Experience funk music with intimate groove Friday in downtown Dayton



Funk music is known for exuberance, flamboyance and musical excess but Dayton Live is taking a more intimate approach with its Funk Unplugged concerts.

The Deron Bell Band is the latest area act to put its spin on the genre with a performance at PNC Arts Annex in Dayton on Friday, Feb. 10.

“I started the series about four years ago and Deron was my co-conspirator in all of that,” said Gary Minyard, vice president of education and engagement for Dayton Live. “He’s been an amazing partner in all of this. We were interested in what it would be like if we took funk music and played it in the Arts Annex. Instead of a full, loud band you’d hear at another show, it would be with more acoustic instruments in a much more intimate space. We’ve had all sorts of success with it. We had Keith Harrison come and other special guests.”

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Friday’s concert features Bell with his group of area musicians.

“Deron’s band has played at one of the other Funk Unplugged shows, but we’ve never featured them,” Minyard said. “That’s what’s really special about this show and I’m happy to do that. Deron is a pro. He’s a talk box expert and he knows all the guys who are part of these bands in town, both historically and today. I’m excited to see what they’ve done with all of their music to change it to a more acoustic style show.”

Dayton Live, which plans to expand the Unplugged concept to gospel and other styles, has added cabaret tables on the floor to offer two unique concert experiences.

“Half of the seats are at the tables and half the seats are in the center risers,” Minyard added. “By doing that, we’re able to create a broader experience for people. If you want to just listen, you can sit in the risers and still enjoy the show. If you want to sit at a table and have a more cabaret experience, you can do that too.”

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Despite the intimate nature of the venue and the unplugged concept, Minyard stresses this isn’t a diluted version of funk.

“It’s not going to be one person on a stool with an acoustic guitar trying to play a fast, thumping funk song,” he said. “It’s still funk music. We get to rearrange things musically to make sure we’re capturing the spirit of the music and the spirit of the space and the room but it’s still a full-on show with a great band.”

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


What: Dayton Live presents Funk Unplugged featuring the Deron Bell Band

Where: PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

When: Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $25-$35

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

Artist info: www.deronbell.com

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