*Funk Meisters and Funkateers came from all over Southern California, Northern California and across the United States for a “Funky Good Time” during the 4th Annual Long Beach Funk Festival.
The festival was held on Saturday, August 18th, on Pine Avenue and the Long Beach Promenade. The Sea Funk Brass Band kicked off the festivities with some Brass Band funk, which is extremely popular in New Orleans.
The funk continued with The Bootsy Girls; originally from Chicago, featuring Tamah playing a funky, thumping bass, and her sister, “Guitar Sallye,” displaying some fiery guitar licks throughout their set. They played a rollicking set of original tunes with their back up band, “Something Different.”
Their crowd pleasing set-list featured the tunes, “America,” “Bootsy Girl,” “LA LA Land”-a tune about the city to the north, HOLLYWOOD,”Little Girl,” and “Stand Tall” – a motivating tune for young girls and women. They closed with a re-worded tune entitled, “She Need A Man.” The crowd and I could have enjoyed more of The Bootsy Girls.
The Long Beach Funk Festival had a full schedule of music and activities for the entire family. Music could be enjoyed on two different stages: Stage 2 on Pine Ave and Armadillo, and Stage 1 on the Promenade. We walked back and forth between the stages. Various DJ’s played music all day in keeping with this year’s theme, “Sustaining Our Future Through Funk.” Spankie Valentine is a popular vocalist who was making a return engagement to the funk festival to perform on the Promenade Stage; and Zootzilla brought the funk all the way down from the Bay Area. He was accompanied by Lady Chi on vocals for a tight set on Stage 2 that had the funkateers dancing in the streets. Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk hails from the Crescent City of New Orleans. He also comes from royalty, the Neville Brothers, the first family of R&B and soul of New Orleans. Ivan brought some heavy funk on the Promenade Stage during his afternoon slot. The band tore it up on “Deeper,” “Everybody Wants Sum,” “Sheez Music,” “Fame,” “Put it in the Dumpstaphunk,” and “Do Ya.”
The funk kept getting intense as the day progressed; with funky sets by Monophonics, and Brides of Funkenstein. The funk went global with a set by Brasil Baile Funk, Gisella, DJ Potira and Dennis Coffey and closed with The Family Stone. Rickey Vincent served as Master of Ceremonies.
The Long Beach Funk Festival featured a “Kid’s Zone of Funkativity,” Art, Dance and Vendors on Pine Avenue and the Promenade. Delta Nove hosted the Official After Party and Funk Jam Section at Harvelle’s Long Beach for people who wished to extend their funky outing until early Sunday morning.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer, and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]