News Releases

National Museum of African American History and Culture to “Bring Back the Funk” During Concert at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Free Concert to Feature George Clinton and Ivan Neville

May 23, 2012

Wondering where the funk has gone? Look no further than this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The National Museum of African American History and Culture will “Bring Back the Funk” with a free concert on the National Mall, Wednesday, June 27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Festival’s performance tent between 12th and 14th streets. “Bring Back the Funk” will open the Folklife Festival’s evening concert series and will take place within view of the future site of the museum.

The free concert will feature music legends George Clinton, Meshell Ndegeocello and Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk. Popular radio personality Tom Joyner will serve as the master of ceremonies.

The funk music genre is a fusion of styles representative of the entire 20th century of music making, culture and thought that continues to speak to generations of Americans. The artists will show how funk music has influenced hip-hop, soul and rock. In between sets, Joyner will talk to performers and museum experts to get their impressions on funk and the impact it has had on music. During the performances, audience members are encouraged to hit the dance floor.

“We are pleased to continue the excitement of our February groundbreaking with another distinctive event where everyone can join in celebration as we move closer toward creating a museum on the National Mall,” said Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director of the museum. “This public concert shows how the museum is ‘real’ even though we do not have a building yet.”

The concert is part of a yearlong series of events celebrating the groundbreaking of the museum. The groundbreaking ceremony took place Feb. 22 on the site of the museum, which is adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The concert also celebrates Black Music Month.

One of the museum’s inaugural exhibitions will be called “Musical Crossroads,” which will tell the story of African American music from the arrival of the first Africans to present day. Additional exhibitions will focus on cultural expressions, entertainment, visual arts and youth. Last year, The Mothership, the iconic stage prop used by Clinton and his group Parliament-Funkadelic, was donated to the museum.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was created in 2003 by an Act of Congress, establishing it as part of the Smithsonian Institution. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the museum will be the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to showcasing African American life, art, history and culture.

For more information about George Clinton visit: http://www.georgeclinton.com/.

For more information about Meshell Ndegeocello visit: http://www.meshell.com/.

For more information about Dumpstaphunk visit: http://www.dumpstaphunk.com/.

For more information about Tom Joyner visit: http://www.blackamericaweb.com/.

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SI-253-2012

Media only
James Gordon
(202) 633-0095;
gordonj@si.edu

Becky Haberacker
(202) 633-5183;
haberackerb@si.edu

Related photos: 

Concert: George Clinton

Photo: William Thoren

Related photos: 

Concert: George Clinton

Photo: William Thoren

Related photos: 

Concert: Meshell Ndegeochello

Photo: Charlie Gross



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