Blending numerous musical styles from soul to funk to the downright outré, she’ll be joining Maceo Parker (whose nephew is a member of Monáe’s band) and Fred Wesley, key members of James Brown’s band during the 1960s and ’70s.
Her breakout 2010 concept album, The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III), garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album, with the single Tightrope, featuring Big Boi of rap outfit Outkast, being nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. The track has even more celebrity status – health-conscious first lady Michelle Obama revealed that Monáe’s song is part of her workout playlist, alongside hits by Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé Knowles.
Monáe is a frequent collaborator with other artists, ranging from left-field, psychedelic Athens, Ga., band Of Montreal, to one of her most recent collaborations with the band Fun., the single We Are Young, a sweeping anthem celebrating youth and its possibilities.
Parker’s funk music journey includes his start with the Godfather of Soul, moving onto funkmaster George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and then onto playing a part on Prince’s concert tours. Wesley has played with and arranged for artists such as Ray Charles, Van Morrison, the SOS Band and Cameo, among others.
Other musical acts during the festival include Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band, playing family-friendly music for all ages, in addition to organist Boyd Jones.
The festival will also offer a midday chamber series throughout the weekend.
• Student Showcase Recital of Augusta State University. 1 p.m. Oct. 3, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way
• Sonnets from the Portuguese by Libby Larsen, performed by soprano Sarah Price and pianist Clara Park. Noon Oct. 4, St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St.
• Janelle Monáe, with Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and the New JBs, and Funk You. 5 p.m. Oct. 4, Old Academy of Richmond County, 540 Telfair St.; $30 advance, $40 gate, $75 VIP, $550 table
• ASU Chamber Orchestra. Noon Oct. 5, Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2261 Walton Way
• Impressions, performed by Angela Massey, flute, Taylor Massey, clarinet, and Carol Cook, piano. Noon Oct. 6, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; $5 public, free for Augusta State ID card holders
• Boyd Jones. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St.
• Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band. 3 p.m. Oct. 7, Augusta-Richmond County Library, 823 Telfair St.
• Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society featuring pianist Alexander Schimpf. 3 p.m. Oct. 7, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; $25 adults, $7 students