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Summer’s here and it’s time to party with Kool & the Gang

Kool and the Gang. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Summer’s here and it’s time to party with Kool & the Gang

Summer’s here and it’s time to party with Kool & the Gang

It’s an 80s rewind with Kool & the Gang performing live in Australia and New Zealand.

“Be prepared to have a party and dance all night!” says Ronald Bell, tenor sax player for US band, Kool & the Gang, who will be hitting Australian and New Zealand shores this January as part of a mega-concert series. “We can’t wait to perform for you all Down Under!”

Kool & the Gang – famous for their 1980 hit Celebration – had their origins in New Jersey in the early 1960s when 14-year-old Ronald, and his bass guitarist brother Robert (“Kool”), 15, got together with five of their friends to form a jazz/soul band, the Jazziacs. By 1969, the band had morphed into Kool & the Gang and the ‘70s and ‘80s saw them release hit after hit, including a track, Open Sesame featuring on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. They’re known and loved for their funky, brass-driven sound on hits like Ladies Night, Get Down on It and Cherish. And after 50 years of writing music, performing and touring, the band shows no signs of slowing down.

“We’ve just finished touring in Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona,” says Bell, 67, on the phone from New Jersey where he still lives. “We’ve been playing for 50 years and people still love us,” he said. “I think it’s because it’s the kind of music that when you hear it, you just can’t stay still. Our audience is all ages – from 8 to 80.”

The Gang touring Australia will be an 11-piece outfit – four of whom, Ronald, Robert, alto sax player Dennis Thomas and drummer George Brown – were part of the original Jazziacs.

Joining them in the Summer Series concerts throughout Australia will be The Jacksons, The Pointer Sisters, Village People, Sister Sledge and The Sounds of the Supremes.

The Summer Series will take place January 12-19 in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and the same lineup will be rocking Auckland January 10 at ASB Baypark, Mt Maunganui as A Summer’s Day Disco.

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