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Slap bash! Funk bass pioneer Larry Graham plays lunchtime concert • Brooklyn Paper

Slap bash! Funk bass pioneer Larry Graham plays lunchtime concert

Caught you with your funk down: bass man Larry Graham will perform at BAM’s R&B festival at Metrotech on May 7.
Courtesy of Larry Graham

They’re bringing the funk to Brooklyn during your lunch hour.

Legendary Sly and the Family Stone musician Larry Graham — the grand-daddy of the slap-bass technique who gave rise to a whole genre of party-bumping musical funk — will bring his bass and his band to Brooklyn for a midday concert

And even though he’s over 60, he still makes the speakers go thump.

“Larry Graham expanded upon the entire foundation of what the bass guitar brings to funk music,” said Danny Kapilian, the producer of the concert, which will inaugurate the summer-long BAM R&B festival at Metrotech on June 7. “Many would make the case that after James Brown, he’s the most important musician in all of funk music [and he] was a hit songwriter himself as well.”

Graham, during his time with Sly Stone, is credited with having invented “slapping” — a technique where electric bass players thump their strings in a way that creates a deep funk sound — effectively paving the sound waves for other innovators such as Parliament and Prince.

The Downtown R&B concerts, which take place at noon every week for the summer, are geared to the nine-to-fivers who work in the area — but that doesn’t mean you freelancers can’t roll out of bed to get there, either.

Larry Graham and Graham Central Station at Metrotech Commons [Metrotech Center at Jay Street in Downtown. (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. June 7, noon. Free.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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