• October 31, 2014

Inner City All-Stars bring high energy funk to Temple

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 4:30 am

Temple’s Cultural Arts Center kicks off the inaugural concert in its 2013-2014 Jazz & Blues series Saturday with the Inner City All-Stars.

The Dallas-based band describes itself as “high energy brass, jazz, funk,” and will be performing “60 to 70 percent originals and some covers,” according to band leader Calvin Sexton, a University of North Texas music school graduate. The Temple CAC said spontaneous dancing may erupt and calls the group “party animals.”

“We have a whole lot of audience participation,” Sexton said. “We’ve played in Waco before and this is our first time in Temple.”

The six-piece band features Sexton on trombone along with a trumpeter and baritone saxophonist. The keyboard player and drummer are joined by a bass line performed not on electric or upright bass, but the Sousaphone.

“We’ve been together about nine years,” Sexton said, “and most of the musical arrangements are mine.”

Asked about Inner City All-Stars’ musical influences, Sexton cites James Brown, Prince and Brand New Heavies. But his trombone idols are miles away from the soul/R&B landscape: jazz icons Curtis Fuller, J.J. Johnson and Locksley “Slide” Hampton. The band’s vocal duties are handled by various musicians, including Sexton, and often emphasize audience involvement through call-and-response routines.

“We’re very excited to have the Inner City All-Stars,” said Jane Boone, marketing director for the CAC. “They have lots of enthusiasm and energy.” The group will also return in November for a different gig: “Middle school students will be bused to the CAC, and the All-Stars will present an educational program and concert,” Boone said.

Saturday’s event takes place in the 475-seat Frank W. Mayborn Auditorium.

The Temple CAC’s Jazz & Blues series runs through Feb. 1 and will bring six acts to the center’s theater stage to showcase “the music of America.” Concert artists include blues groups and a Miles Davis tribute group.

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