Statue honoring funk musician errected


Statue honoring funk musician errected

A statue honoring funk music legend Roger Troutman and the on-going work to revitalize the city’s Salem and Catalpa Gateway was installed Monday.

The metalwork created by Dayton artist Michael Bashaw and commissioned by the Phoenix Project is on the former site of Troutman Recording Studio near the northwest corner of the Salem Avenue and Catalpa Drive.

The dilapidated studio was torn down and transformed about five years ago into one of three parks created near the intersection by the Phoenix Project - a joint effort between Citywide Development Corporation, the City of Dayton and Good Samaritan Hospital.

Jill Hamilton, a Phoenix Project spokeswoman, said $40,000 was raised during a three year period for the statue project dubbed “The Music Lives On.”

The money includes private donations and $10,000 from the The Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.

Organizers hope to set up a scholarship in Troutman’s name and will continue to accept donations through the Dayton Foundation.

The idea for the statue was first suggested by Toledo-born songster Shirley Murdock, Troutman’s prodigy and frequent collaborator, Hamilton said.

“It really is to honor his musical legacy. He still has fans today all around the world,” Hamilton said. “We agreed with Shirley that he was worthy of being honored.”

The statue will officially be dedicated during a ceremony 11 a.m. Nov. 20.

At age 47, Troutman was fatally shot by his brother Larry Troutman during a 1999 murder-suicide.

Born in Hamilton, RogerTroutman revolutionized the use of the talk box with the hit “More Bounce to the Ounce,” by his band Zapp. He is credited with helping put so-called Dayton Funk on the map with hits that include “I Want to Be Your Man” (a solo hit) and “Computer Love,” credited to Zapp & Roger.

Bashaw’s sound sculpture incorporates clock chimes and is named for and tuned to Troutman’s hit “I Can Make You Dance” with Zapp & Roger. In the Triangle Park neighborhood, the statue includes 27 triangles.

“Because I am a musician as well as a sculptor I felt honored when they asked me to create something that paid tribute to Roger Troutman,” Bashaw said. “He was a great musician and producer.”

The statue is the first of two monuments to Dayton Funk to be open this year.

Wright Dunbar Inc in December will open the Land of Funk Museum as part of the Legacy Center being built in the Wright Dunbar Business District.

Dayton resident John Baldasare helped with the statue installation. He said the city’s arts scene has great momentum.

“Funk is a significant part of Dayton’s arts scene,” he said. “It is one of the things Dayton is known for (around the world). It is another example of innovation. There is a lot of energy that is connected to this place.”

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