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.­http://knowledgecommonsdc.org/classes/everyones­a­drummer/

  • ○  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 U­ http://knowledgecommonsdc.org/classes/black­broadway/

○ 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 DC­ http://knowledgecommonsdc.org/classes/gogo­dc/

○ 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 Becton­http://knowledgecommonsdc.org/classes/record­collecting­101/

○ 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 contact@knowledgecommonsdc.org.