On Tuesday night, two men will be blowing their horns here in Central Oregon and both will be getting terribly funky. One specializes in the saxophone while the other favors the trombone but their styles both weave through the realms of jazz, soul and, again, the funkiest of funk.
There are plenty of other similarities to be found between these two men and their dance-happy sounds, but where they diverge is the 43-year age gap between them. The man on the saxophone is Maceo Parker, one of the forefathers of funk music, and the other is Trombone Shorty (real name: Troy Andrews) the 24-year-old New Orleans virtuoso who has already generated a mystique of his own, having burst onto the scene as a youth on his namesake instrument.
Unfortunately, this night will require a choice. You're not going to be able to hit up both of these gigs - no matter how enticing that sounds. Parker will be rocking the Tower Theatre and Trombone Shorty and his band, Orleans Avenue, will be playing the final show of the Sisters Folk Festival Winter Concert Series. The shows start at the exact same time, but are separated by some 20 miles. Choices are tough. Especially when they're funky, funky decisions like this. We can't make the decision for you. But if you need some funkucation (it's like education but funkier and much more fun) here it is.
Maceo Parker is a forefather of funk and soul music, having been picked to play in James Brown's band in 1964. If there's a sax solo you remember from a James Brown tune, that would almost certainly be the work of Parker. He remained in the storied soul and funk collective for a decade before moving onto another legendary band, Parliament-Funkadelic, fronted by the colorfully wacky George Clinton in 1975.
More recently, Parker has remained relevant in the music industry, lending his sax sounds to artists both on recordings and in concert. He's appeared on stage with folks like Dave Matthews and Prince, and also collaborated with politco-folkie Ani DiFranco. He's also had a strong career of his own, most recently releasing 2007's Roots & Grooves, and continuing to tour with a collection of veteran players with ties to the James Brown and Parliament families.
Trombone Shorty (again, actually named Troy Andrews) has a resume that's about a mile shorter than that of Parker, but there's certainly a future for the soulful youngster. You may have seen him - either playing at last year's Bend WinterFest where his crew opened for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, or maybe in the run-up to this year's Super Bowl when he was featured on ESPN's coverage.
Playing in a city where music - and specifically his kind of music - is paramount, Andrews stands out. He's earned the respect of New Orleans' most recognized musicians as he and his crew of skilled young players make a name for themselves on the festival and touring circuits. But this is hardly new for Andrews, who was playing drums and trumpet by the time he was three years old. When he was 12, U2's The Edge stopped by one of his gigs and became an instant fan. Andrews and company rolls out its next album, Backatown, in just a few months.
Again, you're not going to be able to hit both of these and that's a shame. But either show you choose, it's going to get funky.
7pm Tuesday, March 16. Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St. $35/advance, $38/door. Tickets at towertheatre.org.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
7pm Tuesday, March 16. Sisters High School Auditorium, 1700 W. McKinney Butte Rd., Sisters. $17/adult, $12/student. Tickets at Bendticket.com.