Tyrone Jefferson and A Sign of the Times

Tyron Jefferson and his jazz band. Image courtesy of Ron Ross.

Award-winning musician and bandleader Tyrone Jefferson has an impressive résumé. He served several stints as music director for entertainer James Brown between 1979 and 2006, and he has recorded with such artists as LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Pee Wee Ellis. 

Jefferson and his band, A Sign of the Times, will present a rhythmic eight-piece-ensemble funk performance on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. And there’s more . . . . Come early, bring your instrument and take part in a master class with Jefferson from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Register for the master class by e-mail to kate.betka@ncdcr.gov or by phone at 919-807-7984.

Admission is $5 plus tax per person and $4 plus tax for museum members (includes either the performance or master class or both); it is free for high school and college students with an ID. 

One of Jefferson’s career highlights was working with the legendary Brown, known worldwide as the “Godfather of Funk Music” and the “Godfather of Soul.” Today, in addition to performing, Jefferson is executive director of A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas, a nonprofit organization dedicated “to improving our community through cultural productions and educational programs that reflect the true heritage of African Americans.”

At the Museum of History, check out the exhibit case Hey America!: Eastern North Carolina and the Birth of Funk to learn more about Brown and the North Carolina musicians who worked with him. The exhibit’s seven items include a green jumpsuit, ca. 1970, and Pierre Cardin dress shoes, ca. 1965-1970, that Brown wore during his unforgettable live performances. The objects are on loan from the Estate of James Brown. The free exhibit will run through Sunday, Feb. 28. 

Hey America! was inspired, in part, by African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina, a guidebook produced by the N.C. Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources. Access AfricanAmericanMusicNC.com for more information.

For details about the N.C. Museum of History, call 919-807-7900 or go to ncmuseumofhistory.org or follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.