Back for a third year: two nights of music as two of the area’s best music venues team up once again for one great event for Capital Region jazz lovers.
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall lineup on February 24 features The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
February 25 Massry Center for the Arts: Cyrille Aimee & Maceo Parker
Funding Made Possible by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.It’s fairly common knowledge that Maceo has played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as “like being at University”; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; and his ongoing part in Prince’s tours. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher which unravels dance music down to its core.
“Everything’s coming up Maceo,” concluded DownBeat Magazine in a 1991 article at the beginning of Maceo Parker’s solo career. At the time Maceo was a remembered by aficionados of funk music as sideman; appreciated mainly by those in the know. For the last two decades Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career, building a new funk empire; one that is both fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly between James Brown’s 1960’s soul and George Clinton’s 1970’s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop.
Vocalist Cyrille Aimée was primarily raised in France by a French father and Dominican mother. As a curious child in Samois-sur-Seine, she would sneak out of her bedroom window to wander into the nearby gypsy encampments filled with those attending the annual Django Reinhardt Festival.She quickly fell in love with gypsy music and way of life; years later she would sing on street corners with friends while traveling across Europe. While in the midst of one such odyssey, she found herself at the Montreux Jazz Festival, where she won first prize in the vocal competition – which included the financing of her first self-produced album.When Aimée audtioned for the Star Academy (a kind of French American Idol), she became a finalist. Informed she would have to sing only what she was told, her gypsy spirit rebelledand in what was a cause célèbre she walked from the competition.
She now happily tours the world with her band as well as in a duo setting with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo. Aimée’s talents also recently caught the attention of Stephen Sondheim, who cast her in an Encores Special Presentation at New York City’s City Center in November 2013.
The New York Times referred to Aimée’s major label debut in August 2014, as “a bravura turn, presented with a smile.”