The Apollo Theater celebrates its 80th Anniversary with the Apollo Music Cafe and events you to come and catch that cafe vibe in Harlem.The Music Café is designed to attract intergenerational and forward-thinking artists and audiences alike. Featuring diverse performances across a myriad of genres—R&B, hip hop, soul, jazz, pop, funk, and rock, the monthly series introduces new artists or musical projects to the local music circuit. Some Music Café presentations will complement Apollo Music Main Stage events, such as Africa Now! and the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival. The Music Café season includes 18 performances.
Here’s the schedule:
Apollo Music Café – Alison Carney and Lucius Clark
February 7, 2014 at 10pm
Adventurous electro-soul pop diva, Alison Carney serves up a hot plate of what she calls HONEST music. From her unconventional songwriting to her genre bending sound, Carney takes audiences on an unforgettable ride through her electronic fantasy world. Influenced by the legendary Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, Lucius Clark’s silky smooth ballads implore you to come closer.
Apollo Music Café – Ava Luna and Rachel Brown
February 8, 2014 at 10pm
Like your sound 100% organic with no studio preservatives? Look no further than the all natural tunes of Brooklyn based, Ava Luna. Mix in a little punk with a spoonful of soul, and a dash of three part harmony and you arrive at this merry band of musical gladiators. Often compared to fellow sound mavericks TV on the Radio, it’s no wonder that the Village Voice calls them “…the rare band that needs to be heard to be believed.” “The hype is justified,” declares Daily Candy about Rachel Brown, the highly sought after leader of an eclectic eight-piece band. Performing a set that spans nearly every genre, from world music to hip hop, Rachel delights audiences with her distinct vocal stylings.
Apollo Music Café – Gloria Ry’ann featuring the Rakiem Walker Project, curated by Dwight Jordan
March 7, 2014 at 10pm
Gloria Ry’Ann, known for her four-octave vocals, creates a harmonious journey that mixes modern jazz with a lush, authentic blend of neo-soul. Pairing with the Rakiem Walker Project, Gloria creates a groovy vibe that is guaranteed to get you moving.
Apollo Music Café – Abiah and Brian Owens
March 8, 2014 at 10pm
Experience Abiah and experience an artist possessed with staunch lyricism and a sensuous, soulful, grown-folk sound. Previously known as “Jeremiah” in the music world, Abiah performs songs that chart his evolution as a singer-songwriter. Homegrown in St. Louis, Brian Owens’ music reflects a city infused with jazz, blues, soul, and folk. Reminiscent of artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and Marvin Gaye, Owens balances social awareness with simple lyrics and raw emotion.
Apollo Music Café –Lakecia Benjamin & the Motema All Stars, curated by Motema
May 9, 2014 at 10pm
Apollo Music Café celebrates the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival with a special weekend of performances honoring Small’s Paradise and the club’s rich jazz, funk, and R&B legacy. Small’s Paradise, located at 2294½ Seventh Avenue near 135th Street, was one of the most successful and best-known nightclubs in the history of Harlem, and the most prestigious club owned by an African American. Lakecia Benjamin and the Motema All-Stars pay tribute to the iconic venue with a night of jazz, funk, and soul. With her deep jazz roots, she has become an in demand player, arranger, and section leader, landing stints with, among others, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, The Roots, and Anita Baker.
Apollo Music Café – Water Seed
May 10, 2014 at 10pm
Water Seed, brought up on the roots and traditions of the musical city of New Orleans and one of New York’s best kept secrets, also pays tribute to Small’s Paradise—one of the most successful and best- known nightclubs in the history of Harlem.
Apollo Music Café – Jennah Bell
June 13, 2014 at 10pm
Haunting as the blues, gritty as rap verse, and enchanting as only folk can be, Oakland-grown singer/songwriter, Jennah Bell is the sum of music’s best parts. Captivating audiences with her quirky songwriting and indefinable genre, an evening with Jennah is a thrilling joyride through an imaginative musical wonderland.
Apollo Music Café – Cody ChesnuTT
June 14, 2014 at 10pm
Apollo Music Café celebrates the Apollo’s 80th Anniversary and Black Music Month with the incomparable Cody ChesnuTT. The Atlanta native, hailed as a thrilling new figure in music, is a soul troubadour whose frank, socially conscious ruminations on life continue to challenge popular notions of what modern soul music can be.