Harlem Stage Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue, Manhattan)
Uptown Nights: Ben Williams: Dearly Beloved – The Music of Prince
Featuring Special Guests Goapele, Frank McComb, Christie Dashiell, Jason Samuels Smith, W. Ellington Felton and surprise guests!
Friday – Saturday, December 11 and 12 at 7:30pm
Commissioned in part by the Harlem Stage Fund for New Work
Assembling a stellar cast of rising stars in the worlds of R&B, funk, soul, jazz and classical, Thelonious Monk Competition Winner and Grammy Award-winning bassist Ben Williams pays tribute to the musical legacy of Prince at Harlem Stage, December 11 and 12. Drawing inspiration from his iconic discography, Dearly Beloved – The Music of Prince will feature newly imagined arrangements and compositions that celebrate the virtuosity of Prince with a wide range of special guests including vocalists Goapele, Frank McComb and Christie Dashiell, tap dancer/choreographer Jason Samuels Smith, poet/emcee/vocalist W. Ellington Felton and additional surprise guests. A guest DJ will spin for the pre-performance mixer and after-party. As a preview to the December 12 performance of Dearly Beloved – The Music of Prince, Harlem Stage will present an intimate conversation with Ben Williams. He’ll share his creative process forDearly Beloved and discuss the art of re-imagining and arranging works of famous artists.
Tickets for Dearly Beloved – The Music of Prince and Dig Deeper: Re-Imagining Prince are available at harlemstage.org.
Ben Williams is an acclaimed bassist, bandleader, music educator and composer who has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Chaka Khan, Dee Bridgewater, Terrence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Benny Golson, and Stefon Harris. Last year, Ben Williams performed “Happy” with Pharrell Williams and Herbie Hancock at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. He also recently completed his film debut with Don Cheadle in Cheadle’s soon to be released movie, Miles Ahead. In 2011, Ben Williams released his acclaimed debut album, State of Art, with his band, Sound Effect. That year he was named iTunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year in the jazz category. This past April, he released his sophomore album, Coming of Age via Concord Records, followed immediately by several national and international tours.
For more information on Ben Williams, please visit his official site.
About Harlem Stage (Commissioner, Producer, Presenter)
Harlem Stage is the performing arts center that bridges Harlem’s cultural legacy to contemporary artists of color and dares to provide the artistic freedom that gives birth to new ideas.For over 30 years Harlem Stage has been one of the nation’s leading arts organizations, achieving this distinction by commissioning, incubating and presenting innovative works by visionary artists of color, and by facilitating a productive engagement with the communities it serves through the performing arts. With a long-standing tradition of supporting artists and organizations around the corner and across the globe, Harlem Stage boasts such legendary artists as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Sekou Sundiata, Abbey Lincoln, Sonia Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri, Maya Angelou and Tito Puente, as well as contemporary artists like Bill T. Jones, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, Nona Hendryx, and more. Its education programs each year provide over 4,000 New York City children with introduction and access to the rich diversity, excitement and inspiration of the performing arts. In 2006, Harlem Stage opened the landmarked, award-winning Harlem Stage Gatehouse. This once abandoned space, originally a pivotal source for distributing fresh water to New York City, is now a vital source of creativity, ideas and culture. Harlem Stage is a winner of the William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming (Association of Performing Arts Presenters).