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James Brown Groove Masters Receive Legacy Awards

Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, and Dave JewellJabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, and Dave Jewell

Yamaha Drums, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, honored two of the music industry’s most recognized beat masters with the prestigious Yamaha Legacy Award at the 2013 Wisconsin State Music Conference.

Renowned drummers Clyde Stubblefield and John "Jabo" Starks, best known for their contributions to the James Brown Band during the 1960s and 70s, received the awards during the Wisconsin School Music Association High School Honors Jazz Ensemble Concert at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The major daily in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal, covered the event with a front-page feature article.

Stubblefield and Starks are known throughout the funk, soul, blues and jazz communities for their infectious grooves and for creating what are considered to be the standards for funk drumming.

Stubblefield’s recordings with Brown include some of the singer’s biggest hits of the 1960s, including “Cold Sweat,” “I Got the Feelin’” and “Mother Popcorn.” His work on “Funky Drummer” has been repurposed for decades on hip-hop, rap and R&B recordings, earning him the unofficial title of “world’s most sampled drummer.”           Stubblefield was honored as the Wisconsin Area Music Industry 2000 Hall of Fame Inductee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a pair of his drumsticks are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Stubblefield was also featured in the documentary COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS.

Starks enjoyed the longest continuous stint with Brown from 1970-1975, and recorded more charting singles than any other drummer during the “Godfather of Soul”’s career. He played on many of Brown’s biggest hits, including “Super Bad,” “The Payback” and “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing.” Starks has also backed top blues performers that include Bobby “Blue” Bland and B.B. King, and has continued to work with Stubblefield, collaborating on a series of instructional videos.

“It’s a privilege to have these legends on the Yamaha artist roster, and to be able to give them the recognition they deserve in this setting,” said Dave Jewell, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Drums. “They have made incalculable contributions to the drumming community. Best of all, Clyde and Jab’o continue to inspire musicians of all ages and we thank the Wisconsin Music Educators Association for providing us with a forum to honor them.”

In addition, Yamaha Drums Marketing Manager Dave Jewell and Yamaha Drum Set Artist David Stanoch, faculty member at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, presented a workshop titled Improve Your Groove: Building a Strong Foundation for Making Music on the Drumset at the conference.