FUNK PARADE ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP Beginning 2019, will be produced by The MusicianShip

FUNK PARADE ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP Beginning 2019, will be produced by The MusicianShip

Photo Courtesy of Ernie Tacsik

WASHINGTON, DC - Starting next year, the Funk Parade will have new leadership and a new home, its founders announced.

In 2019 and going forward, the annual community-based music and arts event, which draws as many as 75,000 attendees annually, will be produced by The MusicianShip DC, a District-based 501(c)3 nonprofit.

“We’re incredibly proud and happy to have worked with artists, organizers, businesses and volunteers from all over the city these past years to create the Funk Parade and secure its place as a pre-eminent music and arts event in the city’s calendar,” said Justin Rood, event Co-founder. “It brings Washingtonians together like no other.”

“We started Funk Parade in large part to elevate, honor and convene the city’s music and arts community under one giant banner,” said Chris Naoum, event Co-founder and director of the music initiative Listen Local First. “We can proudly say Funk Parade is now the greatest one-day extravaganza for musicians and artists in the region. There is no better organization to helm this event than The MusicianShip. Its commitment to fostering and expanding our music community, particularly by reaching out and developing overlooked talents in our city’s at-risk youth, aligns with both Funk Parade’s musical mission and its community mission.”

“We are excited and honored to take the Funk Parade baton and give it a permanent and lasting home with The MusicianShip,” said Jeffery Tribble Jr., the organization’s Executive Director. “The event will allow us to expand our reach and impact in the city, and serve as a multiplier effect for the work we do supporting District youth and musical artists. The community, together with Chris and Justin, have built a truly special thing. We share those values. We look forward to producing this event and helping keep the spirit of funk alive in DC for a long time to come.”

About The MusicianShip DC

The MusicianShip DC was founded by a passionate group of music enthusiasts who view music as a vehicle to change lives. Since its founding, it has garnered the support of internationally recognized musicians, and constantly works to engage people who are willing to serve a dual role as not only music educators, but also as mentors. The MusicianShip seeks to alter the life trajectory of our program participants, thereby creating a more vibrant, educated, empowered, and well-intentioned world. Its after-school and summer programs have reached thousands of DC youth. It has continued to grow its presence in the city with its recent acquisitions of the Washington Youth Choir and the Washington Area Music Awards (The Wammies). For more information, please visit, follow @TheMusicianShip on Twitter, and Like The MusicianShip on Facebook at:

About Funk Parade

Funk Parade honors the power of bringing people together and making them feel all right. That power is embodied in the spirit of funk, and the U Street neighborhood. It began with two people who love Washington, DC, live music, and the U Street neighborhood: Justin Rood, a lifelong DC resident, and Chris Naoum, whose initiative Listen Local First works to promote and build a vibrant local music scene in the Washington area. For more information, please visit, follow @FunkParade on Twitter, or Like the Funk Parade on Facebook at:

Funk Parade Lincoln Showcase and General Festival Wristband ON SALE!!!!

Funk Parade Lincoln Showcase and General Festival Wristband ON SALE!!!!

(Photo Courtesy of Rob Cannon)

WASHINGTON DC  For the first time, Funk Parade is announcing an General Festival Pass and Wristband ($10) to provide priority entrance into selected evening music venues.  Additionally we will be hosting our first ever Featured Showcase at the Historic Lincoln Theatre ($15-20) featuring Ari Lennox, Mannywellz and more.


Ten dollars gets purchasers a FunkPowered General Festival Wristband, which will provide priority entry into the  the festival’s key evening music venues: Tropicalia, DC9, Ben’s Next Door, Franklin Hall, Signature Cuts & Shaves, Sollys, Velvet Lounge, Archipelago, Flash, Local 16, Sotto, Duffy’s, Marvin, Shaw Tavern, Exiles Bar, Bin 1301, Busboys & Poets, Songbyrd Music House (Late Night) and U Street Music Hall (Late Night).

The $10 wristband system is part of an effort to create a more sustainable future for Funk Parade, with a model that can continue to pay artists fairly to be a part of the festival.


Funk Parade has partnered with Eventbrite to sell the passes. To buy yours, Click HERE. They will also be available the day of the event at the Funk Parade Volunteer Tents at the Main Stage and in front of the Lincoln Theater, during the day fair on Saturday May 12 from 1:00pm - 7:00pm


To pick up your wristband, present your Eventbrite receipt at the Funk Parade Volunteer Tents at the Main Stage or the Lincoln Theater, or go to any of the participating venues in the evening starting at 7:00pm.


As part of its Fifth Anniversary  Funk Parade is hosting a Showcase at the Lincoln Theatre featuring Ari Lennox, Mannywellz, Ayes Cold, Underdog, Native Sun and Dreamcast. The show is programmed in association with Trillectro, and made possible with the support of the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities, Chuck Levins Washington Music Center, Events DC, and the Office of the Mayor, among others..

Tickets for the Showcase are $15, $20 day of.  Tickets for the Lincoln Showcase will include General Festival Wristbands. Showcase attendees can obtain their wristbands ONLY  in the lobby Lincoln Theatre. NOTE: The General Music Fest Wristband will not provide entry into the Lincoln Theatre.

To buy your Lincoln Theatre showcase ticket Click HERE.

Volunteer and Get Free Tickets

If you can volunteer in the next two weeks leading up to Funk Parade or the day of, all volunteers will be awarded a Free General Festival Pass.  Be sure to follow Funk Parade on Facebook or Instagram to find out more about volunteer opportunities. Also feel free to sign up to Volunteer HERE


Venues bringing the Funk Parade spirit before and after the Parade include U Street Music Hall, the Howard Theatre and Union Stage. Check out these separately ticketed shows that will make your Funk Parade last a weekend:

Affiliated Separately Ticketed Shows:

Friday May 11th  - separately tickets shows

Bashment DC - Funk Parade Kickoff Show at U Street Music Hall  -

Saturday May 12th - separately tickets shows

Howard Theatre’s True Funk Showcase and Concert for Causes Benefit -

Union Stage Funk Rumble -

In The Groove - FoSho Showcase at Big Chief -


Funk Parade is a one of a kind day fair, parade and music festival in Washington DC’s U Street Neighborhood happening on Saturday May 12th.  Funk Parade celebrates DC's vibrant music and arts and the Spirit of Funk that brings us all together. From our first year in 2014 to now, hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians from all corners of the District have come together for the Funk Parade. We are excited for you to participate, celebrate, and get #FunkPowered.

