The king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B, Maceo Parker brings his super-powered band back to SFJAZZ for an explosive New Year’s week celebration.
Parker spent the first half of his career in the service of funk’s founding fathers, and in his second act as a bandleader, the unrelentingly soulful saxophonist/vocalist has ascended into the funk firmament in his own right, leading a righteously grooving outfit that plays with ecstatic precision and ferocious drive.
The altoist made his mark as an essential voice in the powerhouse horns backing James Brown, contributing classic funk solos on some of the Godfather’s iconic hits. He went on to join George Clinton’s moveable funk feast in Parliament/Funkadelic during the ensemble’s most creative era. He was part of the James Brown offshoot JB Horns led by fellow Brown alum Fred Wesley and saxophonist Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, and has contributed to albums and tours with artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keith Richards, Dave Matthews Band and most extensively, Prince. Since the early 1990s, Parker has been spreading gospel of groove, a dedicated entertainer who believes in funk’s power to transform and heal.
Opening: Sugar Pie DeSanto
Opening the show will be Bay Area blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto. Recording for Chess Records, duets with Etta James, and a two-year stint as the opening act for James Brown put DeSanto on a star-making trajectory, and she’s never looked back. She’s written over 100 songs that have been performed by the likes of Little Minnie Riperton and Fontella Bass.