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Funk music will be celebrated, performed and studied at the Dayton Funk Symposium

Land of Funk Party
Jason Reynolds
Earlier this fall Land of Funk Way was dedicated in downtown Dayton.

Evan Miller and Basim Blunt interview Neil Gittleman, the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Sharon Gratto, the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, about the upcoming Dayton Funk Symposium.

Starting on Wednesday Nov. 3 with the film Summer of Soul at the Neon starting at 7pm and ending on Saturday Nov. 6 at 8 pm with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra plus the Dayton Funk Allstars at the Schuster Center, the 2nd Dayton Funk Symposium will shed a light on the unparalleled funk era and legacy that was at the center of Dayton in the 70s and 80s with such bands as The Ohio Players, Roger Troutman, and Lakeside as well as many more remarkable funk bands that found their start in the Dayton area.

There will also be presentations hosted by esteemed guests with a direct history to many of the funk bands from Dayton starting on Thursday and Friday at the Curran Place on the University of Dayton’s campus as well as the Torch Lounge at Kennedy Union also on campus. Presentations and events start at 9am and run through the day until 9pm Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday there will also be events hosted at the Torch Lounge in Kennedy Union and then to end the night the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the Schuster Center at 8pm.

These events require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and that all guests wear a mask throughout the symposium. More info can be found at https://udayton.edu/artssciences/endowedchair/graul/funk-symposium/index.php

Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.
Basim has worked in the media for over twenty years, as an A&R rep with Capitol Records and as a morning drive show producer. He is a filmmaker, media arts adjunct, and also a digital editing teacher in the Dayton Metro area. In 2012 he joined WYSO as a Community Voices Producer, and his work has earned him a “New Voices” Scholar award by (AIR) Association of Independents in Radio. Basim has produced the award-winning documentary Boogie Nights: A History of Funk Music in Dayton. He also served as Project Manager for ReInvention Stories, a multimedia docu-series produced by Oscar-winning filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert. In 2020, Blunt received a PMJA (Public Media Journalists Association) award for his WYSO series Dayton Youth Radio, for which he is the founding producer and instructor. Basim spins an eclectic mix of funk, soul, and classic R&B every Thursday night from 8 p.m to 10 p.m., as host of the 91.3 FM music show Behind the Groove.