Documentary: The Night JAMES BROWN Saved Boston (April 5 1968) | The Power of Music!

Documentary: The Night James Brown Saved Boston (April 5 1968) 

James Brown calms Boston following the Martin Luther King assassination in 1968

April 5, 1968. It is the day after one of the most catastrophic moments in the history of the civil rights movement.

The film documents that remarkable concert and the politics around it. Boston Mayor Kevin White and his colleagues almost by accident realized that by televising the James Brown concert they could keep people indoors that night prevent widespread rioting. The film is almost testimony to the power of music in general and the power of James Brown’s music in particular. The film is a tribute to the Godfather of Soul and the role he would come to play in working for civil rights.

Backstage at the Boston Garden, the mood is somber, appropriately funereal. Just 24 hours ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., the most important and beloved African American leader in America, has been assassinated, and though James Brown is booked that night for a show, nobody really wants to go onstage and play.


On the morning after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., city officials in Boston, Massachusetts, were scrambling to prepare for an expected second straight night of violent unrest. Similar preparations were being made in cities across America, including in the nation’s capital, where armed units of the regular Army patrolled outside the White House and U.S. Capitol following President Johnson’s state-of-emergency declaration. But Boston would be nearly alone among America’s major cities in remaining quiet and calm that turbulent Friday night, thanks in large part to one of the least quiet and calm musical performers of all time. On the night of April 5, 1968, James Brown kept the peace in Boston by the sheer force of his music and his personal charisma.

Brown’s appearance that night at the Boston Garden had been scheduled for months, but it nearly didn’t happen. Following a long night of riots and fires in the predominantly black Roxbury and South End sections of the city, Boston’s young mayor, Kevin White, gave serious consideration to canceling an event that some feared would bring the same kind of violence into the city’s center. The racial component of those fears was very much on the surface of a city in which school integration and mandatory busing had played a major role in the recent mayoral election. Mayor White faced a politically impossible choice: anger black Bostonians by canceling Brown’s concert over transparently racial fears, or antagonize the law-and-order crowd by simply ignoring those fears. The idea that resolved the mayor’s dilemma came from a young, African American city councilman name Tom Atkins, who proposed going on with the concert, but finding a way to mount a free, live broadcast of the show in the hopes of keeping most Bostonians at home in front of their TV sets rather than on the streets.

Atkins and White convinced public television station WGBH to carry the concert on short notice, but convincing James Brown took some doing. Due to a non-compete agreement relating to an upcoming televised concert, Brown stood to lose roughly $60,000 if his Boston show were televised. Ever the savvy businessman, James Brown made his financial needs known to Mayor White, who made the very wise decision to meet them.

The broadcast of Brown’s concert had the exact effect it was intended to, as Boston saw less crime that night than would be expected on a perfectly normal Friday in April. There was a moment, however, when it appeared that the plan might backfire. As a handful of young, male fans—most, but not all of them black—began climbing on stage mid-concert, white Boston policemen began forcefully pushing them back. Sensing the volatility of the situation, Brown urged the cops to back away from the stage, then addressed the crowd. “Wait a minute, wait a minute now WAIT!” Brown said. “Step down, now, be a gentleman….Now I asked the police to step back, because I think I can get some respect from my own people.”

Brown successfully restored order while keeping the police away from the crowd, and continued the successful peacekeeping concert in honor of the slain Dr. King on this day in 1968.

 Join SOUL OF SYDNEY as we pay homage to JAMES BROWN on Sunday April 28



★ Info, Tix from $10+bf –

An afternoon homage to one of the central figures who shaped FUNK & SOUL music as we know it and inspired GENERATIONS of MUSICIANS, DJ’S & PRODUCERS.

Music by Sydney Funk Powerhouse GANG OF BROTHERS & Friends (live) plus DJ support by SOUL OF SYDNEY DJ’s & Friends.

★ Info, Tix from $10+bf –


FREE FUNK BBQ | “Back to Funk” BBQ This Saturday at Vic on the Park feat. – Meem, RAINE SUPREME, DJ ADVERSE, DJ AMITY & Nik Gray


FREE FUNK BBQ | Back To Funk Autumn BBQ Session 🎶💛 THIS SATURDAY our good friends at Back To Funk (Australia’s longest run FUNK radio show) are hosting their next installment at Vic on the Park Hotel.

