped for:

  • The Crocodiles – DCDIT and Union Kitchen present @ The Lot

So what, The Crocodiles aren’t really a funk band (they’re more like garage rock band); and so what they’re from San Diego, which is about as far away from D.C. you can get in U.S. The Funk Parade is about and for the good people of the District, and the people here sometimes need a bit of distorted guitar.

  • Black Masala @ Solly’s Tavern

Black Masala is the funk choice for someone who’d like to really celebrate what this whole event is really about. That is, to support the local art community by cherishing D.C.’s rich history of producing great funk and soul while embracing our funkin’ future, which, if Black Masala is any indication, it looks pretty damn good.

  • Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang @ Tropicalia

All you need to know about Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang is that their music was released by Luaka Bop. That’s David Byrne’s world music label. Now think to yourself: has David Byrne ever lead me astray? The answer must emphatically be no.

  • Joe Quarterman @ Solly’s Tavern

In the 50’s R&B took over the radio and dance halls. In the 60’s there was the soul explosion. In the 70’s funk prospered thanks in part to Joe Quarterman. The man has been representing for D.C. since the days when it was funk-land, before it was rechristened go-go-land.

  • Congo Sanchez – DCDIT and Union Kitchen present @ The Lot

Most of the topnotch funk music nowadays isn’t purely funk, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. In fact, as Congo Sanchez finely demonstrates, blending it with other groove-based genres like latin jazz and Jamaica root music can produce a very potent funky mixture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_jxzqeyxPg
  • Bonus: Lee Fields and Trouble Funk @ Howard Theater.

C’mon you haven’t paid for a show all day, why not pay for this final funk spectacular? It’s Trouble Funk; it’s Lee Fields! These dudes are motherfunkin’ legends. If you’re having a hard time deciding (why?) just think, what would Bootsy do?

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