Step Out of the Box & Into the Artists’ Studio With The Apollo Salon Series It’s Badassssss!
As a part of its 75th Anniversary, the world famous Apollo Theater is proud to host a brand new season of its edgiest series to date, the Apollo Salon Series. The Salon Series, the Apollo’s new-works performance series presented on the Apollo’s Soundstage, provides an intimate setting for audiences to connect with the artists and their work.
This year the Salon Series BADASSSS! features an amazing line up of artists including the iconic writer/director Melvin Van Peebles, the electrifying electro jazz cellist Dana Leong, the powerful wordsmith jessica care moore, and the critically acclaimed writer/composer/performer Will Power and their work. Hosted by award-winning playwright Derek McPhatter, the Salon Series reflects the Apollo Theater’s continued commitment to developing fresh and bold new works that connect the Apollo’s foundation with contemporary arts from various disciplines Performances scheduled for the April 2009 Salon Series Season include:
–Will Power’s The Upper Room (Friday, April 3rd, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 4th,
– jessica care moore’s God Is Not American (Friday, April 10th, 7:30pm and Saturday, April
–Dana Leong’s Life After Dark (Friday, April 17th, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 18th, 7:30pm)
–Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song – The Musical (Friday, April 24th, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 25th, 7:30pm)
All tickets are just $15 and are available at The Apollo Theater Box Office- (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street. Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171 or www.ticketmaster.com/apollotheater.
THE SALON SERIES- APRIL 2009 SCHEDULE
Will Power’s The Upper Room
The Upper Room is the final installment of a spoken-word performance trilogy by critically acclaimed writer/composer/ performer Will Power which explores the sacredness and power of cultural and community gathering places amidst threatening forces and crumbling hope.
Will Power is a dynamic actor, rapper, playwright and spoken-word artist whose work has been featured across the nation and in over 50 cities abroad. He makes regular appearances on the Independent Film Channel and BET, as well as other television outlets. He has developed work as a solo artist and for ensemble performance and landed the lead role in the independent film, Drylongso, which received wide acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival.
Viewed as a pioneer in the genre of Hip Hop Theatre, Power has created his own style of theatrical communication, fusing original music, rhymed language and dynamic choreography to produce compelling evenings of work. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, re-titled The Seven, received international attention and had a highly successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop. The New York Times described Power’s work as combining “the complexity of serious drama with the visual and sonic arsenal of MTV.”
Power has been highlighted in publications as varied as his skills. From glowing reviews in The New York Times and American Theatre Magazine, to interviews in VIBE and The Source, Power deftly walks the line between serious, studied actor and urban hip hop MC.
Mr. Power is also the recipient of numerous honors, including the Joyce Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, an HBO US Comedy Arts Festival award, and a Drama Desk nomination for Best Solo performance.
Performance dates: Friday, April 3rd, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 4th , 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $15
jessica care moore’s God Is Not American
God is Not an American is a new work by powerful wordsmith, jessica care moore, who will be joined by her band and DJ, led by acclaimed music Director Swiss Chris, who is also the MD for John Legend. Moore masterfully fuses poetry and music in this stirring examination of God, race, and other social and political issues. jessica care moore is a strong defiant voice in spoken word/hip hop culture and feminist thought.
jessica care moore is a spoken-word artist, writer, and activist whose performance on Showtime at the Apollo helped launch her career. Ms. Moore fuses poetry and hip-hop culture with feminist thought, exploring everything from renowned historical figures to modern-day political dilemmas. Jessica Care Moore has become a strong, defiant, and educated voice in the literary, theatrical, publishing, and music industries.
Ms. Moore has shared stages and worked with numerous literary and musical artists such as George Clinton, Antonio Hart, Ossie Davis, Mos Def, Gregory Hines, Judith Jamison, Anthony David, Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Herron, Sonia Sanchez, Steve Harvey, Patrice Rushen, Talib Kweli, Ntozake Shange, Nikki Giovanni, and many more. She is one of the returning stars of the HBO Series Russell Simmons Presents: Def Poetry Jam and has been featured on numerous television programs. Author of the best selling poetry collections, “The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth,” and “The Alphabet Verses the Ghetto,” Ms. Moore was recently awarded a Small Press Award from the African-Americans Helping Authors Organization in NYC. Jessica stars, produces, and writes SPOKEN!, a poetry and music-driven program on the Black Family Channel, operated by CEO Robert Townsend.
God Is Not American is produced in association with Moore Black Press, Ms. Moore’s publishing company and the book of the same name will be released at the show.
Performance dates: Friday, April 10th, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 11th, 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $15
Dana Leong’s Life After Dark
What would happen if you could pick your favorite artists and throw them into a flavorful pot of unexpected sights and sounds? Life After Dark by multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer Dana Leong provides an inside look into the creative process of artists from vastly differing musical and ethnic arenas handpicked by Leong. Life After Dark is a collaborative experience of artists, handpicked by creative composer electro jazz cellist Dana Leong. This musical collage culminates into a one of a kind live multimedia experience. It is an exhilarating mash –up of hip hop, jazz and electronics.
Electro-jazz cellist/composer Dana Leong fuses hip-hop, jazz and electronics to create a signature boundless sound. Often referred to as a “hi-def Yo-Yo Ma,” Dana has revolutionized the cello with his cutting edge amplification, lyrical melodies, and collage of jazz textures and improvisations. Whether as a performer, composer, collaborator, or recording producer, Dana’s pioneering fusion of electronic music and ethereal jazz sensualities has garnered critical acclaim and wowed audiences worldwide. As bandleader/composer, he heads the quartet MILK & JADE by Dana Leong (formerly known as The Dana Leong Band). The group’s unique blend of electronic hip-hop, jazz funk rhythms and rock propulsions is a sonic representation of Dana’s hybrid artistic vision.
Dana has worked with a variety of A-list names like Ray Charles, Diddy, Kanye West, Wynton Marsalis, Yoko Ono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and more. Following his successful debut release Leaving New York (featuring Grammy Award winners Christian McBride and Paquito D’Rivera), Dana recently released his latest recording Anthems of Life.
On screen, Dana has acted and performed on screen in a number of different settings such as Steven Spielberg’s feature film The Terminal, Robin Williams’ August Rush, NBC’s Law & Order, The Today Show, and with The Roots “Live at Wetlands.” Dana has even performed for fashion shows including designers Alexander Hercovitch and Dianne von Furstenberg.
Performance dates: Friday, April 17th, 7:30pm and Saturday, April 18th, 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $15
Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song
In collaboration with the Classical Theater of Harlem, Melvin Van Peebles presents Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, a staging of Peebles’ politically progressive musical that reinterprets his 1971 film of the same name.
Melvin Van Peebles, an iconic actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and composer, is the iconoclast who financed, wrote, produced, scored, edited, distributed, and starred in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song, the politically-progressive independent picture which inspired the rise of the ‘blaxploitation’ genre. Peebles’s talents led him to Broadway, where he produced the musical comedies Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death and Don’t Play Us Cheap. Thereafter, he continued to write, act, compose, and direct for films and television. In the 1980’s, he became involved in commodities trading and was the first African American to hold a seat on the American Stock Exchange. His work has earned him three Grammy nominations, an Emmy award, and eleven Tony nominations.
Peebles was bestowed France’s highest honor, The Legion D’Honneur, for his significant contribution to the arts in France. Today, Peebles’s works are taught at distinguished institutions such as Yale, Harvard, and Columbia universities, as well as at schools of higher education in France, Germany, London, and Japan.
Performance dates: Saturday, April 24th, 7:30pm and Saturday, June 25th, 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $15