The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown, also known as the “Hardest Working Man In Show Business,” left behind a legacy that will be remembered as long as there is music to play. Ever the perfectionist, James Brown led one of the tightest acts ever musically, with the likes of Clyde Stubblefield, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Alfred “Pee Wee” Willis, Fred Thomas, Robert “Mousey” Thompson, and more keeping the rhythm on the good foot over the years. The James Brown Dance Party, led by brothers Adam and Matthew Chase, will pay tribute to Soul Brother Number One this New Year’s Eve once again, performing two shows in one night with an all-star cast of celebrated musicians at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. (More information about the JBDP’s upcoming New Year’s Eve blowout is available on the project’s website).
The rotating lineup of musicians that JBDP boasts at each show consists of former members of The James Brown Band and The JB’s, as well as members of Trey Anastasio Band, Snarky Puppy, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sly & The Family Stone, Vulfpeck, and more. In fact, Clyde Stubblefield, whose influential style of drumming laid the foundation for funk and hip-hop, played one of his final performances with The James Brown Dance Party last New Year’s Eve before passing away on February 18th, 2017.
James Brown Dance Party, New Year’s Eve 2016
A unique aspect of JBDP is bringing together James Brown’s former bandmates with some of the funk, jazz, soul, and jam scenes’ best talent. Together, these legendary musicians, new and old, collaborate on iconic tunes that have inspired generations of musicians globally. Joining JBDP for these two special upcoming NYE shows will be former James Brown Band members Fred Thomas, Mousey Thompson, and Amy Christian. Representing the next generation of funk music and beyond are Jan Rodriguez (Prince), Tony Markellis (TAB), Daru Jones (Jack White), Mark Williams (Kool & The Gang), Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Marcus Machado (Jamie Lidell), Chris Rob (Talib Kweli), and Jamar Woods (The Fritz), plus JBDP founders Matthew and Adam Chase (Jazz Is Phsh).
Outside of Bootsy Collins, for thirty years, Fred Thomas distinguished himself as the bassist that arguably dropped some of the most memorable James Brown bass lines, having been featured on LP’s such as Revolution of the Mind (1971), Get On The Good Food (1972), The Payback (1973), and more. Robert “Mousey” Thompson witnessed the greatness of James Brown in 1966 when he was nine years old at iconic D.C. venue, the Howard Theatre. From that point on, he knew he wanted to be a performer, revealing in a recent interview, “[Brown] comes out and I’m mesmerized. From that day on, that’s what I wanted to do—be an entertainer.” And, sure enough, after a 1993 audition, Thompson became a full member of the family.
With the iconic musicians the group frequently taps for its performances, the project has been charging forward into the future and making history in its own right along the way. In addition to playing the halftime show at Madison Square Garden during New York Knicks games, James Brown Dance Party reunited The Giant Country Horns of Phish fame for the first time in thirty years at last year’s New Year’s performance. There is no doubt this New Year’s will see something just as special occur at Gramercy Theatre, and you’re not going to want to miss out.
JBDP, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks Halftime Show
[via JamesBrown Dance Party]
Tickets for the James Brown Dance Party shows on New Year’s Eve are currently on sale. Purchase tickets for the early show here and tickets for the late show here. Plus, check out the JBDP Facebook event page for additional information and event updates.
The James Brown Dance Party NYE Lineup:
- Fred Thomas (James Brown)
- Mousey Thompson (James Brown)
- Amy Christian (James Brown)
- Jay Rodriguez (Prince)
- Maurice “Mobetta” Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band)
- Mark Williams (Kool & The Gang)
- Marcus Machado (Jamie Lidell)
- James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band)
- Tony Markellis (Trey Anastasio Band)
- Chris Rob (Talib Kweli)
- Adam Chase (The Chase Brothers)
- Matthew Chase (Jazz Is Phsh)
- Jamar Woods (The Fritz)