Dayton, Ohio, was in many ways the epicenter of funk music in the 1970s and 80s. Local funk bands achieving national success include the Ohio Players, Slave, Lakeside, Heatwave, Sun, Zapp, and Faze-O. The Dayton Metro Library celebrates the local roots of funk music with local musicians, teachers and others who will share their experiences and reflect on the era. The free program takes place on Saturday, February 15, 1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium, 215 E. Third Street, downtown Dayton. The short film Dayton, Ohio: The Land of Funk by Adam Greaser will also be shown.
- Dr. John “Turk” Logan was a disc jockey and program director at WDAO Radio who promoted funk music, gave air time to local bands and helped propel them to national success.
- Marshall “Rock” Jones was a founding and long-time member of the Dayton’s first nationally renowned funk band, the Ohio Players. Although they toured the world and gained 14 gold and platinum awards for their music, the Players kept Dayton as their home base and mentored many of the future funk musicians from Dayton.
- Larry Lee was a former student mentored in music at Roosevelt and RothHigh Schools. He played with members of several local funk bands before becoming an NFL player with the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos. After retiring from football, he returned to music and created the band Back in the Day.
- Kweku Ayangade (formerly Donald Sutton), a former music teacher at Roosevelt and Roth High Schools, mentored many of Dayton’s outstanding funk musicians, including Larry Lee who said he was “instrumental in my life”
- Basim Blunt is host of the funk music radio show Behind the Groove on WYSO. He helped train students from Dayton Public School’s Ponitz Career Technology Center to interview artists and musicians in connection with the exhibit Visual Voices: Visions of the Funk at the SchusterCenter. “I hope Dayton will realize that fans from all over the world revere the music that came from this city,” he says.
The library event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library’s External Relations Department at 937-496-8901.