March 24 2011
Listen: Although an early Spring of inhospitable weather may not have Milwaukee diving into outdoor activities, before we know it, Summer and our festival season will be upon us remember how busy every weekend can feel in Milwaukee? Amongst the crowded diversity of summer happenings, in order to really stand out, a new festival needs to have a good hook; a concept that speaks directly to an audience, giving them something they've been clamoring for, whether they know it or not.
Last year, when I first heard the name "Community Arts and Funk Festival," my attention was fully captured. Each word in that title, including the conjunction, are very near and dear to me. And as things turn out, the event itself lives up to the quality of its name -- they had a successful first go at it last year and will be putting their second annual event this year on August 27th (read more more about the Community Arts and Funk Festival on their website).
In the run-up to this year's celebration at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, festival director Brad Bernard is curating a series of intergenerational conversations between longtime Milwaukee musicians who are somehow related to the wide-ranging idea of 'funk.' Those videos will be rolled out in the coming months, and in the meantime, we're piggy backing his efforts and giving a bit of a sneak peak of what you can expect.
Our first piece features jazz guitarist and Milwaukee legend Manty Ellis sitting down with longtime rock guitarist Freddie Lee, discussing how fate (and nerves) kept them apart until this interview:
Both guitars are such phenomenal characters and wealths of talent! Come back tomorrow for a post featuring how they got their start as guitarists as well as their favorite all time Milwaukee venues.