Ohio has long been considered a haven for some of the world’s best funk musicians, and now an upcoming venue will be erected in the city of Dayton to honor pioneers of the genre. This March, the city will welcome the opening of the Funk Music Hall Of Fame and Exhibit Center, an effort that has been years in the making.
David R. Webb is the president and CEO of the Center who has been working for years to bring the museum to fruition. Despite lawsuits and turmoil over which of three groups should head the museum, Webb and his staff are now moving valuable artifacts to a 7,000 square foot space in Dayton’s Fire Block District. Currently, the Hall’s items have been hosted at Dayton’s Metro Library.
Funk music’s origins can be traced to the ’60’s, a potent combination of R&B, soul, jazz and other elements. Most associate the music with James Brown’s grooving rhythms and George Clinton and his Parliament-Funkadelic projects, but Dayton and Ohio itself are very much an epicenter of the genre. Acts like Steve Arrington of Slave fame, the Zapp Band, Roger Troutman, Lakeside, and the mighty Ohio Players and the late Prince all contributed heavily to the legacy of the music.
To date, the Hall will be the only center dedicated to funk music.