Free Entry, Kid friendly, Pet Friendly vibrations in the sunshine with DJ’s;

– Meem (Back to Funk Radio, 2ser)
– DJ ADVERSE (Adam Close)
– DJ AMITY Christie Lee
– Nik Gray

laying down a heavy dose of FUNK, SOUL, REGGAE, DISCO & more.

Join Facebook Event for more info .

#funk #soul #soulpicnic #funkbbq #backtofunk #sydneymusic #discomusic#reggaemusic

For anyone who is heading down &/or keen to know about some of the history of the BACK TO FUNK Radio Show which is now in its 48th year.

Please check out this brief summary on Australian Longest Running Radio show which is now in


The Back To Funk Radio Show is the longest running funk music show in Australia. Starting out on 2SER radio in 1980, Back To Funk has not only been a long-time fixture on Sydneys airwaves, but over the years fans have also been treated to rare interviews with funk heavyweights such as George Clinton (1992), Kool Bell (Kool & the Gang), Charlie Wilson (Gap Band), and in 1988 Back To Funk featured the only Australian interview with James Brown’s Band. More recent guests have included Bill Curtis (Fatback Band), Fred Wesley (The JB’s), Mr Scruff, Jamie Liddell, Kylie Auldist and Lance Ferguson from The Bamboos.

Back to Funk boasts a massive on-air history of 33 years. During its long history the show has made an important contribution to the Sydney Dance Music community, and was the first dance music program to appear in the 2SER Monday – Friday Afternoon timeslot. Originally named From Punk to Funk, it was John Potts who created the show for 2SER in 1980. The show was soon after renamed Back To Funk, and in the early 80’s the program was inherited by Brent Clough. Soon after he was joined by Heidi Pasqual (Creative Vibes), and the show continued through the 80’s, later joined by Peter Pasqual (1991), then Gordon Henderson (around 1993). Other guests and presenters have included Tim Ritchie, Miguel DeSouza and Robbie Sevellies. In 2004 the program was passed onto Meem, who continues to host the show today.

Back to Funk reaches a wide and diverse audience in Sydney, and features many styles of music. It has always represented and promoted black music styles, and was integral to the development of hip hop culture in Sydney.

Back to Funk broadcasts every Monday from 12:00 – 2:00pm. Each week Meem resurfaces old funk, soul, disco and boogie gems while also exploring a diverse range of all other related styles including Afrobeat, African, Hip Hop, Reggae, Latin, Jazz, Blues, Beats and more. Tune in every Monday afternoon for interviews, new releases, and a huge array of forgotten funky masterpieces.

TOUR NEWS: SUM 7 Piece New York SOUL, JAZZ, FUNK coming to Sydney this April 19.


New York hybrid soul/jazz/funk/pop 7 piece 


April 18 at Newsagency |
Tickets & Info to the show HERE

Described by Red Eye Record “as a band for fans of Hiatus Kaiyote and Jill Scott”, S U M, the hybrid Jazz/Funk/Pop/Soul band from New York City will be in Australia for the first time for their Welcome Tour!

“Best soul music album on Bandcamp” Bandcamp USA (Sept 2018)

How Unknown Mortal Orchestra opened the door for SUM in AustraliaHhhhappy Mag (AUS)

Steve Belvilus’ project is fascinating…”Couleurs Jazz (FRA)

The track is instantly brimming with positivity, with flourishes of horns and beautiful vocals. The teacher/student aesthetic of the video works perfectly to serve their message…now it’s up to you to learn what SUM is teaching.” –  Groundsounds

“Williams, frontperson and lead song’s message while periodically checking in singer, tackles intricate melodic lines, with intervals that need to be dead on, and she does that effortlessly.” Music Connection


New York City hybrid pop/jazz/soul/funk 7 piece band S U M (pronounced soom) debut their dynamic and spirited “The Welcome Tour” show April 18th at The Newsagency, Sydney and April 19th and 20th at the Paris Cat Jazz Club in Melbourne. One of the most exciting emerging acts to visit our shores, S U M’s strong message of self acceptance and authentic self expression anchors the bands philosophy, splintering into the magic of  their genre bending sound.

