LEWISTON — Serena Fortier and her Brooklyn-based band, New York Funk Exchange, are going places.

And one of those places is the Franco- American Heritage Center — back to her hometown — on Saturday.

A 2002 graduate of Lewiston High School, Fortier went on to study vocal performance and songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She graduated from Berklee in 2006 and has lived in Brooklyn ever since.

“You know, there’s nothing better than a hometown crowd,” Fortier, 28, says of her upcoming return. “They know the songs and they sing along and it’s just great to see all those people from my past and those I grew up with.”

New York Funk Exchange is a nine-piece band laden with horns that possesses a keen grasp of the 1960’s and ’70s R&B bands that inspired their sound. They don’t just love performing James Brown’s music, for example, they pay very close attention to the horn arrangements of Brown’s legendary sidemen — Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and St. Clair Pinckney, known as the JB Horns.

While the band does include renditions of R&B classics in their concerts, they also play a lot of their own material. They are set to release their second album of original material this spring after signing recently with a New York-based independent label, Modern Vintage Records.

Tickets for the 21-plus concert are $10 in advance or $12 at door. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.francocenter.org, by phone at 689-2000, or at the Franco

Center box office.


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