For Press Inquiries Please Contact:


Mercy Chikowore

(803) 347-6905



We are excited and grateful to announce that the 5th Annual Funk Parade will happen Saturday, May 12, after last-minute fundraising raised over $60,000 in just a few weeks.

On March 6 we announced the event was unlikely to  take place because of a massive budget shortfall.

“Funk Parade has always been an event by and for the people of the city to celebrate what we love about D.C.,” said event co-founder Justin Rood. “Everyone who enjoys this event is grateful to Mayor Bowser, to the hundreds of individual donors and the dozens of local businesses who are making this possible.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged an additional $25,000, which organizers said was essential to make the event happen this year. Residents have given over $20,000 in crowdfunding support the event, as well.  Sponsorships from local businesses including Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, plus a commitment from the ridesharing service Uber, made up the rest.

“We are bringing the funk,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The Funk Parade is a staple of our community, exemplifies the creative passion that exists across all eight wards, and we are proud to support it.”

Including this commitment from Mayor Bowser, this year's event has received support from Events DC and city agencies including DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment.

“As the face of conventions, sports, entertainment and cultural events within the nation’s capital, Events DC is proud to support the Funk Parade and all the homegrown musicians who use this platform to showcase their talent,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, Events DC president and chief executive officer. “Supporting the Funk Parade as well as the many signature festivals within our nation’s capital support Events DC’s mission to enhance our diverse creative economy, foster our entertainment scene and promote talented artists across the many iconic venues within the District.”

As in past years, 2018’s event will feature not only the mighty Funk Parade but also a Day Fair of free performances throughout the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods. An evening music festival in over a dozen venues will follow, along with a ticketed showcase concert at the historic Lincoln Theater on U Street, featuring some of the best music talent in the District.

More announcements, including lineups, ticketing and more, will be made soon.

photo courtesy of Kevin Wolf.

Chuck Levin's Steps in to Help Save Funk Parade

Chuck Levin's Steps in to Help Save Funk Parade

Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center, the independent music and equipment retail giant which has called the DC area home for 60 years, has pledged to match new crowdfunding contributions to save the DC Funk Parade. The campaign can be found at

Funk Parade organizers announced last week that without an infusion of at least $60,000, the event was unlikely to take place this year, the event's fifth. The annual Funk Parade and festival brings over 70,000 people to the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods for a day and night of music from dozens of the city's best musicians and artists.

Past Funk Parade performers have included legendary groups like Rare Essence, Backyard Band, Junkyard Band, Trouble Funk, Malcolm X Drummers and the Sun Ra Arkestra; rising DC stars like Reesa Renee, Aaron Abernathy, Drew Kid, Cautious Clay, FootsXColes, Aztec Sun and Alex Vaughn; local favorites Kokayi, Funk Ark, Fort Knox Five, Wes Felton, Congo Sanchez, UCB, Asheru, Baby Bry Bry, Brass Connection, Black Masala, and Empresarios; and sounds and artists from around the world, including Janka Nabay (Sierra Leone), People's Champs, Sinkane, Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Jouwala Collective, Cheick Hamala Diabate (Mali), All the Best Kids, and Elikeh. The parade has featured marching bands from around the city, like Ballou, Eastern, and Duke Ellington High Schools, joined by marching bands from New York to North Carolina, and DC’s own Batala drummers.

"The Funk Parade represents the heart of DC's music culture and the soul of the city that's been part of our existence for the past 60 years," said Adam Levin, grandson of founders Chuck and Marge Levin. “Chuck’s” has helped produce Funk Parade since its inception, providing support and equipment. "When we saw it was in jeopardy we wanted to jump in and see what else we could do. This is the most impactful thing DC has to celebrate the amazing music and arts that are born out of this city. It has to go on."

Launched last Wednesday, the Funk Parade crowdfunding campaign had raised over $10,000 by Sunday, still short of the amount needed to produce the parade. Chuck Levin's has promised organizers it will match new contributions the campaign receives to ensure the Funk continues.

"For this event to survive, DC's business community needs to step up and save it," said Funk Parade co-founder Justin Rood. "Chuck Levin's pledge shows it can be done. If Funk Parade survives, it will be because of their generosity. We're incredibly thankful for their support, and urgently hope others will follow their lead."

About Funk Parade

Funk Parade is the District's largest volunteer-organized celebration of music, arts and culture. Founded in 2013, the event is produced by a collaborative network of over 200 arts and community groups, churches, youth organizations and nonprofits. It's supported largely by contributions and in-kind donations from individuals and local businesses, as well as grants from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. The event is produced by All One City, a District-based 501(c)3 nonprofit working to improve civic engagement through arts and culture. Donations are tax deductible and can be made through the YouCaring crowdfunding platform. For more information about Funk Parade visit the event website at  More information about All One City can be found at the website

About Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center

Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center is a family-owned and operated music instrument and equipment store located in Wheaton, MD. It is one of the largest single-location musical instrument stores in the United States and the largest servicing the Washington D.C. Metro Area. The company has deep roots within the D.C.  Metro Music Community, dating back to 1958 when they got their start at 12th and H St. NE. Chuck's continues to support music both locally and globally. It celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018 and its commitment to music and its customers has never been stronger. For more information, visit

Funk Parade Recap, Extended Giving Campaign and Funk Parade Feedback

Photo by John Sonderman

Photo by John Sonderman

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Huge Thanks to all of the attendees, local music fans, DC Lovers, artists, local businesses, community stakeholder and sponsors who made Funk Parade 2017 a success.  This event succeeds year after year because of your support and desire to come out and spend a day dancing and singing with friends and strangers.  

For a little #TBT feel free to check out some of the amazing photos, stories and videos our community members and volunteers shot during the day last Saturday.

Be sure to check out DCFunkParade on Instagram and our Funk Parade Facebook Page for up to date stories and photos but also check out the hashtags #Funkparade #DCFunkparade #Funkparade2017 and #FutureFunk to see what everyone else has been posting!

Also check out the 2017 Funk Parade Flickr Pool - Also if you are a photographer and have high quality photos that you want to share to the pool please go to

Additional Fun Stories Write Ups and Photos

Some Funky Videos (If you've got more please let us know)

The Future of Funk and Giving

This year was a turning point for the festival.  You all showed us that even in the rain and cold the community is going to come out for the Funk!  That means planning for 2018 starts now!  Making sure we can raise enough funds to keep Funk Parade Free and oOpen to everyone also starts now.  There is no better time.  

If you helped out and donated during the year and at the festival, thank you!  If you have not had a chance to give a small donation, you are in luck.  We have decided to keep our Community Giving Campaign open for the next couple of months!  If you can make a contribution please do.

