Funk Parade Announces New Leadership

By Will Urquhart / November 28, 2018

The annual Funk Parade, held on the U Street corridor each summer, announced new leadership yesterday. The MusicianShip DC, a a District-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, will take over starting in 2019.

From the press release:

The 2018 Funk Parade - Photo: Jason Herman

“We’re incredibly proud and happy to have worked with artists, organizers, businesses and volunteers from all over the city these past years to create the Funk Parade and secure its place as a pre-eminent music and arts event in the city’s calendar,” said Justin Rood, event Co-founder. “It brings Washingtonians together like no other.”

“We started Funk Parade in large part to elevate, honor and convene the city’s music and arts community under one giant banner,” said Chris Naoum, event Co-founder and director of the music initiative Listen Local First. “We can proudly say Funk Parade is now the greatest one-day extravaganza for musicians and artists in the region. There is no better organization to helm this event than The MusicianShip. Its commitment to fostering and expanding our music community, particularly by reaching out and developing overlooked talents in our city’s at-risk youth, aligns with both Funk Parade’s musical mission and its community mission.”

“We are excited and honored to take the Funk Parade baton and give it a permanent and lasting home with The MusicianShip,” said Jeffery Tribble Jr., the organization’s Executive Director. “The event will allow us to expand our reach and impact in the city, and serve as a multiplier effect for the work we do supporting District youth and musical artists. The community, together with Chris and Justin, have built a truly special thing. We share those values. We look forward to producing this event and helping keep the spirit of funk alive in DC for a long time to come.”

The 2018 Funk Parade - Photo: Jason Herman

The MusicianShip was formed in 2009 and has a leadership team with deep ties to the district, starting with Jeffery Tribble Jr., their Executive Director. Tribble is a product of Howard University and got the inspiration to form the organization at the George Washington University Law School with Dianne Grainger and her father, Gregory Grainger. Dianne tragically passed away in 2009, but a team came together to carry on, creating the organization in her memory.

Fans of the Funk Parade will remember that last year it almost did not happen. A funding crisis risked ending the festival for good, according to a lengthy statement put out on Facebook in March, only months before the festival was set to take place. An outpouring of support from the community in response, including from our local government, saved the Funk Parade.

Whether or not yesterday's announcement had anything to do with the 2018 funding scare, one can see how bringing in an established nonprofit with roots in the District could provide some stability and give them a more solid footing. A nonprofit also fits well with the Funk Parade's mission to celebrate our culture while fostering music and community. We look forward to seeing what The MusicianShip will bring to this cherished annual event.

Relive the 2018 Funk Parade:

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery


Enjoy photos by our photographer Jason Herman of Jason Herman Photography.

About the author

Will Urquhart

Will Urquhart is a television and radio producer, concert taper, and audiovisual expert. His focus is on webcast production and projection visuals for political organizations and bands. Will's work has been featured in various publications such as NPR, Live For Live Music, Live Music Daily, and many more.