Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band
Most people think of Spring in DC as Cherry Blossom season, but around the U Street Corridor and Shaw neighborhoods we know it as Funk Season. On May 6th the sounds and spirit of funk will again rock DC at the fourth annual Funk Parade and music festival. Before that there are funds to raise, volunteers to recruit, permits to be obtained, acts to sign, and hype to hype–all the groundwork that goes into pulling off a day and night that draws tens of thousands of people to experience a few dozen acts at multiple clubs and outdoor venues. But first, before the work and before the festival, we party.
This past Friday the DC Department of Funk sponsored the Funk Parade Kickoff Jam at Tropicalia, one of U Street’s basement music clubs. I was there to get into the groove and to photograph all of the bands and dancers. Continue reading
Hung Tao Choy Mei Lucky Lions bring the Chinese dragon to the parade
For the third year running, I was proud to serve as the photography/videography coordinator for DC’s annual Funk Parade – “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.” Continue reading
This was not the first time that I have seen Urban Artistry, a DC area organization dedicated to the preservation and performance of urban arts. I have watched them dance on several occasions and have photographed them a few times as well. And I always leave their shows feeling an enhanced sense of happiness, joy, and life. Their performance on May 2nd at DC’s Funk Parade was no exception and, indeed, seemed particularly special. Perhaps it was because of the very festive atmosphere of the day, or because of the extraordinary weather. Perhaps it was because of how involved the crowd was, or how the group welcomed and encouraged the brave (and talented) spectators-turned-performers. Or maybe it was because of the location at the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl (a virtual library of DC urban art history), dancing in an urban theater of a narrow alley on an asphalt stage aside the street portraits of DC go-go legends Chuck Brown and Little Benny. This performance was a true celebration of urban art through dance.
View the gallery of my attempts to capture Urban Artistry’s perpetual motion and infectious joy in still images.
Find out more about Urban Artistry at http://urbanartistry.org, or keep up with them on Facebook.
I was given exceptional access at the Funk Parade Kickoff Party held at DC’s Howard Theatre on March 17, 2015. Great access offers great angles that provide the opportunity for great photos… you be the judge.