Kool and the Gang @ Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center

Kool and the Gang formed as a jazz ensemble in the mid-1960s, and went on to became one of the most inspired and influential funk units during the ’70s, and one of the most popular R&B groups of the ’80s after their breakout hit “Celebration” in 1979. The band relied on their jazz backgrounds and long friendship to form a tightly knit group with the interplay and improvisation of a jazz outfit, plus the energy and spark of a band with equal ties to soul, R&B, and funk. Kool & the Gang have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and, in 2006, a Music Business Association Chairman’s Award for artistic achievement. 

For 40 years, the music of Village People has been putting smiles on the faces of fans all around the world. Their hits have become part of the international songbook – and heard in commercials from Pepsi to Wonderful Pistachios. In fact, the iconic Y.M.C.A (along with its dance) is featured at almost every party, wedding, bar mitzvah, and sporting event. Over the years, various renditions of Village People consistently toured the world with several replacement lead singers. On the 40th anniversary of the group, Willis, the original lead singer, returned with his powerful and distinctive voice. And so, the party continues in 2018!

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