The City of Gainesville celebrates Black History Month with a double bill concert at Bo Diddley Plaza Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. The concert features the bands Dr. Neu & BluJaFunk, featuring renowned trumpeter Longineu Parsons plus Billy Buchanan & his Rock 'n Soul Revue. The public is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to the beautiful downtown amphitheater and enjoy this free world-class concert that celebrates many of the great pioneer artists of Black music.
The concert kicks off with Dr. Neu & BluJaFunk, a name put together from the music genres they cover: blues, jazz and funk. Dr. Neu is Longineu Parsons (trumpet/flugelhorn/flutes/lead vocals) who has been hailed by critics internationally as one of the world’s finest trumpet players. Parsons has performed and recorded with such greats as Cab Calloway, Nat Adderley, Nat Adderley Jr., Cecil Taylor, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Herbie Mann, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Werner, Frank Foster, Mal Waldron, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, David Murray, Billy Harper and many others. He has performed in 30 countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He has entertained dignitaries such as the King of Morocco, the President of Gabon, the Royal Family of the Netherlands, the President of Austria, the U.S. Ambassador to France, the Royal Family of Monaco and for UNESCO. He has been a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony, Palm Beach Pops, Tallahassee Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Gainesville Symphony and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestras. In 2014, he performed for the second time at Carnegie Hall in New York as one of the soloists in the Black Stars of the Great White Way Broadway Reunion. Parsons holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music from Florida A&M University, a Master of Music in classical trumpet from the University of Florida and a doctorate in classical composition from the University of Florida. He is currently a professor of music at Florida A&M University.
Next on the bill are Billy Buchanan & his Rock 'n Soul Revue. They perform hit songs by soul greats that include Ray Charles, The Drifters, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Stax Records icons, Motown superstars and many more. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Buchanan has a deep musical heritage. Digging into his father's LPs at a very young age, he became a disciple of all the soul, blues and rock trailblazers. Buchanan is not only an accomplished musician, he is also an award-winning songwriter. In his original music, you can hear the back beat rhythms and musical influences of the many artists he admires. As an accomplished recording artist, Buchanan has released five albums as a solo artist and two albums with his former band Fusebox (Elevate/EMI). He’s had three top 20 songs on the CCM charts, and has performed in all 50 states and in 26 countries. As a sideman, he's played bass, guitar or sang background vocals for many great artists, including Grammy winners Rebecca St. James, Michael Tait and John Carter Cash. As a songwriter, he's written songs with Busbee, Clint Lagerberg, Mike Hartnett, Marc Byrd and other established writers. His most recent album, “ShagShuffleShimmyShakeSwing Vol. 1,” was released in January 2018.
This concert is presented by the City of Gainesville, and funded in part by Culture Builds Florida. The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville.