Harlem Stage’s WaterWorks Program presents a Musical Tribute to Stevie Wonder

113dbb6faad6c28676359f52b39602e1Harlem Stage has presented some of the most memorable events over the years and this season is no different. Robert Glasper and Special Guests Present The World Premiere of “Songs in the Key of Life,” a Musical Tribute to Stevie Wonder, Commissioned by Harlem Stage’s WaterWorks Program on Thursday- Friday, December 13-14. The Robert Glasper Experiment, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Stokley (from Mint Condition), Questlove and Many More Take Icon’s Music to “Higher Ground”

Pianist Robert Glasper, whose Grammy-nominated “Black Radio” raised his profile this year and took his cross-pollination experiments to proud new heights, closes Harlem Stage’s Fall Season December 13-14 with “Songs in the Key of Life,” a star-studded tribute to the music of cultural icon Stevie Wonder. It is the third “WaterWorks” commission Harlem Stage is presenting as part of its 30th anniversary celebration and its acclaimed Uptown Nights music series.

Glasper – who has accompanied the likes of Maxwell and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and employed many soul and hip-hop stars on his own critically-acclaimed albums and shows – will share the stage with several exemplary musicians & vocalists from the worlds of R&B, soul, hip-hop and jazz: including his own The Robert Glasper Experiment with drummer Mark Colenburg, bassist Derrick Hodge and saxophonist Casey Benjamin (who have backed Grammy winners and high profile artists such as Common, Chrisette Michelle, Q-Tip, Kanye West, and Lauryn Hill ); drummer Questlove (from the Roots; Thursday show only); and singers Lalah Hathaway (daughter of Donny Hathaway known as “the first daughter of soul”), Eric Roberson (a multi Grammy-nominated singer in his own right) and Stokley (from Mint Condition, an acclaimed R&B band with numerous Top Ten hits).

“Songs in the Key of Life” will be “one of the coolest live shows,” says Glasper, whose debut appearance at Harlem Stage in 2010 was as part of a tribute produced by Revive Music Group, honoring fusion trailblazer Roy Ayers. “Stevie is one pop artist every jazz musician has to take seriously. He has a knack for turning complex songs into deceptively simple radio hits but we are going to dig deep into his nearly half-century-wide catalog. Glasper also praises Harlem Stage for its support in developing “Songs in the Key of Life” adding, “Ever since I moved from Houston to New York in 1997 I’ve heard about Harlem Stage and how many amazing people have played there. To be able to pay homage to great musical minds like Stevie on that stage means a lot.”

Harlem Stage Assistant Director of Programming Simone Eccleston says, “As an institution committed to commissioning and presenting innovative works by artists of color it was important for us to provide Robert the platform and resources needed to bring his creative vision to life. With such an extraordinary ensemble of all-stars in tribute to such a monumental musical figure it will be exciting to hear him explore and transform Wonder’s music and use it a source of inspiration.”

The world premiere of “Songs in the Key of Life” is December 13 and 14, 2012. with two sets each night at 7:30pm and 10pm. Performances are at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue (@ W. 135th St). Cabaret seating with food and drink for sale. Tickets are $45 (Table seating); and $25 (Bench Seating)

On Friday, December 14, a 6:30 pm pre-performance discussion with Glasper will be moderated by Andre Torres, Editor-in-Chief of Wax Poetics.

ABOUT HARLEM STAGE

Over 30 years, Harlem Stage has become one of the nation’s leading arts organizations, achieving this distinction through the commissioning and presenting of challenging, relevant and topical performances by artists of color and bringing them to socially conscious audiences in the communities it serves. Harlem Stage has a long-standing tradition of supporting such artists — around the corner and across the globe — including legends such as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Sekou Sundiata, Abbey Lincoln, Sonia Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente, as well as contemporary artists like Bill T. Jones, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Tania León, Carl Hancock Rux, Nora Chipaumire and Jason Moran. Its education programs each year provide 10,000 New York City children with access to a world of diverse cultures through the performing arts. In 2006, Harlem Stage opened ­the landmarked, award-winning Harlem Stage Gatehouse – in an abandoned space that was once the source of fresh water flowing to New York City, and is now a vital source of creativity, ideas and culture. For more information, visit www.harlemstage.org.

30th Anniversary Sponsors

Harlem Stage’s 30th Anniversary Season Lead Sponsor is Time Warner, Inc. with additional support from American Airlines, Arts Engine/Media That Matters, Black Documentary Collective, Vinnette J. Carroll Fund, The City College of New York, Columbia University, The Council of the City of New York, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, The Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Maison Française Columbia University, Manhattan Beer Distributors, MAPP International, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, SHS Foundation, Target, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Corporation, Urban Word NYC, Reginald Van Lee, The Weill Music Institute of Carnegie Hall, and Yamaha.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media review tickets are available. For more information, to schedule interviews or to reserve media review tickets, please contact Goodman Media for Harlem Stage atHarlemStage@goodmanmedia.com or 212-576-2700.

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