If you still want to GIVE -

Future Funk Volunteer

If you loved what you saw and want to get involved early please email us at (subject line VOLUNTEER) and let us know how you want to help!

Future Funk Feedback?

We created a little survey and we would love to have you all fill it out.  Please share your favorite moments with us and let us know how we can make Funk Parade better in the Future!

Future Funk Subscriber

Also Please Sign up for our mailing list so we can get you updates about all of the Funk Parade activities and community meetings happening throughout the year.  Visit to sign up today!

Announcing The Funk Parade App

Saturday May 6th will be a day filled with music, dance, loving your neighbors and of course #futurefunk.  Before you prepare to navigate the 30+ stages, 120 performances and multiple unique art and tech activations there is one thing everyone must do.  Download the Funk Parade App.

With the help of the stellar team of designers and developers at Deloitte Digital we are proud to announce the ONE app you will need to navigate DC's largest collaborative festival and parade.  Now festival goers have a simple way to figure out who is playing where and when, while also discovering new and talented up and coming local artists at the same time.

iOS -

Google Play -

App Features Include:

• Schedule of Events—see who’s playing and when

• Map—follow the parade route and locate stages

• Explore Artists—get to know and connect with artists

• Featured Playlist—listen and discover over 60 tracks from the performing artists


More on the Playlist:  You can check out a link to the official Funk Parade Playlist featuring a majority of the bands performing day of.


There are 30 different performance areas at Funk Parade to listen to music and dance -- and also a drum building workshop for kids, a Go Go Master Class, an interactive Tilt Brush VR Experience, Pop-Up Projection Mapping, evening dance parties, a free class on the History of Art and Afrofuturism, and a costume building lounge?

2017 FUNK PARADE: THE FUTURE IS ALMOST HERE Activations, Lineup, and More Future Funk Announced

WASHINGTON D.C. [April 18, 2017] Funk Parade is Saturday May 6 - and this year it's bringing the future with it.


Honoring the 2017 theme of Future Funk, this year’s attendees will also get to experience 3D projection art above the city streets, a virtual reality laboratory, a Future Funk Costume Army, an Intergalactic Inter-generation Station and so much more.

Sound overwhelming?  A new app, designed from the ground up by a volunteer team at Deloitte Digital, should help.  The app (for iPhone and Android) will help festival-goers figure out who is playing where and when and allow them to listen to the music of local artists before the festival. The app is due to be released in the next week.

"The future of this city is creative, it's inclusive, it's innovative," said event co-founder Justin Rood. "Funk Parade celebrates not only what this city has been, but what it can be if we come together."

The Festival will feature activations including:

And more, to be announced in the next week along with the individual stage and venue lineups.  

“Music festivals across the country have become sterile, corporate and repetitive.  The flavor and the feel of each of these locations and meaningful interactions and connections made between concert goers has been lost,” says Chris Naoum, founder of Listen Local First and co-founder of Funk Parade.  

Funk Parade is a wholly unique experience, Naoum said -- collaboratively planned, funded and executed by over 200 local businesses, community groups, programming partners, art collaboratives and more.  “Funk Parade connects people, musicians and art from across all eight wards of this city, in a neighborhood that’s synonymous with DC’s musical heritage. It builds a bond between festival goers, the artists and the city.”

The 2017 Festival will feature 20 different stages with over 100 musicians and dance performances in a ten hour period.  The Day Fair happens from 12:00 - 7:00pm, The Parade from 3:00pm - 4:00pm and the evening part of the Music Festival from 7:00pm - Late Night.

Attendees can expect amazing performances from Backyard Band, Sinkane, Pebble and Pearl, UCB to Alex Vaughn, from talented upstarts like D’Jon to staple Funkateers like Clones of Funk.  

At the core of this year’s event is the annual Funk Parade, a community procession from the historic Howard Theatre to the historic Lincoln Theater.  If you have great costume idea, tell all of your friends, make them join you,  and head down to U Street at 3pm. If you have a dusty old trombone, polish it off and bring it out to the festival.  If you want to create a non motorized rolling spaceship or time machine and roll it down the parade route with a battery powered speaker DO IT!  If you have any questions email us at

Finally, the event is always seeking volunteers. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the event can sign up HERE.


Funk Parade is a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade and music festival, celebrating Washington DC's vibrant music and arts, the U Street neighborhood, and the Spirit of Funk that brings us all together. It is produced by All One City, a District-based 501c3, and is organized by an all-volunteer team.

Check out a recap of last year’s Funk Parade!

Have you donated to the 2017 Funk Parade Fan Fundraising Campaign? All funds go directly to the cost of producing this year’s event:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Flickr


Happy Funk Friday! One Month Left Till Funk Parade

Happy Funk Friday! One Month Left Till Funk Parade


Funk Parade 2017 Promo Mix
by Qdup - April 2017

Qdup is back with a promo mix for the fourth annual DC Funk Parade for 2017! This time, it’s filled with Future Funk, which happens to be this years Funk Parade theme. It will make you feel like the mother ship has just landed in your back yard for a Barbeque! The mix features the forthcoming Qdup single “Get Up feat Jerome Joyce” which will be released on Washington DC’s, Fort Knox Recordings in June 2017. The 2017 DC Funk Parade goes down on Saturday May 6th in the U-Street Corridor. Come get down with the Fort Knox Family as we bring the funk to U-Street Music Hall for our annual Funk Parade Party!

Fort Knox Recordings and U-Street Music Hall Presents: Saturday May 6th

  • Fort Knox Five & Qdup (Four Deck DJ Set)
  • Empresarios (Live Band)
  • Black Masala(Live Band)

2017 Funk Parade QDup Funk Mix


1. K+Lab & Alias ft The Mic Smith - Mothership ReEntry

2. Tom Booze - Put You Down ft. Kymberley Kennedy

3. GRiZ - PS GFY (feat. Cherub)

4. Stickybuds & K+Lab - Clap Ya Hands Now feat KWADI Original Mix

5. The Noisy Freaks & Wicked City - Get Down

6. Qdup - Joyride ft. EVeryman (Original Mix)

7. Qdup - Funk Over Here

8. A.Skillz - 7 Day Weekend (Original Mix)

9. Bruno Mars - Two Four K Magic (Casual Connection Rework)

10. Kendrick Lamar - King Kunta (Bobby C Sound TV remix)

11. K+lab - Pull up feat. Melodownz & Mustafa Akbar 

12. Qdup - Get Up ft. Jerome Joyce

13. Father Funk - L-I-V-I-N

14. Slynk - Just Rock Don't Stop 

15. Timothy Wisdom - Bad Mother


Keep up with Qdup online-

THE 2017 FUNK PARADE KICKS OFF  Headliners Announced, Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

THE 2017 FUNK PARADE KICKS OFF Headliners Announced, Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

For More Information, Contact:

Christina Miller

(202) 495-0869

WASHINGTON, DC [March 21, 2017] – Funk Parade organizers announced details for this year’s Funk Parade occurring on Saturday, May 6, 2017, as well as its annual crowdfunding campaign. This year’s theme is Future Funk, to celebrate the installation of Parliament’s Mothership at the Smithsonian, the Afrofuturism movement, and the emergence of promising talents in DC’s music scene.