S U M was created by multi-talented lead arranger, composer and drummer Steve Belvilus (Les Nubians, Hamilton: An American Musical, Natalie Cole, Hezekiah Walker, Scott Jacoby [SIA/John Legend]) and lead vocalist and co-writer Patryce Williams whose multi-faceted creative expression includes theatre and film in addition to her musical endeavours. Both executive producers of their debut self-titled album released in September of 2018, S U M gained widespread recognition for their melodic, forward thinking, intricate and playful compositions including a feature on the tastemaker music siteBandcamp as Best Soul Music Album Release in September (2018), as well as a recent review by Music Connection magazine (included in this year’s Grammy’s gift bag for all attendees, record executives, labels and artists) highlighting the band’s overall performance “showcases their versatility and prolific musical skills…”, amongst an impressive list of articles and interviews world wide.

Their single video clip ‘It’s Alright To Be Me’ has been featured in digital publications across France, USA and Australia due to its charming creative visual concept mimicking the bands positive message set in a school environment from a teacher and student grand narrative.

Their live shows can be described as highly interactive, uplifting, expressive and charismatic. S U M has performed at the Baiser Salé in France as part of the Jazz Sur Seine Music Festival, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, Musikfest in Pennsylvania, NPR RadioBrooklyn Bowl in New York, The B.B. King Blues Club in New York, Rockwood Music Hall and Club Bonafide in New York to name a few.



XSTATIC SUNSETS | Sober Dance Party | (Launch Party)

Kids Welcome | Music & Dance | Sober Dance Party /  Festival | Shark Island 

This looks an absolute treat. An afternoon and evening of FANCY DRESS, MUSIC & DANCE on SHARK ISLAND in the middle of iconic Sydney Harbour. Join the launch party one this cities premier sober dance parties working to inspire a more healthy party culture that is more inclusive, safe, healthy and lifts your vibration in life.

This opening party features one of the first DJ’s we parties too back in the days too at TWEAKIN’ back in the days, the legendary DJ PHIL SMART playing a special 90’s house set. It has been a while since we heard the don play.
Check out there website 

Check out their website for all info below and if you see us on the dancefloor for this one please come say hello.

Tribal Beats & 60’s – Andre Meyer aka DJ Sohm
70’s & 80’s classics – DJ Marc ‘kundalini’
90’s House – Phil Smart
Sunset Deep House mix – Shane SOS
Grand Finale – Electric Zeus

Opening ceremony & Tribal beats – Rache Moore from Rainbow Tribe Events
60’s bringing the flower power – Hayley Melrose – Transformational Journeys
70’s disco – Shannon Dooley from Retrosweat
80’s get you spandex on! – Doofercise
90’s house… lose your shit to Tommy Franklin!!!

Drum Workshop by Soul Drummer
Twirling Circus Workshop by
Intuitive Body Art by Intuitive Body Art with IreneEmily
Contact Dance by Eamonn O’Flaherty from Body Chorus
Movement workshop by Tommy Franklin

The science behind the natural high by Dr Kaushik Ram
Set yourself free workshop by Louise Walker from Footsteps
Gut health to make you happier by Amanda Brocket from The Raw Food Kitchen

Hang Drum played by Curt Hannagan from The Sanctuary Sydney
Voice, sound bowls & drums by Hayley Milano from Singing Sydney

Who doesn’t love a fancy dress party? In line with the theme, dress up as your favourite music decade! Are you a grooving hippy, 80’s deeva or 90’s raver? Or maybe you will shine as your favourite pop idol?

While big parties have been banned on Shark Island, National Parks have kindly been lenient in support of our mission for healthy parties. We know stunning nature locations combined with the golden glow of sunset creates the ultimate party backdrop. Shark Island with its beautiful trees and jaw dropping views across the harbour to sunset is going to create a magical dance party experience!

The very core of our mission is to help people be happier and healthier through dance, self expression and connecting with others. As we know drug and alcohol abuse and addiction contributes to anxiety and depression. But on the flip side dance, music and connecting with others can bring great joy and happiness. We want to support mental health charities in addressing the problem by donating funds but also inspire change to address the causes. We are giving 10% of proceeds to Beyond Blue, Hello Sunday Morning and the Black Dog Institute.

