Music is a magical thing. It is a phenomenon uniquely human, but it is popular in every culture in one form or another. In cultures all over the world communities gather and bond over music. Musicians bring people of all walks of life together to enjoy the beauty of song. Fayetteville is no exception. For 76 years Community Concerts has brought various musicians of all different genres to the town to share their art with the Fayetteville community, with the simple goal of “making Fayetteville a better place.” The next musical group coming to Fayetteville is Kool and the Gang.

The band was originally formed in 1964 as the Jazzicas, but changed its name in 1969. Since then, they have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. Kool and the Gang is a group of talented musicians, who for more than 35 years has created a unique intersection of jazz, rhythm and blues, funk and pop. They have won two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and have 31 gold and platinum albums. Some of their most well-known songs that made them famous are “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness” and “Open Sesame.” The current members of the band are Robert “Kool” Bell, his brother Khalis Bayyan, their friends Dennis “DT” Thomas and George “Funky” Brown. 02-20-13-kool-&-gang.gif

It is truly a feat that Kool and the Gang has been able to perform and create at this level for more than four decades. “Kool” explains the success by saying, “Hard work is very important. We are extremely grateful to all of our fans. The business is extremely competitive, but we have been touring a lot and it is great to have been able to perform throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and into today.”

As glamorous and rewarding as the music business is, there are some hardships that the artists must endure for the love of their craft. “

Waking up at 4 and 5 a.m. to go to the airport with all of our bags and go through all the TSA is hard. Tour buses are a lot nicer, but after 40 years there is wear and tear.” Kool said. Regardless, Kool and the Gang still travels and performs all over the country with the same passion and energy they performed with in the ‘70s.

Experiencing music through concerts is different than listening at home. Seeing the music performed by the artists who created it adds an entirely new level to the sound. Kool and the Gang is skilled at bringing music to the crowds in a relatable and exciting way. Whether those attending are long-time fans or new to their sound, the performance is sure to be memorable and engaging.

“We have very high-energy shows. We perform hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s. It is a choreographed show, but we make sure to keep the energy up while we play all the hits,” Kool says.

Kool and the Gang will be at the Crown Theatre on Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Crown Box office at www.aththecrown.com or call 438-4100.

Photo: Kool and the Gang is set to perform at the Crown on Feb. 23.

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