The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, otherwise known as the Jazz Fest, is a huge, 10 day festival that has great food, arts and crafts and, all kinds of music. It is attended by thousands of people each year.
Although it is called the Jazz Fest, jazz music is not the only kind of music at the festival. There are many other types of music from New Orleans heritage. Some of them are; Blues, R & B, Gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, and of course, FUNK!
What is Funk? Funk is normally thought of as the black music that became popular in the 60s and 70s. But if you listen a little more closely, you can hear that it is a mix of many types of music. Especially Blues, Soul, Rock & Roll, Jazz, and a little bit of Gospel.
At the Jazz Fest some of the funkiest musicians that perform almost every year are the Neville Brothers and the Funky Meters! Other than the fact that both bands play Funk, they have one thing in common....Art Neville. He formed both groups.
When Art was still in high school he joined a band called The Hawkettes, and they recorded a song called Mardi Gras Mambo which is still popular today. In fact, it is the Mardi Gras song. Then, a few years later, Art and some friends formed a new band called the Meters.
The band was very popular and its members are considered to be the Founding Fathers of Funk, making music in the sixties that is still popular today. But, in 1979 the band split up. The Meters finally did get back together in 1989 when they performed at the Jazz Fest, but with some new friends, and they have been together ever since. Finally, in 1994 they became the Funky Meters.
During the time that the Meters were split up, Art formed another band with his three brothers, Aaron, Cyril, and Charles. They called themselves The Neville Brothers, and had an original funky sound that was really popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
Both the Funky Meters and The Neville Brothers play around New Orleans and at the Jazz Fest almost every year They are two of the most popular attractions for Funk fans.
If you are a Funk Fanatic, or know someone who is, look these and other cool musicians up at this years Jazz Fest or at www.insideneworleans.com.
MAY THE FUNK BE WITH YOU!
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