Our launch party on Shark Island is a symbolic event to showcase and inspire Australia you don’t need drugs and alcohol to party. Our goal is to simply inspire a change in people’s relationship with alcohol, to encourage moderation and shift the mentality you don’t need to get wasted to have a good time. We will be attracting media attention and capturing footage so we can promote bigger and more frequent events to grow the movement. By bringing your awesome energy, dress up and dance moves you will be playing your part to inspire others to give a sober dance party a go.

SOUL OF SYDNEY feat. VENENO & BLACKER C (Live) Sun Mar 24 | Tickets, Set Times & Party Info

53615571_10157063034318607_7059279355184152576_nSOUL OF SYDNEY AFTERNOON SPECIAL

feat. 9-Piece Afro-Cuban-Funk powerhouse

SUN MAR 24 | 2PM 

An Afternoon Feel-Good Funk, Soul, Disco, Afro-Beat, Latin Vibes Boogie, Old School Party Jams & Beyond.


DJ Support

& Friends.
PARIS GROOVESCOOTER (Jumping The Gap – Radio 2ser)

Hosted by PEP-C

& Positive party vibes by SOUL PATROL DANCERS

Limited Tix from $10-15+bf
Available via EVENTBRITE | HERE





Link & Info


SOUL OF SYDNEY: are a grassroots collective who are bonded by a love of ‘FUNK’ & ‘SOUL’ based music in all its forms.  A creative family of DJ’s, Dancers & Artists working to promote and support the music they love as well as the culture around it.

From humble begins in 2009 launching as a blog, it was not long before the collective took a chance on a sunny Sunday afternoon to throw a one-off secret Sunday afternoon picnic over 6 years ago. Setting up turntables and a renegade sound-system in a park in the inner west Sydney with a simple idea to bring FEEL-GOOD FUNK & SOUL music in an atmosphere where people had the freedom express themselves, where dancers connected with DJ’s and DJ’s had the liberty to play anything they were feeling.

Inspiration – Taking musical inspiration from across Hip Hop, Disco & House scenes, seminal DJ’s, parties & clubs from 70’s, 80’s such as; David Mancuso’s The Loft (NYC), Larry Levan’s and Paradise Garage, Kool Herc’s Block Parties, Ron Hardy, Grandmaster Flash and Frankie Knuckles as well as encouragement from current esteemed music events such as New York’s ‘Body and Soul’, LA’s ‘The Do Over’ and UK’s Southport Weekender. The Soul of Sydney family felt the importance of taking things back to the roots of those musical scenes with anything they put their name to.

The Soul of Sydney’s distinctive character of dance-floor expression, crowd participation and an inclusive party environment has seen the events really take on their own feel over the last 7 years.

A delicate approach to getting down where DJ’s, Record Collectors, B-boys & B-Girls, and Musicians from difference culture, age brackets and social scenes can meet away from the usual late night bar and club situation. They meet on a dance floor to connect through music on a dance floor to celebrate music’s uniting power. With positive party vibes encouraged, you can anticipate all kinds of dance floor fun including crowds that get down with classic Soul Train lines, Boys, Breakers, Poppers and Lockers getting down, Roller Boogie Flash Mob dancers and even the odd limbo lines or group jump rope on the floor.

(Check out some of the videos below for an idea of how they get down HERE)

Always keeping it fresh with a secret locations (released only to ticket holders via email), they have thrown parties in all kinds of interesting party spaces including; public parks, laneways, car parks, beaches, skate parks, art-galleries, rooftops, warehouses, courtyards, restaurant spaces, backyards & fresh venues spaces around town.

Six years on their open musical ideas have not changed, focused highlighting ‘feel-good’ funk vibes in all their splendour, you can expect DJ’s to dig deep in their crates and pull out all kinds of gems from Afro-Beat, Latin-Funk, New York Disco, Roller Boogie, to early Chicago House, classic 90’s Hip Hop joints & beyond at the jams.

Drawing on their musical ROOTS and INSPIRATIONS, you will typically hear the sounds of James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, De La Soul, J Dilla, Stevie Wonder, Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles blaring through the speakers, along with a heavy dose of rare hidden gems intertwined for good measure too.

