*The Apollo Theater today announced additional details for the Winter/Spring programs as part of its 2017 season. The new schedule includes a slate of dynamic programming encompassing festivals, and collaborations with artists and world class arts organizations as well as a wide array of thought-provoking and socially engaging community forums and a host a of education programs for students, young professionals and families.
This current season extends the nonprofit institution’s commitment to the creation of new, innovative works that draw upon the Theater’s rich legacy to support emerging and established artists, and to provide a safe space to explore and push boundaries.
A few highlights of the Apollo’s Winter/Spring 2017 programs include:
The Apollo Theater Presents AFROPUNK Unapologetically Black: The African American Songbook Remixed A Celebration of Black Protest Music, which is a partnership with the international cultural movement AFROPUNK (Saturday, February 25, 2017), that pays homage to black protest music and the influential artist activists. Under the creative and musical direction of accomplished pianist and producer Robert Glasper, this big band performance will feature special guests from the popular and alternative music scenes including three-time GRAMMY-Award® R&B star Jill Scott, R&B crooner Bilal, singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon and Staceyann Chin.
The return of the Apollo’s notable series Africa Now!, presented in partnership with the World Music Institute (Saturday, March 11, 2017), celebrates the best of today’s music from across the African continent. This installment of Africa Now! will include performances from Congolese sensation Mbongwana Star, West African desert punk group Songhoy Blues, Cape Verdean vocalist Lura, and the Nigerian born DJ Nenim.
WOW – Women of the World Festival (May 4-7, 2017), marks the Apollo’s second collaboration with London’s Southbank Centre. The festival will honor and recognize the work of women from diverse backgrounds and explore a variety of issues that affect women across cultural, civic, and social boundaries with a mix of performances, conversations, workshops. WOW also includes a special presentation from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that honors the legendary jazz vocalist and activist Abbey Lincoln featuring three-time GRAMMY-Award® winning jazz songstress Dee Dee Bridgewater and Esperanza Spalding. This performance is under the music direction of multi-talented award-winning composer Terri Lyne Carrington. Additionally, the weekend features an evening of powerful storytelling with The Moth.
The Apollo Salon Series presents Maurice Chestnut’s new Work-In-Progress, “Beats + Rhymes + Tap Shoes.” The Apollo Salon Series is the Theater’s new works program, providing valuable resources and exposure to some of today’s most innovative performing artists. Beats + Rhymes + Tap Shoes is a dance piece that explores and reimagines the music of popular hip hop group, A Tribe Called Quest, through tap and jazz.
Additionally this season, the Theater will host an Open House free to the public (February 4, 2017); a special edition of Apollo Uptown Hall: Trial By Jury, will take on the most provocative, polarizing and debated word in America -The “N-Word”(February 26, 2017); a new season of Amateur Night, now in its 83rd year (beginning February 22, 2017) and the continued celebration continue honoring the centennial of Apollo legend Ella Fitzgerald with Apollo Live Wire – Ella! A Centennial Celebration (Thursday, May 3, 2017).
The Apollo’s popular performance series Apollo Music Café (January 13, 2017) also returns along with Apollo Comedy Club (January 12, 2017), spotlighting the best up-and-coming talent in music and comedy.
“We’re excited to present a season filled with such great original programming that ties in directly to the Apollo’s DNA of innovation, collaboration and community,” said Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater. “This season embodies our commitment to bringing in programming that is as diverse as our audiences and that builds upon the Apollo’s rich legacy in contemporary ways.”