The Kinston Music Explosion Benefit concert will honor three groundbreaking musicians including drummer Melvin Parker, guitarist Gerald Hunter and musician Zack Green on Friday, October 23 in Kinston from 7 to 9 p.m .
Scheduled at the Kinston Community Council for the Arts located at 400 N. Queen Street, the event is presented by the Fonnie B. Murrill and Ruth M. Jones Scholarship Foundation, with support from the Kinston/Lenoir County Travel and Tourism Authority and Kinston/Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce. Other partners include the Kinston Community Council for the Arts. Music will be provided by the Monitors. Students in the Traditional Arts Programs for Students (TAPS) from the Kinston Community Council for the Arts will start things off with a jazz performance.
Musicians being recognized include:
Melvin Parker – The Kinston native has been playing the drums since age five. His drumming style was considered a “major ingredient in James Brown’s funk music innovations in the 1960’s.” Parker has played professionally in many bands including his brother, Maceo Parker’s band. He was also an educator/administrator ,who has served in Lenoir County and Prince Georges County Public Schools in Kinston, and Maryland respectively.
Gerald Hunter – The Wilson native is a longtime member of the Monitors Band who has performed with the Manhattans and others. He will be recognized for his guitar expertise.
Zack Greene – Greene reached legendary status in the 1940’s and 50’s. Greene was a pioneer African American musician in the Kinston community. Although he passed away 60 years ago, he will be recognized posthumously.
Kinston is the hub of the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina a gateway to explore the people, places and events in the region that helped define American music for the world in the counties of Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson. There is a guidebook and companion website celebrating blues, jazz, funk, gospel, hip hop and other music in the region.
Additionally, at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, an exhibit case, titled Hey America!: Eastern North Carolina and the Birth of Funk, will feature seven items associated with James Brown, Maceo and Melvin Parker and some Tar Heel musicians who worked with him. The exhibit case will be on view until Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in the museum lobby. Admission is free. For information about the Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, visit ncmuseumofhistory.org
Proceeds from the concert will be used to provide six $500 scholarships to graduating seniors in Lenoir County high schools, who plan to pursue a career in music. The scholarships will be awarded to each at the six high schools. The 2016 Music Explosion Scholarship Awardees will be announced at the annual awards program at their high schools.
Tickets are $25 in advance at the Kinston Community Council for the Arts or $30 at the door. For more information contact (252) 527-2517 or Edwin Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 527-0039.