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Maceo Parker gets funky at Gnaoua festival

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Maceo Parker gets funky at Gnaoua festival

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The saxophone is his trade mark and funk music his passion. American funk and soul jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker performed at this year’s Gnaoua Music Festival in the Moroccan city of Essouira.

With more than 50 years of experience on stage, Parker, 70, shows no sign of slowing down.

He told euronews how he maintains his enthuasiasm to perform: “I accepted the fact that I am who I am and I do what I do and I love being who I am and doing what I do, so that’s where the energy comes from, that people like what you do.”

“Just pull up your pants, you know, take a deep breath and you go out and do it and that’s where the energy comes from and much love from the people and we give love back to the people,” said Parker.

Maceo Parker is best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s. He was a prominent soloist on many of Brown’s hit recordings, and a key part of his band, playing alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. Since the early 90s, he has toured the world performing his own take on funk.

“I have the God given ability to hear what I think is funky, to play what I think is funky and because of that I draw funky people towards me that play in my group,” Parker explained. “They sort of like what I do and what I project in that form of music and it’s fun, it’s fun – funky music is fun,” he added.

Funk music typically consists of a complex groove with instruments that play interlocking rhythms. It is music that makes people want to dance.

Euronews arts correspondent Wolfgang Spindler covering the Gnaoua Music Festival asked Parker for some pointers: “Just show me some basic funk steps you are doing on stage, what do I have to do to be as funky as you are?”

Maceo Parker [laughing]: “I laugh because I am not 45/50 years old any more yes, really I am 20 years more than 50. So once you hear…. boom, boom than you can do whatever.”

Maceo Parker is one of the few surviving musicians who were at the core when funk blossomed in the 60s. In 2012 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Victoires Du Jazz in Paris.

He continues touring , headlining many jazz festivals in Europe

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