When more than 175 local musicians joined together for a Sly and the Family Stone tribute on Saturday, Jan. 24, at Oakland’s Fox Theater, a celebration of the legendary Bay Area funk band became a stage for homegrown talent and musicianship.
Nine bands performed one song each from the Family Stone’s groundbreaking 1969 album Stand!, including the hit “I Want to Take You Higher,” performed by Zakiya Harris & Elephantine, and “You Can Make It If You Try,” played by Jazz Mafia and Crossroads Collective.
“There’s something about Sly and the Family Stone’s music that shows us how far we’ve come and how far we have to go,” says David Möschler, musical director for the event and founder of Awesöme Orchestra, which performed at the concert. “We need it more than ever today.”
The tribute concert, presented by UnderCover and Faultline Studios, featured Bay Area hip-hop, soul, jazz, salsa, rock and orchestral bands. “Every group brought their own special sauce,” says Oakland native Zakiya Harris.