Community slurred with smooth jazz

Pursuing a career as a comedian is no laugh in the park, unless you’re Broc, a 20-some-year-old Ginger from Overland Park. After graduating high school Broc told his mother of his aspirations to be a comedian, and she just “laughed and laughed. It was then I knew I was destined for success” shared the comedian. Performing in Cushinberry Park early Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to join fellow seveneightfivers and laugh at Broc’s mom jokes and enjoy great music. 

I was on my way home from Reggae Popup at TopCity Music, when I happened upon a mini concert. I eagerly pulled over the car to see what was what at Cushinberry Park.

For the second time that day, I would be inspired and reminded the importance the Arts have at the community table.

When neighbors are empowered to artistically express and connect, in organic welcoming environments, one-of-a-kind experiences ensue. Funn In The Sun is one of those experiences. 

Supporting the artists and concert are Rhonda and Joseph Wakefield of R&J Productions. Joseph, a soprano saxophonist, doubled as emcee and graciously welcomed comedians such as Broc, budding musicians and ostensibly, jam buddies alike. More than fun, Funn In The Sun and R&J Productions have a commitment to being present and supporting the community. It was apparent from afar as well as stated, “Help is on the way and we are sending that message across town!”

“The real deal about us,” said Joseph, “we want to find out how we can enhance peoples knowledge about the simple things that most just have a difficult time.”

Sounds of positivity and community, slurred with smooth jazz, is something to snap about.

“Of course one never snaps one’s fingers on the beat, it’s considered aggressive. You don’t push it, you just let it fall,” said Duke Ellington on why it’s better to snap your fingers on beats 2 + 4. Those beats are considered the backbeat of jazz; perhaps the bi-weekly Funn In The Sun event is a backbeat to our community groove.

Funn In The Sun is takes place every other Saturday at Cushinberry Park, weather permitting, beginning around 2pm and going ‘til dusk. R&J Productions invites all musicians, entertainers, speakers, comedians, etc to share their talents with your community. Your next opportunity is July 10 and July 24. 


July 10 + July 24 | starting at 2pm
Cushinberry Park
SE 15th St, Topeka

By Kerrice Mapes

Kerrice Mapes

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