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Tribute Band Concert to Honor Late Drummer Clyde Stubblefield

The Clyde Stubblefield All-Star Band will honor the drummer’s legacy through a performance at the Terrace.

The Terrace bandstand holds hundreds of concerts a year, but a May 13 tribute honoring the legacy of the late famous drummer and Madison resident Clyde Stubblefield hits even closer to home.

Before the innovator and musical inspiration died Feb. 18 at age 73 to kidney disease, Stubblefield left his mark on the Madison community when he moved here after performing a concert with James Brown in 1971.

Kelly De Haven, Director of Development at the UW Foundation, had a personal connection with Stubblefield, whom she met through the Madison music scene in the late 70s. De Haven continued to work with Stubblefield throughout his time in his “adoptive” city of Madison, and collaborated with him on a record with her father in the 90s.

“While it’s profoundly difficult to imagine the musical world without Clyde….I’m finding it even harder to imagine his adopted hometown of Madison without him,” De Haven said. “Everyone who knew him loved being around him-he lifted you up, made you feel good, and feel good about yourself.”

Stubblefield’s legacy is far from over. At the May 13 tribute at 9 p.m., The Clyde Stubblefield All-Star Band will perform popular James Brown songs the longtime Madison resident drummed on, as well as some of Stubblefield’s original tracks.

This celebration of Stubblefield’s work falls on commencement weekend, when UW-Madison will present a posthumous honorary degree for the skilled performer May 12 at the Kohl Center.

“[I felt] joy – in the fact that the university wished to honor his obvious talent and contributions to music, culture and community,” De Haven said. “And [I felt] sadness – in that it was not bestowed to him while he was alive. I think he would have been very honored, and it would have given the larger Madison community one more opportunity to thank him again for his many contributions to music and community.”

“[Stubblefield] made everybody sound better. He made it all seem so effortless. He was a legend in the music world, yet, in our local musical realm, he was also Clyde, our friend,” De Haven said. “Here’s to the sweet groove master; that soulful titan of musical talent. A selfless, supportive and hilarious bandmate, and a gift of a person to know. He was loved and he will be missed.”

The free tribute performance will take place at 9 p.m. May 13 on the Terrace.

Author: Ellie Herman

Ellie Herman is a junior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and French. If she's not petting every dog at the Terrace, you can probably find her walking through Picnic Point.

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