Always moving forward with a smile the last few years have defiantly been a blessed for Soul of Sydney since that first picnic back in 2011. They have been asked to bring their own unique brand of Funk party as part of a host of some of the largest well-established festivals in Sydney, including Sydney Festival (2015, 2016,17), Sydney Fringe Festival, Vivid (2015,2016.2017), Soulfest, The African Film Festival, just to name a few.

Check out mixes, videos and party videos and more at

SOUL OF SYDNEY: Doing it strictly for the LOVE | Dancing in the KEY OF LIFE | Feel-Good Funk & Old School Party Jams | Sydney’s Friendliest Dance-floor



FUNK FUNDRAISER – Guateque for Prostate Cancer – Latin Vinyl This Saturday

Our good friends are hosting this dope fundraiser for prostate cancer featuring all vinyl selectors dropping latin inspired joints to help raise money for prostate cancer foundation of Australia.

Music by
Nick Hudson
Rikardo Gaymer
Prince Mikey & Milky T
Iain Milkcrate Jones
Raffi Irie Lovechild
DJ Tropicante
Adrian & more.


DJ Lineup

International DJ playing at Mod, Soul and 60’s R’n’B nights and weekenders across the UK, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia.
DJ at Mousetrap all-nighter in London for 10 years.
Founder of the 45RPM Mod Boat Cruise weekender in Sydney:

A selector and producer with supports for Stro Elliot (The Roots), MNDSGN (Stones Throw), played this years Melbourne international Jazz festival and was just featured on Giles Peterson’s Worldwide FM.

A lover of Reggae, Dub, Ska, Rocksteady and Roots.
Co-founder/builder/operator of Sydney’s Inner West Reggae Disco Machine sound system. Also plays mixed bag musical selections in various bars around Sydney.

Visual artist, dreamer and maker of things.
Resident on the decks for Queen Bee @ Hive Bar: a regular night of ladies playing vinyl only.

Passionate record collector and resident DJ in the Northern Soul club, The Sweetest Feeling. Also with appearances in Soul weekenders around Australia with a great selection of Soul & Funk.
You can also find him playing records on a Wednesday night @ The Hive bar in Erskineville.

DJ/Radio Presenter/Music Producer and the pilot of the long-flying radio show, Departure Lounge, which goes on air every Saturday afternoon on Sydney Community Radio Station 2SER.107.3. El Chino’s eclectic selection covers musical genres from, old/nu-Jazz, Broken Beat, Brazilian, Latin, Soul, Funk to Folk and Electronica.
Some highlights are Rebublica in Sao Paulo with DJ Nuts in 2014 and in the first Afrobrasiliana Warehouse Party Portugal Club in 2017.

Admired Musician from Mexico currently playing in Los Tremoleros in Melbourne, making his first appearance in Sydney on the decks!
Bass player from Lost Acapulco surf band who’s last performance in November filled up the Zocalo Capitalino in México DF, he is bringing us a great variety of cumbias.
He has played along side Daddy-O Grande and many more surf music legends.

Guitarist and co-founder of CUMBIAMUFFIN, with a great ear for Latin Music. Colombian born Carlos Arango (aka Tropicante Sound Sistema), is a member of Sydney’s underground DJ collective Pineapple Republic, and a well-renowned selector, event promoter and host of some of the most iconic Tropical nights around the best venues in Sydney, exposing people to the new wave of Latin, Caribbean and global beats that are still fresh to Sydney’s night life.

Part of Tropicante’s credits include hosting events with internationals like Quantic and Daniel Haaksman.

Some other gigs include:
Subsonic Festival 2017
Pyrmont uptown Festival 2017
Parramatta Lanes Festival 2017
Tropical Sessions Hornsby 2017
Mogo Festival 2016
Sonido Fino @ Café Lounge, Kings X Hotel, Bare Necessities @Cliff Dive + More.
Best party venues in Colombia
Invitro, Candelario, Escobarosas, La Residencia.

His main thing is Reggae, collecting records since the early 90’s.
Was part of the Firehouse crew in the late 90’s but also loves latin music – especially 60’s & 70’s Salsa Dura from NY and Colombia.

Music connoisseur, collector of great vinyl, who has played for Jennifer Lopez.
You might have seen him also @ The Hive Bar, and playing in Gonzo’s night on Saturday nights at the Bank Hotel in Newtown.