“We’re at a decision point in this city, we get to decide what we want to be,” said Funk Parade co-founder Justin Rood. “What’s the future we can make together? What can we build with love? What’s it going to look like? That’s what we’re exploring this year.”

With its crowdfunding campaign, Funk Parade needs to raise $15,000 from community members and local businesses.  The link to give is:

As one of the city’s biggest community-based cultural events, organized by the community, this campaign is crucial to the its bottom line. You don’t need a ticket to come to the parade, the day fair or the music festival. If you want to support this event, this is how you do it. Perks for giving include T-shirts, infant onesies, stickers, buttons, posters and more. It runs for three weeks.

Featuring nearly 100 local acts at over 30 performance areas and venues, Funk Parade has proven to be a powerful way for audiences to find new artists and vice versa. “A lot of festivals are about giving you a chance to see an artist play a song live you’ve heard on the radio a million times,” said Chris Naoum of Listen Local First, the event’s other co-founder. “Funk Parade is about giving you a chance to discover amazing music from your own neighborhoods, made by people who walk the same streets. It changes the way you see - and hear - the city.”

The 2017 line-up is the best yet. Headliners are Backyard Band, Sun Ra Arkestra, and Sinkane, and they’ll be joined by rising stars like Nag Champa, Champion Sounds, Dior Ashley Brown and The dAb Band, Julie Outrage as well as favorites like Clones of Funk, Pebble to Pearl, Mokoomba, and Aztec Sun. The full line up with all of the amazing day time performances, parade participants, evening shows and activations will be announced in the coming weeks.  

This year’s parade route and individual space line-ups in the U Street area will be forthcoming.


#  #  #

About Funk Parade

Funk Parade honors the power of bringing people together and making them feel all right. That power is embodied in the spirit of funk, and the U Street neighborhood. It began with two people who love Washington, DC, live music, and the U Street neighborhood: Justin Rood, a lifelong DC resident, and Chris Naoum, whose initiative Listen Local First works to promote and build a vibrant local music scene in the Washington area. For more information, go to, follow @FunkParade on Twitter, or Like the Funk Parade Facebook page:



On Thursday March 16th, Funk Parade is hosting the 4th Annual Kickoff Jam at Tropicalia starting at 7pm.  

Reesa Renee, Joe Keys and The Late Bloomer Band and Alex Vaughn will perform along with dancers from KAZAXE by Azuka Bom and other special guests. The event will also feature a lip sync battle, giveaways and other surprises.

The event kicks off Funk Parade 2017 season, which will culminate with Funk Parade 2017 on Saturday, May 6.   In addition to the live performances organizers will:

  • Announce the music and art lineup for the May festival
  • Release the 2017 poster

  • Kick off the Funk Parade 2017 crowdfunding campaign

The theme for Funk Parade 2017 is Future Funk. From the futuristic prophecies of Sun Ra to the intergalactic funk of George Clinton and the far out sounds of local bands like Nag Champa and Joe Keyes, The Future and The Funk have gone hand in hand.    In an unsettling present, organizers want Funk Parade to be one day out of the year where Washingtonians can come together and project a future we all want to be a part of.  

The Future Funk theme will be transmitting itself throughout the Kickoff Jam and we encourage friends, fans and community groups to embrace your inner motherships and time machines to create something awesome to bring to the festival.  

Kickoff Jam Details:

Thursday March 16th 7pm - 10pm

Tropicalia DC (1402 U St NW)

Tickets: $15 pre sale, $20 at the door.

Performances Include:

Alex Vaughn

Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band

Reesa Renee and Friends

Kazaxe by Azuka Bom

Funk Parade Lip Synch Battles

And so much more…

See Facebook Page for Additional Info:

For More Info please email either or

2017 Kickoff Poster

Fort Knox Five Releases Don't Go feat. Joe Quarterman

WASHINGTON, DC [May 2, 2016] – Washington, DC native Joe Quarterman had his first hit in 1973, an instant funk classic that was part of the capital city’s red hot 70s funk scene. “So Much Trouble On My Mind” is a party rocking anthem still being sampled and played over 40 years later. Fort Knox Five recently got Quarterman back in the studio to record a new song, the stripped down funk banger “Don’t Go.”

Over the past 13 years Fort Knox Five have been producing original funk music in Washington, DC, giving credit to DC legends like Joe

Quarterman and Chuck Brown. Through the DC Funk Parade festival the two artists were linked up, a fusion years in the making. Having worked with legends like Afrika Bambaataa and others, Fort Knox Five are deeply honored to be working with Sir Joe Quarterman.

The result of this collaboration is a modern funk anthem that will put the glide in your stride, just as long as you “Don’t Go”! Quarter man drops in with a classic funk delivery, complete with James Brown vocal stylings. He really belts it out, saying “This funk will set you free, this funk is as good as can be.” Sir Joe’s upbeat flow is perfect for the dance floor sensibilities of Fort Knox Five, who incorporated their own live elements into the mix. Pulling out all the stops, FK5’s own Steve Raskin is on live bass, Rob Myer drops some seriously funky wah-wah guitars and incorporates a full horn section, complete with DC’s own Frank Mitchell, Jr. on saxophone.

Spanning time and generations of music, this tune captures the vibe of DC’s classic funk sound and merges it with the future funk sensibilities of Fort Knox Five. Inspired by the DC Funk Parade, this song is being released to commemorate the third annual parade this year. A slice of DC through and through, combining styles and influences across the decades, “Don’t Go” is sure to get your hands clapping and your booty shaking!

Funk Parade, Deloitte Digital Introduce “Boombox” App

WASHINGTON, DC [May 2, 2016] – Funk Parade, Deloitte Digital, and Alex Braden have partnered up and announced the joint release of “Boombox,” an innovative free iPhone app that syncs users’ phones into a powerful funk-driven marching band.


The project was a collaboration among Funk Parade, a volunteer team of developers and designers at Deloitte Digital, and DC-based composer and sound artist Alex Braden.  The Funk Parade takes place on Saturday, May 7th in the U Street and Shaw neighborhoods.


