After a celebratory concert in 2016, the James Brown Family Birthday Bash returns to Augusta on Saturday, May 13, 2017. This year, the show will not only honor James Brown, who was born on May 3, but also Sharon Jones, who was born on May 4 and participated in last year’s concert before succumbing to cancer on Nov. 18, 2016. According to Friends with Benefits, the Augusta organization producing the show, the lineup will tentatively include a reunion of the James Brown Band, Sharon Jones’ longtime Brooklyn-based band, The Dap Kings, and Prince’s band The Revolution, all joined by a series of special guest vocalists.
Proceeds benefit the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils (JAMP), overseen by director Deanna Brown Thomas, daughter of Mr. Brown, and musical director Keith Jenkins, longtime guitarist for Mr. Brown. The non-profit year-round program motivates, educates and inspires children through the universal language of music while discovering and enriching their hidden musical talents. The JAMP Masters and mini JAMP performers performed at the Birthday Bash in 2016 and got the crowd on its feet during its own numbers and while accompanying seasoned artists, including Sharon Jones, who often worked with the students. They will once again take the stage in 2017.