Dayton Funk All-Stars, Philharmonic celebrate city’s musical history

The Dayton Funk All Stars and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform together Saturday night in the closing concert for the Dayton Funk Symposium. CONTRIBUTED

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The Dayton Funk All Stars and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform together Saturday night in the closing concert for the Dayton Funk Symposium. CONTRIBUTED

The Dayton Funk All-Stars and some very special guests will join Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy” at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 6.

The concert is the closing event for the Dayton Funk Symposium that opened Wednesday at various locations around the city.

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The Dayton Funk All-Stars performed at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton this summer. They'll be joined by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy” on Saturday, Nov. 6. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Funk All-Stars performed at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton this summer. They'll be joined by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy” on Saturday, Nov. 6. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Funk All-Stars performed at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton this summer. They'll be joined by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy” on Saturday, Nov. 6. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“Last week, I had my first rehearsal with the Dayton Funk All-Stars,” said DPO artistic director Neal Gittleman. “I went to them and sat in, so to speak, on their rehearsal and they sound good. I was kind of playing along and making sure the arrangements and everything worked well and that was just a blast because they’re a fabulous band. They really cook.

“The Motown Sounds of Touch was singing on a few numbers with us and they sound fabulous,” he continued. “It was a little loud for my tender classical ears, but I popped in my protective earplugs and banged away on my little portable keyboard. I never got to play in a rock band and I never will so this was a lot of fun.”

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Artistic director Neal Gittleman will be directing the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Funk All-Stars during “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy.” This concert, at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 6, is the closing event of the University of Dayton’s second Dayton Funk Symposium. CONTRIBUTED

Artistic director Neal Gittleman will be directing the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Funk All-Stars during “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy.” This concert, at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 6, is the closing event of the University of Dayton’s second Dayton Funk Symposium. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Artistic director Neal Gittleman will be directing the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Funk All-Stars during “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy.” This concert, at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 6, is the closing event of the University of Dayton’s second Dayton Funk Symposium. CONTRIBUTED

The funk acts of the day were incorporating elements of jazz, rock and pop into this grimy brand of R&B. They weren’t just four-piece garage bands. The Ohio Players, Sun and other groups had horn sections, keyboards and extra percussion so much of the material is perfect for a symphonic presentation.

“Some of these funk songs really do lend themselves nicely to the orchestra,” Gittleman said. “As they were writing some of these songs, they deliberately created spaces for the horn section, for a string section and even harp in a few places. Once synthesizers started having string patches, in some places those keyboards parts imitated the sounds of string instruments.”

The concert features symphonic versions of indelible classics like Heatwave’s “Always and Forever,” “Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players and Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage.” There will also be lesser known songs like “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Platypus and Slave’s “Wait for Me.”

“These are basically recreations of the original songs,” Gittleman said. “We have a string orchestra and we’ve got brass, flute and harp so these songs are going to pretty much sound like they sounded in the original but with a fuller and deeper accompaniment in the background. Ken Burns is crackerjack arranger so it will be great.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.


HOW TO GO

What: Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Funk All-Stars present “Dayton Funk: A Tribute to Dayton’s Funk Legacy”

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6

Cost: $27 to $90

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org

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