Everybody get ready for the Zapp Band!
The band that made auto-tune popular will be coming back to the Circle City to perform at Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration Music Heritage Festival Outdoor Concert on July 18 featuring old-school favorites Teena Marie and Keith Sweat. The concert will be on the lawn of the American Legion Mall and admission is free – VIP seating is $40.
Formerly known as Zapp & Roger, the group was formed in Dayton, Ohio, in the late 1970s by Roger, Terry, Lester and Larry Troutman. The y led the way with their unique sound of electro-R&B/funk party music.
Many know the band from its former frontman, Roger Troutman, and his “talk box” that made his voice sound robotic.The group has worked alongside funk legends such as George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, who helped the brothers obtain a record deal with Warner Brothers.
Zapp Band shot to stardom with its first big hit “More Bounce to the Ounce” in 1980 and is said to be one of the most sampled songs in the hip-hop genre.
Other popular songs include: “Dance Floor,” “Computer Love,” “Do Wa Ditty,” “I Can Make You Dance,” “I Wanna’ Be Your Man” and “Slow and Easy.”
Roger Troutman made a comeback in the mid-’90s by collaborating on popular Tupac song “California Love.” Shortly after making the song, in April 1999, Roger was shot and killed by his brother Larry, who then turned the gun on himself.
“Roger, my best friend, and Larry, my hero, were gone,” Lester said in a previous interview with the Recorder. “We didn’t want to function. But one day my mother said, ‘Get your brother and go out there and play.’ I told her we couldn’t. She said, ‘yes, you can.’”
Despite their family tragedy and one that rocked Zapp Band fans, the group is going strong, still doing music and doing worldwide tours.
Terry replaced Roger on the talk box and the band continues to excite audiences with their high-energy performances and “trademark stage antics.”
“Basically, we divided his parts and kept the show going for people who love Roger and our music,” Terry said. “We’re going to do what we can to keep his legacy alive. The way you honor the people you love is by doing what they enjoyed the most, and Roger enjoyed being an entertainer. I can hear him saying, ‘You can have the stage and do anything you want, but keep my fans excited!’”
It is said that fans are in for a treat when Zapp Band comes back to Indianapolis to perform. To make the event comfortable and memorable, spectators are encouraged to bring food and lawn chairs to the annual free concert on the lawn of the American Legion Mall. Vendors will also be there providing food, souvenirs, and more.