Patti Labelle, SOS Band
Midnight Star and Regina Belle
@Cynitha Woods Mitchel Pavilion
Saturday 1/20/2018 6:00 PM
This Woodands concert brought to us by Urban One's 102.1 FM radio station, calls the event Majic 102.1 Under the Stars, featuring Patti Labelle, SOS Band Midnight Star and Regina Belle. This concert is a great throw-back to the 80's when Labelle, SOS Band, Midnight Star and Regina Belle ruled R&B and mass appeal (Top 40) radio airplay.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native Patti Labelle has been entertaining us for over fifty years. LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and front woman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, eventally they would change their name to LaBelle. Their big hit that made Labelle music celebrity was "Lady Marmalade" a song written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan. The song is famous for its sexually suggestive chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?", which translates into English as "Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?". LaBelle's group became the first African-American's to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Ms Labelle went on to be nominated and win Grammy awards and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for her work on
Atlanta, Georgia's, SOS Band (Sounds of Success) got together in 1977, when keyboardist and vocalist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis and Willie "Sonny" Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bassist John Alexander Simpson, drummer James Earl Jones III, and lead vocalist Mary Davis formed a group called Santa Monica that played at Atlanta nightclub the Regal Room.
They are best known for the songs "Take Your Time (Do It Right)," "Just Be Good to Me," "Tell Me If You Still Care," and "The Finest."
Midnight Star's popularity
began to fade around 1990.
The group reunited in 2000 with many of the original members (including all of the singers)
and released the album
15th Avenue two years later.
Midnight Star started was started at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, vocalist Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist/drummer/vocalist Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist Bill Simmons, keyboard player/vocalist Bo Watson and guitarist/keyboardist Jeff Cooper, as a self-contained group. They later added non-KSU student trombonist Vincent Calloway (Reginald's younger brother).
Midnight Star's popularity began to fade around 1990. The group reunited in 2000 with many of the original members (including all of the singers) and released the album 15th Avenue two years later. Since then, the group has toured sporadically, most recently with a lineup that includes Belinda Lipscomb, Kenneth Gant, Melvin Gentry, Bo Watson, and Bobby Lovelace, with Bill Simmons sometimes joining as well.
Regina Belle, known for her singles, "Baby Come to Me" (1989) and "Make It Like It Was" (1990) were chart toppers back then.
Did you know, Belle studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music. While at Rutgers University, she became the first female vocalist with the school's jazz ensemble. Belle says hermusical influences include Phyllis Hyman, Billie Holiday, Shirley Caesar, Patti LaBelle, and Nancy Wilson. She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the duet "Where Did We Go Wrong" with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal.
and Urban Knights
@Miller Outdoor Theatre
Saturday 10/13/2018 7:30 PM
Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for over 50 years with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to crossover to the pop and R&B charts.
The Ramsey Lewis Trio, with bassist Eldee Young and percussionist Redd Holt, became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, releasing their debut album, Ramsey Lewis & His Gentlemen of Jazz, back in 1956. Lewis earned his first gold record, as well as a Grammy award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of Dobie Gray’s hit “The In Crowd.” He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.” Throughout the years, Lewis’ trio has undergone membership changes, all the while staying true to Lewis’ high musical standards.
Lewis rekindles his 1974
career-defining album Sun Goddess through a collection of re-recorded tracks
from the original disc perfectly
balanced with five new tunes.
After Young and Holt left Lewis’ trio to form their own group, the pianist hired a new rhythm section with Cleveland Eaton on bass and Maurice White on drums. When White left the band to form Earth, Wind & Fire, Morris Jennings signed on as the trio’s new percussionist. White returned to produce Lewis’ 1974 smash album entitled Sun Goddess, in which Lewis first experimented with electronic keyboards and featured Earth, Wind & Fire on the album. In 1983, Lewis returned to the studio with Young and Holt for the album Reunion.
Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis who is a NEA Jazz Master, has also joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. In 1984, he collaborated with Nancy Wilson on The Two of Us, in 1988he recorded with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter, and in 1989 Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets in We Meet Again. In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz. In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago’s WNUA-FM that ran until 2009.
A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006,a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett. Lately, Ramsey has been touring with Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire), John Pizzarelli and Ann Hampton Callaway.
After having played for years in an acoustic trio, Lewis returned to his electric roots. The three time Grammy winner released a new CD Taking Another Look – Deluxe Edition, featuring a new electric quintet with Henry Johnson on guitar, Michael Logan on keys, Joshua Ramos on bass and Charles Heath on drums. On the CD, Lewis rekindles his 1974 career-defining album Sun Goddess through a collection of re-recorded tracks from the original disc perfectly balanced with five new tunes. “Jungle Strut” had all the attitude of its 1974 original and Lewis made magic on the Fender Rhodes in “Tambura.” And rather than re-recording the title track “Sun Goddess”, Lewis beautifully re-edited the original studio recording featuring Earth, Wind and Fire. Lewis and his Electric Band breathed new life into classic covers, such as the high octane rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” for which Ramsey shot a great video and the tender interpretation of the timeless “Betcha By Golly Wow.”
Ramsey Lewis and Urban Knights
Miller Outdoor Theatre
6000 Hermann Park Dr.
Saturday 10/13/2018 7:30 PM
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