GLOVERSVILLE — Stephen “Rocco” Christman feels great about coming back to Fulton County and bringing his band with him.
Funk Evolution is part of the multifaceted Evolution Entertainment Group of Schenectady, which has entertained far and wide in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and is touching down for the first time on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for The Glove Theatre’s season-opening weekend.
Christman, a saxophonist and vocalist, is excited because was born in Gloversville and was educated here and in Mayfield, and he wants to aid in the area’s revival.
“This is the first time I’ve performed professionally in Fulton County in my life,” said the 1999 Mayfield High School graduate.
He credits local schools and music teachers with preparing him for his career. Christman attended Kingsborough Elementary School until the third grade and then continued in Mayfield schools. He took private lessons with John Savage, Gloversville High School music director, and now retired Mayfield High School band leader Noel Wing, as well as with Nick Brignola, a Troy-born internationally known jazz saxophonist.
Christman has long been concerned about the Gloversville’s effort at economic resurgence since the loss of most of the leather industry, and he has kept in touch with Mayor Dayton King. He said he also wants “to showcase music in the schools” at a time when school districts are struggling to maintain music programs in the face of tight budgets.
Christman lauded the management of the Glove for its efforts to renovate the theater and said he hopes his upcoming performance will help with that.
“They’re working hard to raise money to redo it, to make it a nice theater,” he said.
He recalls that his older siblings experienced the Glove in its former glory, but he himself had known it only as a “decrepit building” and “never saw the inside of it.”
Christman joined the regional horn band, The Refrigerators, in 2004 and then left to start Funk Evolution in 2010, which includes DJs and sound and lighting as well as band music. The funk and soul band endeavors to reach “a broad demographic” by making contemporary music more appealing to older listeners and updating music by such groups as Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago to sound more contemporary.
Until now, the closest Evolution got to Fulton County was its performance as the opener for the Sawyer Fredericks concert in Amsterdam last summer. The group entertains regularly at Centre Street Pub and Rivers Casino, both in Schenectady; Dangos on Caroline in Saratoga Springs; Turning Stone Casino in Verona; and Hunter Mountain Ski Resort. It has also performed at Oceanfront in Wildwood Crest, N.J.; Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse; and Philadelphia. The group, which has 32 employees, has been the featured entertainment for Freihofer’s Run for Women since 2013.
The admission for Saturday’s concert will be $10 presale and $13 at the door, which open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved at www.glovetheatre.org or by calling (518) 773-8255, Ext. 25.
Tonight Doc Orloff Blues Elixir will perform at 7:30. Presale tickets are $8 and $10 at the door.