The Apollo Theater announced today that it has named Onreé Gill to be the next Music Director for its signature talent competition, Amateur Night. Gill has worked with artists including Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson, Prince, Missy Elliott, John Mayer, Beyonce Knowles, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, and Apollo Legend Stevie Wonder, and currently serves as Musical Director for Grammy-winning recording artist Alicia Keys.
Gill will lead the Apollo’s new house band—featuring bassist Alex Evans, drummer Ralph Rolle, and Matt Oestreicher on keyboard and guitar—at the Theater’s weekly Amateur Night, which continues to draw sell-out crowds more than 75 years after it debuted in 1934. Gill replaces former Amateur Night Music Director Ray Chew, who now serves as Music Director for “American Idol.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the multi-talented Onreé Gill and the new band members to our Amateur Night team,” said Apollo Theater President and CEO Jonelle Procope. “Gill’s vast experience and creativity as a musical director will ensure that Amateur Night continues to be one of New York City’s most popular entertainment experiences, and that it remains an important launching pad for up-and-coming artists.”
“Throughout my career, I’ve had training in many areas of music, but none compared to what the Apollo has taught me and inspired me to become. I always dreamt about being as great as Frank Owens and former Apollo Amateur Night Musical Director Ray Chew,” says Gill of his new position. “Being the new Musical Director is my way to give back to the community and to help build dreams. Every week I play at Amateur Night my main focus will be to help develop new artists. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be a part of giving these artists a jumpstart in their own careers.”
“Onreé Gill is a musical force who has collaborated with many of the biggest names in the industry,” said Amateur Night producer Marion J. Caffey. “Experiencing Amateur Night under his musical leadership will be a thrill for audiences, and working with him will be a privilege for me and emerging artists making their debuts on the legendary Apollo stage.”
For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org