On May 16th, Bevy Smith will host as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater along with Lizz Wright, Bettye LaVette, Deval Mahal, Ruthie Foster, William Bell, Rickie Lee Jones and more, pay homage to Lady Day
Harlem, New York – New Yorkers will be paying homage to the great Billie Holiday this year during a special one-night-only event, MCEED by the great Bevy Smith at The Apollo to kick off the 2017 Harlem EatUp! Festival. The show will be presented in partnership with the Aetna Foundation, which will be providing seniors in Harlem with 150 tickets as well as transportation to take in the spectacular performances. Back for a 3rd year, Harlem EatUp! Festival, May 15-21, offers an exciting sampling of Harlem’s sights, flavors and sounds, from artists of the kitchen, canvas, stage and streets.
The tribute will feature nearly ten different acts, showcasing artists performing songs from the Billie Holiday discography, as well as a special performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater of its modern piece “Portrait of Billie,” which originally premiered in 1959 at Jacob’s Pillow. Also announced for the ticketed event is the gospel influenced jazz singer Lizz Wright; the Detroit soul singer Bettye LaVette; R&B, blues and jazz vocalist Rickie Lee Jones; Taj Mahal’s daughter Deva Mahal, a vocal powerhouse blues singer; seventy-seven-year-old Stax recording artist and soul-legend William Bell; the great singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster; and more.. Net proceeds from the evening tribute will go to the newly created Harlem EatUp! Foundation.
“As a festival that celebrates Harlem’s art and artists, we are thrilled to have these amazing performers honor the iconic Billie Holiday,” says Marcus Samuelsson, chef/co-owner of Red Rooster and Streetbird Rotisserie and co-producer of the Harlem EatUp! Festival. “This feels like an iconic way for us to kick off our third year, and we are so excited to be able to do it at the Apollo.”
As mentioned, the Aetna Foundation will be providing seniors, and their guest or caregiver, with orchestra seats for easy accessibility to the show, as well as funds to cover the approximate roundtrip cost for a taxi to The Apollo, and then back home. The Aetna Foundation is working with CityMeals on Wheels to coordinate the ticket give-away.
“Here in Harlem, we are working to improve the health of the community,” says Garth Graham, MD, MPH, President of Aetna Foundation. “We are thrilled to donate and, working with CityMeals on Wheels to distribute, tickets to this event so that some of Harlem’s most important residents – its seniors – have a chance to participate in this rich celebration of culture and community.”
Lady Day, as she was called, began her career singing in Harlem nightclubs. It was in the heart of Harlem where she got her big break and continued on to become the recipient of four Grammy awards.
The special tribute to Billie Holiday is curated by City Winery Founder and CEO Michael Dorf, whose annual sold-out Carnegie Hall shows have previously honored the music of Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, David Byrne, Paul Simon, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, R.E.M., Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and others. Dorf is uniquely suited to create the impressive and eclectic rosters he assembles each year as a founder of two seminal NYC music venues: the Knitting Factory and City Winery.
“Billie Holiday is an iconic representation of the artistic influence Harlem has had on the world musical community,” said Dorf. We could think of no better way to kick-off a celebration of the spirit of Harlem EatUp! Festival. I’m glad they hired me to open the festival up with a real ‘pop.'” Harlem EatUp! is founded by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Event Producer Herb Karlitz.
What: Homage to Billie Holiday
When: Tuesday, May 16th, Doors 7:00pm, Show 8:00pm
Where: Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
Harlem, New York
$40-60, Upper Mezzanine
$80-$100, Lower Mezzanine
$120-$140, General Ticketing at Apollo Orchestra
$300, VIP (priority orchestra plus admission to after party)
$1,500, Backstage VIP, (priority orchestra, admission to after party, and backstage pass for access during sound check)
Contact: Michael Dorf, City Winery, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Rosenthal, Sunshine Sachs, email@example.com
Valerie Wilson, Valinc PR, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Aetna Foundation:
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna (NYSE: AET). Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $465 million in grants and sponsorships. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered 3.8 million hours since 2003. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.
ABOUT HARLEM EATUP! FESTIVAL: The third annual Harlem EatUp! festival, taking place in Harlem, New York, celebrates the food, culture and spirit of Harlem from Monday, May 15 through Sunday, May 21, 2017. This highly anticipated weeklong festival represents the spirit of Harlem while paying homage to its roots. Founded by award-winning chef and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz, President of the event marketing firm, Karlitz & Company, Harlem EatUp! is committed to highlighting the distinct culinary experiences, music, history, culture and art of Harlem. A variety of events, both free and ticketed, will be held throughout the week. Website: www.HarlemEatUp.com //Instagram: @HarlemEatUp //Twitter: @HarlemEatUp //Facebook: Facebook.com/HarlemEatUp
ABOUT HARLEM EATUP! FOUNDATION
The Harlem EatUp! Foundation’s mission is to strengthen community by supporting the people, cultures and non-profit organizations that empower Harlem. Net proceeds from the concert will go to two non-profit organizations that have a direct impact on the Harlem Community: City meals on Wheels and Harlem Park to Park.