By Audrey J. Bernard
The soul of American Culture — The Apollo Theater — turned the 60th Grammy celebration up a notch by hosting a Pre-Grammy Uptown Luncheon on Friday, January 26, 2018 that had some award show attendees riding the famous A Train to the glamorous gathering! Apollo President & CEO Jonelle Procope was joined by Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes in welcoming a very select group of people to enjoy its inaugural Grammy event celebrating the return of the Grammy Awards to New York City for the first time in 15 years. Procope stated that next year the Apollo will host their Grammy event in Los Angeles. Thereafter they’re hoping the event will be bicoastal. This was a magical moment for many of the 2018 nominees who know what it’s like to rub the Apollo’s fabled “Tree of Hope” stump before performing on the world-famous stage where the lunch took place. The special event also marked the Apollo’s official 84th birthday.
Following red carpet arrivals, guests sat down for a delicious lunch as D-Nice spun classic and 2018 Grammy nominated hits. The chic black & white décor with silver accents dazzled guests as they dined on kale salad, chicken and waffles and festive cocktails. During lunch, Fat Joe and Anthony Hamilton (2018 Grammy Nominee) shared their favorite Apollo memories before guests were treated to a medley performance by The Hamiltones (2018 Grammy Nominee) and toast to kickoff Grammy weekend. Attendees included music maestro Ray Chew, Doug E. Fresh, Elle Varner, The Baylor Project (2018 Grammy Nominee), Amateur Night winner Matthew Whitaker, Harlem Outfitter Dapper Dan, MAJOR, Rotimi and many more. Guests left with a fabulous swag bag that contained a beautiful gift from Tiffany’s, Apollo leather coasters and bragging rights that they made it to the iconic Apollo stage. (Photos by Shahar Azran Photography courtesy of The Apollo Theater)
Black History Month celebration – APOLLO style!
Amateur Night: Opening Night
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 7:30 pm
The Apollo Theater’s signature program opens with a host of new talent competing for the Super Top Dog title and a brand new grand prize of $20,000. Now in its 84th year, Amateur Night continues to be a resource for discovering new talent and a defining experience for many emerging artists. The show has launched countless careers since 1934 — from Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan, and Lauryn Hill to recent winners including Matthew Whitaker, Machine Gun Kelly, and Christian Guardino. For additional information, visit www.ticketmaster.com. Amateur Night at the Apollo is sponsored by Coca-Cola.
A Soul Science Lab Production
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 8:00 pm
Soundtrack ’63 is a Live Musical Documentary with spirituals, protest songs, and current popular music performed by an 18-piece orchestra, created by Brooklyn’s Soul Science Lab.
From the painful conditions that ignited the 1963 Civil Rights Movement to today’s Black Lives Matter Movement, and much triumphant progress in between, music has always strengthened outcries for justice. This concert event under the direction of Creative Director Chen Lo and Musical Director Asante Amin, includes a host of dynamic performances by Rhiannon Giddens, Leon Bridges, and Rapsody, whose work breathes new life into the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. This new interpretation of the music of ‘63 includes jazz, hip-hop, soul, and poetry with a captivating video installation of archival footage and animation.
Soundtrack ’63 is a part of the Carnegie Hall citywide festival The ’60s: The Years that Changed America. For additional information, www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are on sale now.