Soul Sister’s 10th Annual Birthday Jam brings DC’s Chuck Brown Band to Tipitina’s, 9/9

You know it’s going to be a bash when DJ Soul Sister throws down. On Friday night, she will celebrate her birthday in the only way she knows—by hosting a dance party at Tipitina’s. She will be spinning of course, the New Breed Brass Band will help get the party started, and the Chuck Brown Band—Washington, DC go-go music icons—will headline.

Soul Sister has been an aficionado of go-go for decades. She turned me on the sound and continues to support the uniquely regional style of music on the air at WWOZ and at her gigs around the city.

Chuck Brown, the acknowledged father of go-go, passed away in 2012 at age 75, but his band is still spreading the word and keeping dance floors shaking. Brown introduced the world to go-go with his 1978 hit “Bustin Loose.” I had the opportunity to see him perform a couple of times and the music was non-stop—literally. The band just plays on and on.

The willingness to just keep playing is one of the things the style has in common with New Orleans music. Bands here, particularly brass bands, don’t want the dancing to stop, so they just segue song into song. Many New Orleans musicians and rappers have also cited the DC go-go funk sound as being influential, and you can hear their mark in groups ranging from the Rebirth Brass Band to the Brass-a-Holics.

The Chuck Brown Band toured the world with the “Godfather of Go-Go,” as Chuck Brown is known, and carries the torch of go-go music keeping his legacy alive. The full band, which will be appearing at Tipitina’s, features 10 musicians including congas and percussion, a three-piece horn section, and lead talker and vocalist representing the true go-go funk style.

This is going to be one crazy dance party!

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