Renditions of popular songs will be mixed with old school songs to create a fun event for everyone to enjoy.

Friday Night Funk Out, held as part of Black History Month, began several years ago with the intent to create a soulful experience that brings people together to enjoy music. A graduate student thought the student body, as well as faculty and staff, could benefit from an event where people could sing, dance, laugh and express themselves.

From blues to hip-hop, music has a way of impacting listeners; it soothes the soul, calms heavy hearts and provokes deep thought. Music is integrated in African American culture, representing a form of art. It allows performers to communicate struggles, triumphs and tell personal stories.

“Music is one language every person on earth can speak,” said James Ross, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and performer. “Music has no creed, no color, no race … everybody loves music.”

“This just isn’t a regular event,” said Ashley Munson, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and program coordinator for the event. “It brings everybody in the community together, not just the African Americans. Everybody can celebrate the value of music, together.”

Hosted by the Black Cultural Center, the event this semester includes about 15 performers, ranging from singers to rappers to poets. Although several people that perform in the event are a part of the BCC ensembles, anybody can choose to showcase their talents. Traditionally, the event has incorporated a lot of old school music, but the planning committee has gone a different route this time around. New school and old school music will be mixed with renditions of popular songs.

According to Ross, Friday Night Funk Out gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents outside of scholarship at a research institution.

“I feel like everybody comes to Purdue and gets hooked into the books and forgets we can still have fun (despite) a tough curriculum,” Ross said.

Though Ross has performed before, he has never played the drums in a structured setting. He said he is “nervous” but also “very excited to finally be a participant” after several years of missing the events.

The event will be from 8 to 10 p.m this evening at the Black Cultural Center.