Soul and funk legend to perform SOPAC

Shengxi Chen/Staff Photographer

Shengxi Chen/Staff Photographer

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) hosts a variety of performers, including soul funk legend, Maceo Parker. He is set to perform on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Dr. Jason Tramm, assistant professor and director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall encourages all students to experience this “legend in the field.”

“Any chance you get to see these performances so close to home should be taken advantage of,” Tramm said.

Parker said he was “born into music.” From a young age he went to church choir practices with his parents and was fascinated with the piano. He thought that he would one day become a pianist, but decided upon playing the saxophone. Parker played in James Brown’s band, and was essentially discovered that way because of Brown’s persistent chanting of his name in various songs.

Parker said he is immensely grateful for the start Brown gave him and went on to make music with a variety of different artists including Ray Charles, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the late Prince.

“You just do what you do, and like what you do, and everything falls into place,” Parker said.

Parker was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009. He explained how this honor was “hard to put into words” because “you never think [your work] will lead to a recognition like that. It’s enough to make you smile.”

Parker now travels and has his own shows that share the common theme of love. Parker encourages people to “live to love” and states at the end of each of his shows, “Always remember that we love you.”

Freshman Téah Celestin and sophomore Alexandra Altamura said that they would be interested in seeing this event.

“Music helps you know different sides of a global community,”Altamura said.

Celestin also said that these types of events give you an opportunity to get involved in the South Orange community.

“No matter what your major is, having arts in your life makes you more human,” Tramm said. “Music is a chance to heal…we can all find common humanity in the arts.”

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m.

Claudia Emanuele can be reached at

Author: Claudia Emanuele

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