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International All-Star Lineup Pays Tribute to a Legend in Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown at the Annenberg Center

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Philadelphia, PA: The Boston Globe calls them “a pancontinental Funk-soul supergroup." All About Jazz proclaims they are simply “explosive." On Sunday, November 20 at 7 PM, the legendary Pee Wee Ellis and an ensemble of international music greats, kick off the 11/12 Annenberg Center African Roots series with Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown. Paying homage to the “Godfather of Soul," this extraordinary lineup featuring Maceo Parker, Vusi Mahlasela and Cheikh Lo, celebrates the points at which African and American music strike sparks off each other, in an innovative, rhythm-fueled tribute to Afro-funk. Tickets start at $20. For tickets or for more information, please visit AnnenbergCenter.org or call 215.898.3900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Annenberg Center Box Office.

Known as “The Man Who Invented Funk," Ellis joined forces with James Brown in 1965, penning the first pure funk hit, Cold Sweat, followed by a musical slew of 26 other singles that define how funk is perceived today. This movement was the renewal of the African in African-American music, making Brown's tunes immensely popular, deeply felt and vastly influential in Africa. Still Black, Still Proud is conceived from the notion of coming full-circle, bringing the African to Brown. Featuring timeless hits such as “I Feel Good" and “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time," this cross-cultural tribute boasts a smorgasbord of arresting rhythms, sounds and vocals backed by the star-studded lineup of funk titan saxophonist Maceo Parker, social-activist South African known simply as “The Voice," Vusi Mahlasela and noted Senegalese artist, Cheikh Lo, whose album Jamm was dubbed “African Album of the Year" (Uncut).

“Since the beat came from Africa, we wanted to bring it back by way of combining funk with some African rhythms," says Ellis of Still Black, Still Proud. The program has been touring since 2008 in the UK, Europe and North America—playing to sold-out audiences and rave reviews.

INSIGHTS

Pre-show chat with the artists:
November 20 at 6 PM—Come early for a discussion with Pee Wee Ellis and Vusi Mahlasela hosted by Tsitsi Jaji, Assistant Professor of English at Penn.

Pre-show performance by African Rhythms:
November 20 at 6:30 PM—Enjoy a pre-show performance in the main lobby by the Penn student group African Rhythms.

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