The concept for the app was inspired by a void in last year’s parade, according to co-founder, Chris Naoum. “While the festival was amazing I felt that there were large portions of the parade that did not have enough music.  Maybe this was because not everyone can play an instrument and every person with an individual speaker playing their own music would sound crazy.”  With that thought in mind, Chris connected with local DC artist Alex Braden.  Their goal was to engage a larger portion of the crowd to “put the music in their hands and make them (the crowd) part of the creative fabric of the parade”


That’s when the Funk Parade team partnered with a group of developers at Deloitte Digital. The concept was a mobile app that is free, simple and would connect parade participants through music. The app consists of eight unique boomboxes, each playing a unique section of Braden’s composition, with visuals designed by Deloitte Digital artists.  All of the tracks automatically synch up with each other and any combination of tracks played at the same time will create a unique and funky jam. A pair of users can cycle through the eight combinations of instruments, “remixing” the composition as they like; and eight or more users could collaborate to enjoy the entire mix of instruments and funk.


This year’s Funk Parade will feature a  “Boombox Walk” allowing everyone to participate. All you need is the Funk Parade Mobile app and your app will sync with everyone else in the parade to create one awesome soundtrack, with each mobile device representing a unique section of the Boombox Walk Band. Just download the app, bring a speaker if you have one, and meet at the parade starting point at the Howard Theater at 3:30 PM on May 7th.


“Engaging attendees in the day’s experiences has always been central to the event,” said Justin Rood, Funk Parade co-founder. “This isn’t a spectacle to watch, it’s a celebration to join.” The parade is participatory, and all are encouraged to join in,” says Rood. “Bring your funk and put it all out on the street. It’s what the Funk Parade is all about.”


Download the app:


How do you use this App – check out Grammy nominated artist Kokayi and Cherry Blossom Creative Owner Torie test out the app.


About Deloitte Digital

Deloitte Digital is creating a new model for a new age—we’re a creative digital consultancy. That means we bring together all the creative and technology capabilities, business acumen, and industry insight needed to help transform our clients’ businesses. With our end-to-end capabilities, clients can bring us their biggest challenges, knowing we’ve got what it takes to bring a new business vision to life with digital. 


About Alex Braden

Alex Braden is a DC-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, and sound artist. His fine art practice often focuses on interactive, multi-timbral sound installations, which he has exhibited both locally and nationally. Alex is a founding member of the DC-based public art initiative, Zerozero Collective. He records and performs with rising indie-pop starlets The El Mansouris, and tours nationally with Young Rapids.

Art Activations Connect Place, Space, History, and Future on DC’S U Street for the 2016 Funk Parade

WASHINGTON, DC [April 25, 2016] – The Funk Parade is a one-of-a-kind day fair, parade, and music festival in Washington DC's U Street neighborhood. This year, it will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016, and will present new art installations and activations that engage participants with the social, historic, and cultural fabric of the city.

“The city is at a turning point in so many ways, and Funk Parade brought together artists, musicians, and technologists to explore that,” said Justin Rood, the event’s co-founder. “These artists have created amazing projects which bring together the city’s past and future, bring together its sounds, and bring the residents themselves together in new ways.”
Birth of a City” is curated and choreographed rollerskating activation and performance by DC artist Holly Bass, honoring the art form and pastime which saw its heyday in the 1970s and early 80s, as the city of DC gained home rule.  

"Roller skating is just as much a part of DC culture as Hand Dancing and going to the Go-Go," says Bass. "In the 70s and 80s, people would grab their skates and meet at the many roller rinks around the city. The rinks are gone, but the skaters are still doing their thing in Anacostia and out in Maryland. Hosting the skate jam and and aftershow is our way of shining a light on the amazing talent of style skaters in the city."

For the Funk Parade, Bass has organized is a public skate jam from 12pm-3:30pm at Harrison Recreation Center in the basketball court area. Then from 5pm-7pm, there will be professional dance skate performances and alternating DJ sets at the African American Civil War Memorial. The project was supported by the DC Office of Planning.

Oral Histories/Oral Futures” consists of an array of telephone ­booth-like enclosures in public areas throughout the U Street neighborhood. Each booth contains a phone which will “dial up” an oral history from the neighborhood, or a story about a possible future. The project is a collaboration by several DC-based artists: Oral histories are curated by local artist Seshat Walker from the DC Public Library’s extensive archive of oral histories about the U Street neighborhood. “Oral futures” are gathered by Erik Moe and the Future Cartographic Society project. The booths and technology will be built by DC sound artist, composer, and technologist Alex Braden, repurposing decommissioned pay phones.

After traveling the route and hearing the different stories, participants are asked to consider: what would you tell the past? What would you tell the future? One special booth records short messages from Funk Parade participants themselves. Following the event, a collection of the recordings will be posted on the Funk Parade website, and copies will be given to the DC Public Library’s Funk Parade Archives. This project was also supported by the DC Office of Planning.

Sounds of the City” is a collaborative, city-wide composition project, curated by artist and producer Kokayi. By submitting soundbites of streetscapes, residents helped Kokayi create an audio portrait of a changing city.  The project, a sonic experiment in creative placemaking, was supported by the DC Office of Planning.

“What sounds make you think of DC? Your Metro driver’s announcements, your orchestra warming up, the brass band outside your office, a motorcade passing by? What is the song this city makes?” asked Justin Rood, Funk Parade co-founder.

The project resulted in a “four-part audio soundscape that tells a story about urban change and the sharp contrasts that define many Washington neighborhoods,” as WAMU’s Ally Schweitzer described it. The project has been released online here:

The Funk Parade “Boombox” is an app-based participatory parade band, a collaboration of Funk Parade, a volunteer team of designers at Deloitte Digital, and DC sound artist and composer Alex Braden. The Boombox Brigade is driven by an iPhone app that syncs nearby users into a brigade of funk music.

Anyone with an iPhone can participate: download the app, select a boombox playing a single sound, and you will be synced with other app users nearby who are each playing their own sound. To join the Boombox Brigade, download the app and meet at the parade starting point at the Howard Theater at 4 PM on May 7. The result will be a massive musical collaboration down the streets of Washington, DC for Funk Parade!

The Funk Parade celebrates DC's vibrant music and arts, the U Street neighborhood, and the spirit of funk that brings people together. In 2014, over 25,000 Washingtonians participated in the first-ever DC Funk Parade. In 2015, more than 50,000 from all corners of the District came together for the second Funk Parade. This year over 75,000 people are expected.

