A blast from the past with a modern twist defines the Billie Holiday Project, featuring Queen Esther, brings together the work of two iconic women through song, spoken word, and of course, jazz. After discovering the newly published literary works of Zora Neale Hurston, Queen Esther married the works of Hurston with the classic tunes of Billie Holiday.
The melodic notes and charismatic persona of Queen Esther captivates the audience and guides them on along a familiar journey of love and heartache. The vocals of the performers paired with the sounds and rhythms of the Hot Five band seemed to transport patrons back to the glorious days of the 1920’s. It was a taste of the Harlem Renaissance.
The Billie Holiday Project transformed the stage at the Apollo Music Cafe on Friday April 13th and Saturday April 14th. The event attracted a mixed crowd filling every seat in the area. The success of the show can be measured by the reactions of the audience. They gave their approval in various ways, whether it was dreamy-eyed gazes, exuberant bursts of laughter, or grooving to the music.
Paying homage to the works of two great women during a timeless era, the Billie Holiday Project created an atmosphere reminiscent of a great past. It definitely makes one feel honored to be in such a celebrated space and historic neighborhood.
For more information on events at the Apollo please visit http://www.apollotheater.org/ or 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY, USA 10027
By Shani Ealey