While writing "New York Stories" I was inspired by a number of the legendary music venues in the Big Apple. Of course top of the list is the Apollo Theatre, perhaps the most enduring and legendary of them all! Located on 125th street in the heart of Harlem this jewel of a theatre has housed the best in Jazz and R&B since the early 20's, offering variety shows in those early years that included singers, a dance troupe and comedic acts accompanied by a big band, (Duke Ellington's having been the most renowned), that clearly had roots in vaudeville.
The Apollo audiences were known to be tuff but would shower new found talent with such adoration that The Apollo became known as the "black vegas" with the ability to jump start an artists career. Many legendary stars first found success during the long running "amateur night" and would return to the venue throughout their careers including Gladys Knight, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and The Jackson Five and of course James Brown who ignited the Apollo with his genius time and time again.
I've always loved working with other singers and using vocal harmony in my music. Last spring when we asked the incredible vocalists Rique Franks and Miku Graham to join us on stage for the "New York Stories" release concert at The Glenn Gould Studio the beginning spark of UPTOWN; TRIBUTE TO THE APOLLO THEATRE was born. In this special evening of music we will be presenting a snapshot of the width and breadth of the music that graced The Apollo Stage including a medley of Ray Charles hits, and a medley of girl group songs made famous by The Crystals, The Ronettes and Darlene Love, who were all part of Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound.
We hope you will join us to celebrate the next chapter in the "New York Story"!
Uptown: Tribute To The Apollo Theatre
November 15 - Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas Street West (416-531-6604)
Tickets $27.50 advance/ $30 Door (includes HST) 7.30 pm show