On the Beat

Rock Picks: Saxophonist Maceo Parker closes out NC State Fair

Maceo Parker, saxophone sidemen to the stars, at his Kinston home in 2016.
Maceo Parker, saxophone sidemen to the stars, at his Kinston home in 2016. jleonard@newsobserver.com

This year’s model of the North Carolina State Fair’s Homegrown Music Fest concludes this weekend with the most perfectly chosen closer one could imagine, Kinston’s own Maceo Parker. One of the great saxophonists of the rock era, Parker has had enough accolades and highlights for three careers, playing key roles with James Brown, George Clinton’s P-Funk All-Stars, Prince and scores more over the years. He is also a fine bandleader in his own right, still plays a wickedly funky saxophone and does a Ray Charles vocal imitation precise enough to make you miss the late great Brother Ray just a little bit less.

Parker will perform at Raleigh’s Dorton Arena at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, closing night of the fair. The show is free with a State Fair admission ticket, which is $8-$10 for adults and $3-$5 for kids 6-12. For details, see ncstatefair.org.

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