WAR at the Paramount
JAMES MIRANDA, Featured Writer
The original Afro Cuban jazz-rock blues band, WAR, performed last Fri., Aug. 5 as part of their summer tour at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill, NY.
Howard E. Scott and Harold Brown founded WAR in 1969. Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan, Charles Miller, and Morris “B.B.” Dickerson were added on later. Their music is directly inspired from their upbringing in Los Angeles where they grew up around a diverse mix of music.
The roster has changed over the years, but the current lineup consists of lead vocalist Jordan, guitarist Stuart Ziff, saxophone David Urquidi, harmonica Stanley Behrens, drummer Sal Rodriguez, and percussionists David “Pug” Rodriguez and Marcos Reyes.
Their music can be best described as funky and has beats and sounds that of an old ‘60s or ‘70s cop/detective television show.
The American funk band is best known for their multi-ethnic lineup and background. They’ve brought numerous groups of people together through the power of their music and are known for transcending racial barriers.
“I’m looking for specific songs like ‘Slipping into Darkness’ and ‘The World is a Ghetto,’” said patron and Highland Falls resident, Jon Koziak. “A song like ‘Summer’ transcends race.”
Approximately 600 people were consistently singing along, clapping rhythmically, and even going into the aisles to dance with one another.
Jordan further exemplified the band’s ability to transcend racial barriers when he got off stage and handed off the microphone to two fans and allowed them to sing along to some of their songs.
The live performance allowed patrons to turn back the clock and see one of their favorite bands perform.
“It’s funky jazz and I like to listen to their old stuff,” said patron, Brian Haley, whom saw WAR perform at New Paltz College back in the 1970s. “As soon as I saw that the tickets were available I had to get them.”
Be sure to pick up tickets to the next performance on Aug. 20 when comedian Dave Attell comes to the Paramount for his standup show!