James Brown

Recent Articles

Will Get On Up get it right?

James Brown a/k/a the Godfather of Soul, precursor to Prince, did not lead what you would call a wholesome life. He grew up in a shack dirt poor, lived in a brothel, went to prison at age 16 for robbery, later went to prison again for assault and battery and, throughout his career — despite insisting his band members stay clean — did drugs, abused women and, well, as the expression goes, wasn’t nothin’ nice. On the other hand, his was, it goes without saying, one hell of a career. He was, onstage, on record and over the radio — long before MTV — celebrated, hell, worshipped as the entertainment heart and soul of grassroots Black America at its grittiest. When he released “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” it immediately became the national anthem for a 1960s groundswell that saw increasing urban unrest and hailed Brown as Soul Brother No. Continue Reading →

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New Orleans trumpeter James Andrews at the Cowles Center

This is not your daddy’s New Orleans jazz.  It ain’t even  your granddaddy’s. We’re talking a new, improved take on big band music that picks up where the greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie left off and swings it in a direction that while faithfully anchored in the classic form innovatively  breaks the mold. We’re talking a brilliant trumpet man and spirited singer James Andrews (jamesandrewsmusic.com) who brings his richly original style of Big Easy soul to the Twin Cities’ Cowles Center. Andrews is dubbed the Satchmo of the Ghetto and, indeed, his hero and main influence is the immortal Louis Armstrong. Continue Reading →

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This weekend, it’s jazz-related concerts galore!

Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat makes its debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, April 25 at 8 pm. Critics have described their performance as “a shot of pure adrenalin.” Established in 2008, Red Baraat is an eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. The brainchild of Sunny Jain, the group has been celebrated worldwide for its live performances of original sound — a blending of North Indian bhangra rhythms, New Orleans brass band, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip hop. Sunny Jain is known as a rising star in the jazz world. Continue Reading →

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The re-rebirth of soul

Electric Lady Janelle Monáe delivers
By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
Janelle Monáe’s concert on Tuesday, October 22 at the Skyway Theater, like her music, referenced a legacy of soul that young audiences were eager to witness. The music from her latest contribution, The Electric Lady, like her past works, is thought-provoking and critical, yet funky and cutting edge. Monáe’s music is bringing Afro-futurism to modern-day realities with cleverness, freshness and fun in a musical climate that is in desperate need of her fearless, funky soul. The show was a dynamic unforgettable experience that made it clear she has all of the makings of a musical icon. Monáe is a genius at making music that is complex and entertaining – an impressive pairing in a musical era in which mainstream content is often saturated with lyrics that seem allergic to any real depth or social reflection. Continue Reading →

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