The City Parks Foundation hosted their final Springfield Park show in Queens on July 9, 2017. It was a beautiful day that complemented the vivacious funk music of the Ohio Players and Felix Hernandez. For those who are not familiar with 70’s funk, the Ohio Players (arguably) most famous song, “Fire”, is the theme song to the hit show “Hell’s Kitchen” with Gordon Ramsey. Formed in 1959, and enduring several break ups, make ups, and change ups, with a few original members still bringing the funk and soul in 2017, The Ohio Players had their first hit single, “Funky Worm”, back in 1973. In March 2016, Rolling Stone Magazine declared drummer James “Diamond” Williams number 72 out of 100 of the greatest drummers of all time.
There is nothing like a funky bass, ensemble of brass instruments, dual keyboardists and drummers complimenting guitar and vocals to get a crowd up and moving, These guys put on one of the most enthusiastic shows I’ve yet to have the pleasure of covering. Giving the mic to the audience, making everyone get to their feet and sing along, the Ohio Players were an exciting and awesome show from start to finish. They held out until the very end to satisfy the crowd with “Fire”, yet opened up with another hit, “Love Rollercoaster” to get the everybody in the mood to dance. When the show was over, they were out back greeting and posing for photos with their fans.
The City Parks Foundation and Capital One Bank host free shows throughout New York City’s Boroughs and always bring great vendors, families and tons of fun. This show was no exception and the comradery between longtime funk fans was tangible. Check out the photos below.