Past Event

Break Beats and Funky Drumming

Sometimes we find peace in beats and breaks

Put the bang in the back so the seats can shake

Rebel Cadillac music for the people sake

The People

— Common

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, The Public Square at the IHC, and the Departments of Performing Arts and African American Studies atthe University of Illinois Chicagopresent a program featuring oral history and performances by Clyde Stubblefield and Kool Herc . The panel discussion will be followed by b-boy performances, local legends, and more!

Reservations are recommended. Call the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at 312.413.5353 for more information. Light refreshments will be served.

More about our featured speakers:

Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” is known as the most sampled drummer in the world, because, as Rolling Stone wrote of a recent James Brown collection, “When he (Brown) finally lets Clyde Stubblefield take the drum break, it’s as pure a moment of release as you’ll find in recorded music.” Artists as diverse as Sinead O’Connor, Public Enemy, and Fine Young Cannibals electronically “borrowed” Stubblefield’s rolls and flams. Stubblefield was named Rolling Stone’s “Drummer of the Year” in 1990 and, in 1995, a pair of his drum sticks were enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A citizen of Madison, Wisconsin, where he has lived for over three decades, he continues to play his regular blue Monday gig when he’s not on the road with leading jazz/funk groups like The Masters of Groove or John Scofield. Many of the break beats that Herc played and extended to make hip-hop music were Clyde Stubblefield creations.

Kool Herc emigrated to the Bronx in 1967 when he was 12 years old. His first deejay gig was at his sister’s birthday party in 1973. Herc became aware which records would keep the crowd moving and became more interested in the break section of the song. His desire to capture this moment for a longer period of time would became the foundation for hip-hop. Herc would purchase two copies of the same record and play them on separate turntables next to each other. He would play the break beat on one record then throw it over to the other turntable and play the same part. He would dig in crates and look everywhere to find the perfect break beat for his parties. He didn’t care what type of music, because he only needed a small section of a song for his purposes. Herc also became known as the man with the loudest sound system around.As competing DJ’s looked to cut in on the action, Herc would soak the labels off his records so no one could steal his beats. Although he is not part of the vocabulary of most who listen tothe music these days, Kool Herc is the father of the underground sound from New York that found its way to becoming a world-wide phenomon and the largest global youth culture on the planet. Herc isthe father of hip-hop music.

This event is co-hosted by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Departments of Performing Arts and African American Studies at UIC, and The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council.