“Engaging attendees in the day’s experiences has always been central to the event,” said Justin Rood, Funk Parade co-founder. “This isn’t a spectacle to watch, it’s a celebration to join.” The parade is participatory, and all are encouraged to join in, says Rood. “Bring your funk and put it all out on the street. It’s what Funk Parade is all about.”

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For Immediate Release:

Sarah Massey

202 445-1169

Faith Flanagan

202 744-8770


WASHINGTON, DC [April 20, 2016] – The Sounds of the City Project was funded by a grant from the DC Office of Planning.  The project called for DC residents to record sound from around the city that reminded them of DC. (insert website link)  Over the course of 3 weeks we collected sound bites and recordings from DC residents and Wards all over the city.  Once the sounds were captured we asked Grammy Nominated Local Artist Kokayi to take the sound and incorporate them into a song.  To read more about the project click (add link to Bandwidth Article)

To listen and find out more about the individual tracks see below...

Soawesome - SE



Sounds: NewRecording 5 - 2008 5th Street Band Practice – Farragut Walk

William McKenna - Courtyard Birds - Summer Bells - CopterPass

Inspiration: The vocal sample is being manipulated to say that "this is a test of a city". I wanted to illustrate how SE has always received negative media coverage without people actually knowing the tony estates of Hillcrest and that the underlying tone is that the city is going through changes.

SolidGold Waterfront - SW



Sounds: Walking and singing, Motorcycle, William McKenna-Walk home to shaw 1, 7th and U, 8th and U, Demolition on 15th,  Kelli Anderson-Anacostia, Birds, Bus

Inspiration: I was thinking about the waterfront that is being built and how crazy it will be after development and how that would effect the landscape in the same manner that the Navy Yard development has in both positive and negative ways. I heard the motorcycle sound and processed it through a couple of effects units and it made a cool moombahton rhythm, Dave Nada the genre's creator is from here. So it's an homage to Dave and that movement in a way.


Gentry & the Ebon Road - NW



Sounds: Go-go Beats Florida and 7th, Bach, Violin Player at McPhereson, Greg Svitil-House Flipping, William McKenna Walk home to Shaw 2 and 3, 17th street Diners, Foreigners.

Inspiration: Black Broadway (the Ebon Road). The song begins with the sound from the corner of 7th and U and slowly distorts as a representation of the reconstruction and gentrification of U Street.. The sounds meld into street conversations; a father and daughter speaking and then move into chaotic counter melodies and distorted sounds to represent the disenfranchisement of the legacy of U street. In the distance there is the pulsating sound of what was labeled" house flipping" in the submitted sounds it's a 15 minute file. I felt that it was all to apropos. The song also speaks to the hope that out of this melange comes new lives and new energies.


Dreams Deterred



Sounds: Elvert Barns – Drum Circle Meridian Hill, Deanwood Nature, William McKenna – Walk to Auntie Beeb 03.

Inspiration: The recent crimes at Deanwood Metro starkly contrast the peace of nature that exists 

in Deanwood. I thought about the mosque on Kenilworth Ave and the green space, the birds, lilies and wildlife at the Aquatic Garden, the traffic of Eastern Avenue all adding to the pulse of life that exists in that area and the loss of life that happened there. I wanted this song to reflect the resiliency of a neighborhood that intent on peace and making life peaceful. This is reflected in the heart monitor sound and the increase of its rhythm throughout.


WAMU Bandwidth's take on the Sounds of the City project: What Does D.C. Sound Like? Listen To Kokayi’s Washington Soundscape

"Funk Parade 2016 Mix" by Qdup

WASHINGTON, DC [April 16, 2016] – Would DCMD be into writing up a featurette on this tomorrow? We aren't doing a broad release, was hoping you all could do a piece we could post all over the place.


Every year the DJ Qdup produces a special mix for Funk Parade, featuring PSAs from local artists performing in the event. This year's mix features shoutouts from Rare Essence, Kokayi, Rufus Roundtree, Mustafa Akbar, Empresarios & Congo Sanchez.


This year there's a special treat - local 70s soul legend Joe Quarterman recorded a new song with DC's Fort Knox Five, "Don't Go," and the song is in the mix.  Neat example of new/old DC coming together.

The Funk Parade returns to the U Street Corridor of Washington, DC on Saturday May 7th, 2016. The third annual Funk Parade will be the biggest and best yet, and Qdup has put together an awesome mix to get you ready to ROLL YOUR FUNK! It includes a premier of the forthcoming Fort Knox Five tune “Don’t Go featuring Joe Quarterman”, a brand new tune made in the spirit of the Funk Parade by two of DC's finest. Be sure to listen carefully for some funky Public Service Announcements from Rare Essence, Kokayi, Rufus Roundtree, Mustafa Akbar, Empresarios & Congo Sanchez throughout the mix. Turn this one up loud, put it on repeat and get down on it!!!


Streaming now on Mixcloud:


Mixcloud Widget Code:

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1. Parliament - Chocolate City (Chuck Wild's Bronco Drama Mix)

2. The Ohio Players - Fire (The Gaff Remix)

3. J.S. Theracon - Buckets O' Duckats (DJ Slynk Remix)

4. Kool & The Gang - Get Down On It (DJ Dub:ra Remix)

5. Zapp & Roger - So Ruff So Tuff (Dr Packer Rework)

6. Tuxedo - Number One

7. Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park (Onur Engin Edit)

8. A.Skillz - You Got The Love (A.Skillz Moment of My Life Edit)

9. DJ Agent 86 - Saturday Vibrations

10. Fort Knox Five - Don't Go ft. Joe Quarterman

11. Rory Hoy feat. Ashley Slater - Hey Everybody! (Dr Bone Remix)

12. Warson - Soul Train

13. Lakeside - Fantastic Voyage (Qdup's Funk Parade 2016 Party Break Edit)

14. Afrika Bambaataa - We Funk This Party Out ft. Grandmaster Flash, Mele Mel & Kurtis Blow (Qdup & AGFA Remix)

15. A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Gimme The Breaks ft. Kurtis Blow

16. Rare Essence - Body Move


Go Go, Funk, Black Broadway, Drumming and Vinyl: a lecture and experiential learning sequence to get you pumped for Funk Parade.

WASHINGTON, DC [April 14, 2016] – Funk Parade is excited to announce a collaboration with Knowledge Commons DC to present our first set of community educational seminars and lectures.

Sure you can dance and listen to music at the Funk Parade Festival, but there are so many stakeholders, experts, and community members that work extremely hard to help make this festival happen. Some of those stakeholders are professors, educators, authors, and artists with a depth of knowledge about U Street, the District of Columbia and DC Music. Funk Parade called upon some of these amazing stakeholders to share their stories and knowledge with the public and we partnered with Knowledge Commons to present FOUR unique workshop, lectures and panels happening from April 24nd ­ May 5th in the lead up to this year Funk Parade on May 7th.

