Apollo Special Performances
The Apollo will present a variety of special projects in collaboration with other presenting and producing organizations. These projects might include concert versions of new musicals, major poetry/music events, and other multi-disciplinary events. Many of these projects are conceived and led by master artists in their fields. For 2013 projects include:
APOLLO CELEBRATES BROADWAY: "UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN" STARRING LESLIE UGGAMS
March 18, 2013 – 8pm
The Apollo continues its annual celebration of Broadway with a special performance by legend and Tony Award winner, Leslie Uggams in her one-woman autobiographical musical, “Uptown Downtown” This magical evening charts her historic career from Harlem to Broadway and everywhere in between.
Directed by Michael Bush, “Uptown Downtown” also includes Ms. Uggams’ swinging pop-jazz quintet, led by conductor, Don Rebic with Steve Bargonetti-guitar, Dan Block-woodwinds, Ray Kilday-bass, and Buddy Williams -drums. Produced by Grahame Pratt.
In Uptown, Downtown, Uggams puts her own personal stamp on classic songs which mark milestones in her Uptown (Harlem) and Downtown (Broadway) careers. Her songs punctuate her life-long relationship with the Apollo by highlighting her beginnings as a nine-year-old opening for greats like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington and pay homage to her illustrious Broadway career with “My Own Morning” and “Being Good” which recall her Tony-winning performance in Hallelujah, Baby!
ASK YOUR MAMA: 12 MOODS FOR JAZZ
March 23, 2013 – 8pm
By Laura Karpman
Presented in partnership with the Manhattan School of Music
Africa to the Americas, the South to the North, opera to jazz, gospel to be-bop, this lauded multi-media work that entranced audiences at its Carnegie Hall premiere now returns for its Harlem debut. Langston Hughes’s epic poem Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz comes to life again in a deep collaboration between acclaimed soprano Jessye Norman and Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman. This Manhattan School of Music Harlem Nights event offers Jessye Norman, Nnenna Freelon, Meshell Ndegeocello and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia with George Manahan as Conductor.
BLINK YOUR EYES: SEKOU SUNDIATA REVISTED
In Spring 2013, the Apollo Theater will take part in Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a six month, citywide retrospective that honors and explores the legacy of artist, poet, and educator Sekou Sundiata through a series of events including the re-imagining of major theater pieces and concerts of poetry and music, as well as poetry readings, humanities programs, and community engagement activities. The Apollo will present two events as a part of Blink Your Eyes, blessing the boats: the remix and Tongues of Fire Choir.
TONGUES OF FIRE CHOIR
as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited,
a New York City-wide retrospective produced by MAPP International Productions
Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:00PM
Originally conceived by Sekou Sundiata and Craig Harris
Craig Harris, Curator and Musical Director
Performed by Craig Harris and the Nation of Imagination
Poets: Abiodun (of the Last Poets), Amiri Baraka and Rakim
Special Guests: Regina Carter, Bobbi Humphrey,Vernon Reid, and Wunmi
Narrator: Liza Jessie Peterson
Director: Bill Toles
Tongues of Fire Choir is presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a city-wide retrospective that pays tribute to the life, work, and legacy of artist poet and educator Sekou Sundiata.
Originally created by Sekou Sundiata and Craig Harris, the Apollo Theater will restagethe 1996 production of Tongues of Fire Choir. In this incarnation, the idea of “What’s in a name?” will be explored. The concert will follow a lyrical journey as poets explore their craft within the tradition of the cipher and celebrate their collective role in the continuum of African American male identity while building on the transformative impact of the work of Sekou Sundiata.
Generous support for Tongues of Fire Choir provided by the Ford Foundation Fund for Global Programs
The restaging of Tongues of Fire Choir at the Apollo Theater is sponsored by Time Warner Inc.
MAPP International Productions gratefully acknowledges the generous funders who have been instrumental in bringing Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisted to life through their support for this project and for our organization: Rockefeller Foundation New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, Surdna Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Axe-Houghton Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.