A common sentiment within the Black Community of CNY is that the region doesn't present enough high level entertainment representative of its tastes and culture. Many diverse artists share the same point of view as it relates to economic opportunities. The belief has led them to direct their energies toward participating in the events that happen in neighboring cities and states.
JAMS Funk Fests fills the void. The annual festivals are presented on a large scale platform at the New York State Fair. Culturally appropriate national recording artists headline the festivals preceded by a rich line-up of performances from top local/regional acts. The events are open to the public and free with paid admission to the fair. To assure that no one is left out due to an inability to purchase a fair ticket; JAMS distributes 1,000s of complimentary gate passes to churches, community organizations and other strategic distribution sites. The responses to the festivals have been phenomenal.
Below: Photos of performances by National Recording Artists at JAMS Funk Fests...
2022: Midnight Star
Above: Midnight Star put the "Midas Touch" on the crowd and got the "Freak-A-Zoids" dancing during their "Planetary Invasion" of JAMS FF2k22 at the NY State Fair. There was definitely "No parking on the dance floor" as the six original members of the double platinum selling Solar Records' recording group rocked their string of 1980's techno-funk hits before a crowd of 3,500. They appeared in sporting style in their matching turquoise suits as they performed choreographed dance routines while playing their Vocorder-heavy blend of funk.
2022: Alyson Williams
Above: Former Def Jam/Columbia recording artist Alyson Williams held the crowd appearing as a co- headliner for JAMS FF 2k22. She showcased her husky alto as she entertained the crowd with a set of popular covers before closing the show with her cult classic RnB hit, "Just call my name." The local/regional acts opening the show included, Yana's Constellation; Menage A Soul; Mike Houston's Tribute to Jeff Houston; UAD; and Shine (Rochester based show band). DJ Zulu and the Acusquad entertained the crowd with music and line dancing between the sets.
2021: Original Stone City Band
Above: The original Grammy award winning, platinum Motown recording artists, "Stone City Band" were the exclusive recording and touring band behind the King of Punk-Funk, Rick James. They busted out of an L7 square and laid their booty down before the crowd at Chevy Court for JAMS FF2k21. These original bad boys of funk "Super Freak-ed" their way through all of their hits fronted by a pair of "Cold Blooded" lead singers that looked and sounded like Rick James and Tina Marie. The stage was warmed by the Mary Jane Girls featuring, Val Young; another of Rick James' creations.
2021: Mary Jane Girls Feat: Val YOUng
2019: Mark Wood Voice of Lakeside
Above: Lakeside was a co-headliner of JAMS Funk Fest 2k19. It was "All the way Live" as the Dayton, Ohio funk-masters moved the crowd with its own brand of funky music, dubbed the "Lakeside Stank." The crowd jumped to their feet at the first whiff of the band's #1 RnB hit song, "Fantastic Voyage," and kept right on movin' as they pounded out hit after hit. The hits, recorded on the Warner Brothers label, included, "Raid; Something about that woman; Your love is on the one; and Outrageous." Mark Wood, the group's original lead singer finally settled things down and wooed the crowd with his baritone as he refashioned an old Beatles rock tune called "I wanna hold your hand," into a hip RnB ballad. Regional opening acts for the show were Shawn Seals Xperiment, Brownskin Band and Ener-g.