Interested participants and attendees can register to attend the classes through the links below hosted on the Knowledge Commons Website.

● Sunday April 24th ­ 6:00pm ­ Everyone’s a Drummer: Breaking Gender Stereotypes in “Male” Genres.­­a­drummer/

  • ○  This class will highlight the history, mechanics, and joys of drumming. Part workshop, part interactive lecture, part live music performance, students can expect the following:

    • To learn about the basics of tempo and rhythm.

    • Discuss how the drums came to be considered a “male” instrument.

    • Hear from local women ­run rock band, Ivy Rose about their experience as

      women in music: touring with Weezer, traveling around the Philippines,

      and much more.

  • ○  By the end, participants will certainly know that drumming is for everyone. Period.

● Thursday April 28th ­ 6:30pm ­ The Story of DC’s Black Broadway on U­­broadway/

○ This interactive discussion will explore through film clips and music the rich, black history and heritage of DC’s U Street corridor when it was known as “Black Broadway.” Developed after the outbreak of the Civil War, U Street began to attract notable black artists and intellectuals at the dawn of the 20th century. At that time the neighborhood had become a cultural mecca for DC’s African ­American community, well before the Harlem Renaissance. On any given night, native Washingtonians and international stars like Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday and many other black entertainment icons, gathered to perform there. Come discover the enduring black cultural legacy of this artistically rich neighborhood.

● Friday April 29th ­ 6:30pm ­ Here we Go­Go: Marvin Gaye, Go Go Music and The Arts in DC­­dc/

○ This event will discuss and showcase the origins and future of the most emblematic DC sounds and artists. Go­Go Live Author Natalie Hopkinson and Michael L. Chambers II will give a brief interactive talk about Go­Go, D.C.’s own brand of funk, and Marvin Gaye’s footprint in D.C. Afterward they will facilitate a more general discussion about the future of the arts in D.C.

● Thursday May 5th ­ 7:00pm ­Record Collecting 101: Vinyl Happy Hour with Som Records Owner Neal Becton­­collecting­101/

○ Want to improve your record hunting game and grow your record collection? Join Som Records owner and vinyl DJ Neal Becton (aka DJ Neville C) for an educational session on everything vinyl from record quality to genre expansion to curating your collection. This interactive session will include a talk, Q&A, adult beverages, and opportunities to shop for records at a 15% discount with the advice of a true vinyl expert. For ages 21 and up.

About Knowledge Commons


Knowledge Commons DC is a free school for thinkers, doers, and tinkerers – taught anywhere, by anyone, for everyone. As a floating school hosted throughout Washington DC, we are dedicated to forging unusual intersections and conversations by providing a platform for free and hospitable knowledge sharing. We partner with existing organizations, individuals, and communities to foster collaborative learning and community exchange. As part of our regular programming, we host month ­long seasonal sessions throughout the city, about three times a year, offering 50+ classes at a time. We can be reached for any inquiries at 


WASHINGTON, DC [April 12, 2016] – Funk Parade has been working tirelessly to put together a line up of the city’s best and most promising local artists to perform the 2016 Day Fair and Music Festival on Saturday, May 7. This year’s lineup features a headliners Rare Essence who will be releasing their first studio recorded album on over a decade.

Artists who are currently confirmed include: (Many more artists and performers to be announced in the next week)

Rare Essence, The Funk Ark, The Ron Holloway Band, Batala Washington, Empresarios, Congo Sanchez, Black Masala, Kokayi, The Fix, People’s Champs, Nappy Riddem, Fort Knox Five & QDup DJ Sets, DJ Ayes Cold, Sam Prather’s Groove Orchestra, Elikeh, Aaron Ab Abernathy w/ Live Band Nat Turner, Rufus Roundtree and Da Bmore Brass Factory, Chelsey Green, Boomscat, Footwerk, Aztec Sun, Johnny Artis Band, Lucky So & Sos, Of Tomorrow, Projected Man, All The Best Kids, Johnny Popcorn, Picnibus, SWAGFUNK, Spread Love Band, Crush Funk Brass, Trae Crudup & The Cover-Up



Funk Parade Events are entirely FREE and open to the public with some venues that are 21+


The day’s schedule is as follows:

12PM - 7PM:    Day Festival Performance Areas throughout the U Street Neighborhood

4PM - 5PM:    The Parade from the Howard Theatre to the Lincoln Theatre)

7PM - 10PM:    Music Festival with U Street venues, lounges and bars hosting FREE live music into the evening


Art activations, more performers and other details will be announced soon, along with a detailed schedule of the day and evening programming.


WASHINGTON, DC [March 31, 2016] – Local businesses and artists are helping Funk Parade’s third annual Indiegogo campaign raise $15,000.

New perks added to the event’s campaign include a dive bar crawl with John Solomon, owner of Solly’s bar; a styling and shopping experience with Anna Kahoe of Good Wood; and an original painting by DC artist Rose Jaffe.

“Local businesses are a bedrock of support for Funk Parade,” said Chris Naoum, event co-founder.  He noted the campaign already features perks from Riide, a DC-based electric bike startup, and BicycleSPACE, a Washington cycling shop.

The community event -- a day festival, parade and music festival, includes nearly 150 hours of music, dance and art programming. All proceeds are critical to supporting the infrastructure of the festival as 70,000 attendees are expected for this year’s event on Saturday, May 7.

Newest Perks

  • One (1) $400 Original Funky DC Art Piece - 2’ x 4’ Original DC/Funk Parade inspired painting by celebrated DC homegrown artist Rose Jaffe (Local DMV Only)

  • One (1) $500 DC Dive Bar Crawl with Solly and friends - Sollys DC owner John Solomon and his bud will take you and three of your friends (4 total) on tour of their favorite Dive Bars around the city.(Local DMV Only)

  • One (1) $600 Ladies Night GoodWood Shopping Spree - Goodwood owner Anna Kahoe will treat you and 3 of your friends (4 total) to an evening of champagne, hors d'oeuvres, personal styling and $100 per person credit towards a GoodWood shopping spree. (Local DMV Only)


Recent Perks

  • Unlimited $100 - Rare Essence Headliner Perk - 1 copy of Rare Essences upcoming album Turn It Up, 1 copy of Rare Essence Greatest Hits Album vol 1, 1 signed poster of the Rare Essence Turn It Up album cover art signed by renowned DC portrait artist and muralist Aniekan Udofia


Original Perks (9 Days Left)

  • One (1) $5,000 Mega Funk High Roller featuring a custom Funk Parade Riide x Special Edition Bike, a Marshall Kilburn portable Bluetooth speaker, a limited edition Chrome X Funk Parade bag, and primo swag including Funk Parade T-Shirt, sticker, magnet and flash tattoo. (Local DMV only.)

