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Taken from TribLIVE (May 13, 2015)

Bootsy’s Rubber Band 1 of 12 Free Hartwood Acres concerts

by Deborah Deasy

Married 18 years, Bootsy Collins, 63, and his wife, Patti, 58, met in 1988 at a suburban Cincinnati gym, where he was training and she was teaching aerobics. Both will perform in Bootsy's Rubber Band, his 10-member funk-soul troupe, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Hartwood Acres.

Married 18 years, William “Bootsy” Collins, 63, and his wife, Patti, 58, met in 1988 at a suburban Cincinnati gym.

“My husband was a member. I taught aerobics,” Patti Collins said about her spouse — once the bass player for the late, legendary soul singer James Brown.

“He was training. I was teaching,” she said about Bootsy Collins, a Cincinnati native. “I did not know who he was. … He needed somebody in his life who wasn't a fan.”

Patti Collins now performs as a booted go-go dancer in her husband's band and heads the Bootsy Collins Foundation.

The foundation supports programs that boost self-esteem in girls, provide musical instruments for children and provide dental services for the needy in the Cincinnati area.

Both Bootsy and Patti Collins, who have three children and nine grandchildren, will perform in Bootsy's Rubber Band, his 10-member funk-soul troupe, at 7:30 Aug. 2 at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater in Hampton.

“It's going to be awesome. … Everyone can look forward to being dazzled,” Patti Collins said, also promising a performance of “I'd Rather Be With You” during their 90-minute “Funk Dynasty” show.

“I will start the show, talking about our foundation,” she said.

British pianist Howard Jones, Irish violinist Eileen Ivers and American singer-songwriter Mat Kearney also will give free concerts this summer at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater.

Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Bill Deasy — also special-events planner for Allegheny County — booked the county's 2015 summer concerts with the idea of offering shows spanning decades of star appeal and musical genres.

Bootsy Collins, who first performed in the late 1960s, might be best known for his rainbow of stage gear, including stovepipe hats, platform boots and sunglasses with star cutouts.

“He has an amazing bio,” Deasy said about Bootsy Collins, a 1997 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with George Clinton and other members of the funk groups Parliament and Funkadelic.

“I just have a really, really good feeling about that show. I think it's going to be just a fun, celebration kind of night,” Deasy said about the upcoming concert by Bootsy's Rubber Band in Hartwood Acres Park.

Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater will host 12 free performances in June, July and August.

Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater also will host the 21st annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival on July 24, 25 and 26 to benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and the 16th annual Allegheny County Musical Festival on Sept. 6 — featuring Rusted Root — to benefit the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

The 2015 Summer Concert Series also will feature multiple Pittsburgh area performers, including André Costello & The Cool Minors; Sydney Hutchko; Joe Lagnese Swingtet 8; Johnny Angel; Rachel B; Paul Luc; The Commonheart; Joe Grushecky; Casey Hanner; Billy Price Band; Bastard Bearded Irishmen; Beauty Slap; J.D. Eicher & The Goodnights; and Donora.

The complete 2105 Allegheny County Summer Concert Series is available online at alleghenycounty.us/summer.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 .


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