A unique show on Tuesday October 12 at New York's Apollo Theatre will see Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals on stage with The Blind Boys of Alabama. Following the release of their fantastic collaborative album 'There Will Be Light' (Virgin Records) this should be an extraordinary show!
The very wonderful legendary Tchad Blake has just finished mixing 'Guess You Got It', the new album by Pina. A selection of fabulous new songs absorbing influences from rock, blues, folk, New Orleans swamp sounds reinterpreted by Pina's wonderful unique voice!
Pina's new album will be released on the new imprint PRE in early 2005. She will be joining Liverpool's Sizer Barker as the second release on the label. Watch this space for news!
Iarla has been busy at his own studio at home in Ireland creating tracks for his new solo album. Expect the usual combination of exquisite heart-breaking Irish tunes in a unique contemporary context. Watch this space for news of the release date in 2005.
In between a busy schedule of other projects, writing sound tracks and solo work, the Afro Celts have had their heads down at their own Britannia Row studios in London creating the new band album. Due for release in Spring 2005......we hope to have some previews soon!
"Ten years ago, some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda - and in an era of high-speed communication and round-the-clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, almost 1 million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages. Harrowing and deeply moving, Hotel Rwanda is his story. "
The Afro Celts have written music for this upcoming movie directed by Terry George and starring Don Cheadle, Nick Holte and Joaquin Phoenix. To be released in December 2004.
The Gospel At Colonus Returns.
Famed Broadway Hit To Grace Stage Of Legendary Apollo Theater .
Charles S. Dutton & the Blind Boys Of Alabama
New York, New York -- It is said the second time around is always better but when it comes to the 20th timelike the 20th anniversary of the internationally award-winning musical, THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS the exhilarating magic and excitement of this productions reprise after two decades of touring is sure to surpass its own extraordinary theatrical acclaim. New Yorks legendary Apollo Theater will serve as the celebratory backdrop this fall for the return of this timeless ancient Greek drama transposed into a contemporary, foot-stomping gospel masterpiece starring noted theater, film and television actor CHARLES S. DUTTON, the Grammy-famed BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA featuring Clarence Fountain, THE LEGENDARY SOUL STIRRERS and several New York choirs. The production is slated to run at the Apollo Theater October 25th to November 7th, 2004
Acclaimed as a landmark work of the American Musical theater and backed with years of critical praise including OBIE Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Performance (Morgan Freeman in 1983-84 season), a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominations, an LA Drama Critics Circle, and other awards, THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS is an exuberant retelling of Sophocles classic Greek tragedy (Oedipus at Colonus) set in the context of a Pentecostal gospel service. Its theme of suffering and redemption stays true to the original drama but is modernized with the driving passion of ground-shaking gospel music, notable performers, and church choirs celebrating the 2400-year-old myth of Oedipus with a rousing gospel and blues score.
The Gospel At Colonus
The musical focuses on the story of the blind king Oedipus, banished from Thebes and searching for salvation until he arrives at the city of Colonus to make peace with his past and his children before he transitions to his final resting place.
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS, which has been broadcast on public television as a part of Great Performances, is the brainchild of playwright and director Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson. They will be actively involved in the reprise production at the Apollo Theater this fall.
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS premiered in New York in 1983 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Over the years, this dazzling production has appeared nationwide, in Europe and South America.
The 20th anniversary celebration of COLONUS at the Apollo Theater is sure to attract original audience members of decades ago who want to re-capture the plays incredible experience. While its audiences have been large and diverse, the fall production is sure to attract Harlems increasingly diverse community, mainstream theater lovers, students of literature, Greek mythology, and religion; church members and, of course, New Yorks Black community where many will be able to personally relate to the expressions of joy and faith framed upon the historic Apollo stage.
While Broadway works through ways to further embrace diverse audiences, the Apollo Theater continues to cultivate an audience of its own where traditional audiences of color now share the venue with uptowns growing mainstream community eager to experience authentic black culture.
Jam Nation hero Ben Harper tones down his lap-slide guitar flash in favor of the holy spirit for this blend of originals and gospel classics, his first full-length album with the historic singing group. They've worked together before, on the Blind Boys' excellent Higher Ground and Spirit of the Century, but here the pairing that Harper has termed "a spiritual soul movement" sounds like an outright tent-revival mission. His fevered wah-wah strutting and sweet high voice take their places in the chorus alongside the raw-throated howl of Blind Boys leader Clarence Fountain and his fellow bass George Scott, who plead for salvation like powerful old lions on "Take My Hand." The group's alto, Jimmy Carter, sails over the funky, hiccupping blues beat put down by Harper's Innocent Criminals on the classic "Satisfied Mind." The best cut may be Harper's "Picture of Jesus," a country-music-informed adventure in old-school church harmonizing with the passionate power to touch souls. --(Ted Drozdowski )