Bring Back the Funk–Free Concert, Festival Opening Night

George Clinton performs at a recent concert in Baltimore, Maryland.

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 “Panorama Room” 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 concert is part of a year-long series of events celebrating the groundbreaking of the museum. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on February 22, 2012, on the site of the museum, which is adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The concert also celebrates Black Music Month. “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 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 who are performing 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.

  • L. Phillips

    Awesome, I look forward to being there!!!

  • J. Hill

    Do you need to bring chairs, or are there chairs there?

  • Putty

    Looking forward to getting down wt. the local indigenous populace. Wouldn’t miss this in all the world.

  • James Mayer

    You can bring your own chairs to enjoy the concert; the Panorama Room Stage will have some chairs set up for this concert (but dancing is encouraged, of course).

  • Susie Goodwin Smith

    Plan to attend, don’t want to miss this.
    Class of 71.

  • Milton Noones

    Chairs will be banned, or should be!! Sitting during a funk show is wrong on so many levels!! :)

  • Belle McGee Frye

    I want to be there because my son, Jeff Cherokee Bunn willl be there on
    Bass ‘haven’t seen them in motion since I moved fromBaltimore, in 1982
    I will contact our Ashburton Street Neighborhood, this is better than Powwow. I love you, George Clinton for coming bsk.

  • Juanita

    I hope there’s room for the crowd because I hear the Panorama Room is rather small. I’m going to get there early.

  • Diane Greene

    Sounds like the place to be. George Clinton still bringing the funk. Be there or be square. Can you dig it? Right on.

  • Dusty DJ Steve

    Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip and come on to the Mothership!!

  • LoveDC

    A perfect day, gorgeous weather to be on the Mall with George Clinton, Tom Joyner and everyone else with exceptional taste in all things wonderful. In the words of COOLIO, “It’s all the way LIVE, it’s all the way LIVE…get up peo p l e!”

  • LoveDC

    Lakeside! Lakeside, err on COOLIO!

  • Gerard Moore

    Miss Belle, So you are the mother of the Bun Boys (Tony and Jeff). They are Baltimore legends. We funkateers in Bmore owe you a debt of thanks.May the Gods of funk forever show you favor.