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‘Celebrate’ Brooklyn’s Queen of Funk this Saturday

The Brooklyn Paper

All Sharon Jones really wants to do right now is go fishing.

Since releasing her fourth album, “I Learned the Hard Way,” this March, it’s been non-stop for the singer and her band, the Dap-Kings. They just returned from a few weeks in Europe, have a month of gigs across the country, including a homecoming at Prospect Park on Aug. 7, and then it’s back abroad this September for more time on the road.

“All I want to do is go fishing and relax,” said Jones, who’ll probably have to wait for next summer to pick up her fishing pole again. “I’m home and I haven’t gotten a chance to do anything.”

Despite all that, Jones doesn’t have any intention of taking it easy. All her life, she has been singing — in the churches of her Bed-Stuy neighborhood, with her sisters to the Jackson Five and the Supremes, in school plays and talent shows, and in wedding bands. It wasn’t until a gig at South by Southwest a few years back that she and the Dap-Kings got attention from the likes of Lou Reed, David Byrne and even Denzel Washington.

Now, the band’s the toast of the Bushwick-based Daptone Records, and Jones, who has drawn comparisons to James Brown and Tina Turner for her soulful voice and energetic stage presence, has been christened the Queen of Funk.

“I remember going to see them in little dive bars. Now, Sharon has exploded internationally,” said Jack Walsh, producer of Celebrate Brooklyn, which hosts the band this Saturday. “They’re huge in Europe right now, and they’re all just locals from Brooklyn.”

She’s just happy she stuck to it all these years.

“I tell any young band — go do your thing. If you feel in your heart and believe in yourself, you follow your heart and don’t let nobody deter you,” said Jones. “Look at me — I’m 54-years-old. I should be thinking about retiring soon, but I’m just beginning.”

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Prospect Park band shell [Prospect Park West and Ninth Street in Park Slope, (718) 855-7882], Aug. 7 at 7 pm. Free. For info, visit www.bricartsmedia.org.

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