It may have been a minute since Narski Music’s previous “A Party With A Purpose,” but the ongoing concert series benefitting the Mayfield Family Foundation picked right back up with a generous evening of notable performances. In addition to R&B hit makers Tony Toni Tone, the more than four-hour affair hosted by V103’s Joe Soto also included laughs from actor/comedian Joe Torry, plus a preview of rising stars T.L. Williams and Melissa Clark.
Anyone who was there to catch it live didn’t just take in a five-star slate of entertainment, but also supported the Mayfield Family Foundation’s efforts towards assisting senior citizens with prescription medications and offering scholarship assistance to youth in Illinois, yielding a vibe perhaps best summarized every time Tony Toni Tone sang the words “it sure feels good to me!”
Of course, Tony Toni Tone was a sizeable component of the draw at the Governors State University Center For Performing Arts and it turns out their ultra-famous lyrics “it’s our anniversary” held special significance on this particular Saturday night. Believe it or not, the group is currently knocking at the door of 30 years in the biz and its gold-selling debut album “Who?,” which paved the way for trail of multi-platinum projects throughout the 1990s right up through a collaboration with Alicia Keys, an EP called “It’s A Beautiful Thing” and an “Icon” retrospective into the 2000s.
Tony Toni Tone basically tore through all the expected cuts compiled on the latter (and then some), opening with the funky favorites “Little Walter” and “The Blues” before winding its way around neo-soul pearls “It Never Rains (In Southern California),” “Whatever You Want” and “Anniversary.” Though everyone was elevated in spirits during both originals and a medley of danceable remakes, “Feels Good” found the fellas grooving with all the lights on for one of the entire new jack swing era’s most familiar hooks that continues to pack a serious punch today.
Prior to the headliners, a much too explicit but undeniable hysterical Joe Torry told outrageous stories about his sex life, adventures in parenthood and wished everyone a happy Father’s Day (which he made a point to differentiate from merely “baby daddy day”). The co-star of “Poetic Justice” alongside Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur also gave his take on the slain rapper’s much-delayed biopic, then shared firsthand insight on attending Bill Cosby’s trial (and let’s just say from his perspective, the media isn’t telling nearly the entire story).
As an added bonus, trumpet player and vocalist T.L. Williams (who’s already logged time on the road with Rhymefest) was a welcome surprise thanks to his adventurous and thoroughly engaging cocktail of jazz, hip-hop and house, while soul siren Melissa Clark kicked everything off with some pleasant R&B-infused pop. Anyone who was there to catch it live didn’t just take in a five-star slate of entertainment, but also supported the Mayfield Family Foundation’s efforts towards assisting senior citizens with prescription medications and offering scholarship assistance to youth in Illinois, yielding a vibe perhaps best summarized every time Tony Toni Tone sang the words “it sure feels good to me!”
Click here for more photos of Tony Toni Tone and Narski Music’s “A Party With A Purpose” from the Governors State University Center For Performing Arts.
Upcoming concert highlights from Narski Music include the “Benefit Jam” for the Mayfield Family Foundation starring Stokley (of Mint Condition) and comedian Al Johnson on Saturday, August 12 at the Governors State University Center For Performing Arts. For additional details, visit iStokley.com and www.NarskiMusic.com.