About Funkology: A Conversation with Bootsy Collins and Dr. Scot Brown

The event is presented by the Archives of African American Music and Culture. Funk music pioneer William “Bootsy” Collins, and premiere funk music scholar Dr. Scot Brown from UCLA will participate in a lecture and conversation titled Funkology. The event will open with a performance by the IU Soul Revue performing hits associated with Collins’ own music catalogue as well as his affiliation with legendary funk architect James Brown and funk innovator George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.

The conversation will be followed by a reception in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Collin’s son, Cincinnati-based musician and deejay Ouiwey (“ooo-wee”) Collins, will be serving as MC and spinning hits from the Bootzilla playlist. Bootsy will also be signing copies of his new album, World Wide Funk, which will be available for purchase at the reception.

This event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs; IU Cinema; Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; and the African American Arts Institute.

Bootsy Collins William “Bootsy” Collins, a bass player and singer-songwriter, was born in Cincinnati in 1951 and still resides in his hometown. In 1970, Bootsy and his brother, guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins, were performing in a local band, The Pacemakers, when they came to the attention of James Brown. The “Godfather of Soul” hired The Pacemakers as his backing band, rebranding them as the J.B.’s. Collins performed with Brown from 1970–71, contributing to such iconic hits as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and jumpstarting a funk revolution. After leaving the J.B.s, Bootsy joined George Clinton’s P-Funk (i.e. “pure” funk) crew, where he inserted his percussive bass riffs over a laid back rhythmic foundation, soulful and punchy horn riffs laced with psychedelic overtones and Black liberation ideology all converging on “the One.” With Parliament-Funkadelic, and his subsequent solo projects, Bootsy has established himself as a premier bassist and a trailblazer of the funk movement, which continues to impact genres from R&B to hip-hop along with the broader pop culture. In addition to his work in the music and the wider entertainment industry, Bootsy and his wife, Patti Collins, spearhead the Bootsy Collins Foundation, an organization internationally recognized for its contributions to music education in diverse communities.

Dr. Scot Brown Dr. Scot Brown, a professor of History and African American Studies at UCLA, is the author of the pioneering book Fighting For Us (2003), a study of cultural nationalism and the Black Power movement during the 1960s–‘70s. Additionally, Brown has published numerous articles on Black music and popular culture. A well-known authority on funk music as well as an avid bass player, Brown serves as a historian and commentator on the popular TV ONE music documentary series Unsung and has been featured in episodes on Heatwave, The O’Jays, The Spinners, The Ohio Players, and Midnight Star. He also appears in the VH1 documentary Finding the Funk, directed by Nelson George. Brown is currently writing a book about Ohio funk, Tales From the Land of Funk: Dayton, Ohio and African American Funk Bands in the 1970s.

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