  • Unlimited $250 Funk Parade x Chrome Bag A limited edition Chrome x Funk Parade bag -- a Chrome Citizen messenger bag sporting an exclusive Funk Parade path. Local DC only

  • Five (5) $150 Roll Your Funk packages featuring a complete Bike Tune-Up from BicycleSPACE and a Custom Funk Parade Bike Bell. (Local DMV only.)

  • Ten (10) $125 “Chocolate City” Dinner Tickets, each $125 donation will receive one ticket to join renowned D.C. Chef Brent Hughes for his multi-course dining experience, Dopaliscious, on June 5th. Chef Hughes uses music to inspire his menus, and this dinner will be inspired by P-Funk’s album, Chocolate City. (Local DMV Only)

  • Unlimited $100 Poster Art Print A limited edition giclee art print of the Funk Parade 2016 "Roll Your Funk" poster art. Archival-quality 12"x12" print of artwork by renowned artist Donald Ely. (Please pick up in person at Funk Parade or future event.)

  • Twenty (20) $75 Funk Your Bike Roll your Funk! A disco pattern bike light, limited-edition Funk Parade bike bell, and a premium Funk Parade sticker.

  • Twenty (20) $65 Early Bird Funk Parader Save on the Funk Parader perk kit: A quality 100% cotton Funk Parade t-shirt, a Funk Parade fridge magnet, a 4” Funk Parade patch for your backpack or denim jacket, a gold flash tattoo and a premium Funk Parade sticker.

  • Ten (10) $35 Early Bird Funk Pack Save on the classic Funk Pack: A Funk Parade fridge magnet, a 4” Funk Parade patch for your backpack or denim jacket, a gold flash tattoo and a premium Funk Parade sticker.

  • Unlimited $25 Micro Funk Pack Get you started with a Funk Parade flash tattoo and premium Funk Parade 4” decal sticker.


Corporate Perks

  • Unlimited $1,000 Corporate Sponsor For $1000, your business logo will be on the 2016 poster, festival map, website, 10'x10' booth space at one of our amazing day fair performance areas, and shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Unlimited $1,000 Local Business Supasponsor Are you a DC-based business who wants to be give a little more to the Funk Parade? $1000 gets your logo on the 2016 poster, festival event map, website, and shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Unlimited $500 Local Business Sponsorship Are you a DC-based business who wants to be a Funk Parade sponsor? $500 gets your logo on the 2016 poster and website.

To view all the perks or to donate, please go to:


Band’s first studio album in over a decade available through Funk Parade’s Indiegogo campaign

WASHINGTON, DC [March 29, 2016] – Legendary go-go band Rare Essence will be headlining the Funk Parade 2016 Day Festival on Saturday, May 7th.

Rare Essence is gearing up to release their 15th album to coincide with the performance. The album can be pre-ordered through Funk Parade’s Indiegogo campaign, here:

Titled Turn It Up, the album marks not only the 40th anniversary of the band’s inception in 1976, but also a turning point in their career.  Turn It Up is the first original studio album the band is releasing in over a decade.

Funk Parade has teamed up with Rare Essence to create a special Rare Essence Super Fan Perk that can be purchased through the Funk Parade Indiegogo Campaign.  For a pledge of $100, fans can get a copy of Turn It Up (CD), a copy of Rare Essence Greatest Hits Vol 1 (CD), a signed poster of the Turn It Up album cover art created by renowned DC portrait artist and muralist Aniekan Udofia.  (The perk will be available for pick up the day of Funk Parade or can be delivered the following week.)

Funk Parade’s  Indiegogo campaign aims to raise $15,000 for the event - a day festival, parade and music festival celebrating DC music, arts and culture. All proceeds are critical to supporting the infrastructure of the festival as 70,000 attendees are expected for this year’s event on Saturday, May 7.

The Funk Parade has 10 more days to raise its goal and needs your support!

About Rare Essence:

Rare Essence has always been the city’s most popular and enduring Go-Go band. Formed by four students at a Southeast Washington Catholic school during the mid-‘70s, the band was kept on track by several no-nonsense moms and mentored by the late Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown. Rare Essence quickly developed into the city’s most powerful Go-Go band, performing six to seven nights a week. They have performed with Run DMC, LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Ice Cube, Heavy D and the Boyz, Wu Tang Clan, Redman and Method Man, French Montana, Scarface, TLC, Eric B and Rakim, YoYo, Shabba Ranks, KRS-1 not to mention Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, The Junk Yard Band, & EU. While no two shows are alike, music lovers new to the Go-Go experience and Rare Essence sound will quickly feel at ease among an allegiance of loyal fans chanting along to hits like “Lock It,” “One On One,” “Hey Buddy Buddy,” and the ever popular “Overnight Scenario,” which is covered by Fantasia all over the country. In a review of the band’s 30th Anniversary show, The Washington Post Pop Critic Writer Chris Richards wrote, “…this band has performed more than 5000 times. Like so many Rare Essence concerts, it’s easy to believe you’re seeing the best one.” In 2014, Go-Go was featured in the DC episode of Dave Grohl’s “Sonic Highways,” and TV One’s “Unsung” series aired a Chuck Brown episode in 2015 that features interviews with Rare Essence’s Andre “Whiteboy” Johnson and performances by the band.


WASHINGTON, DC [March 22, 2016] – DC’s Funk Parade and Grammy-nominated local artist Kokayi put out a call for donations Tuesday to Washington residents: send us your sounds of the city.

The sounds are for a collaborative city-wide composition project, “Sounds of the City,” to create a song for DC, which Kokayi will compose with the donated sounds.

Washingtonians are asked to record sounds for the project and send them using their smartphones. Instructions are at

“What sounds make you think of DC? Your Metro driver’s announcements, your orchestra warming up, the brass band outside your office, a motorcade passing by? What is the song this city makes?” Asked Justin Rood, Funk Parade co-founder. “That’s what we need you to capture and send us.”

Funk Parade and Kokayi are working together to create the community-driven DC song for the city. Funk Parade is gathering the sounds from residents all over DC, and Kokayi will loop and remix the sounds to create the piece.

The call for submissions starts Tuesday, March 22 and runs for two weeks. The project is funded by the DC Office of Planning, as a sonic experiment in creative placemaking.