Bilal Performs One-Night-Only Concert UPTOWN NIGHTS at Harlem Stage Tonight
Genre-defying singing sensation Bilal performs an intimate concert at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse tonight, February 21, backed by musical powerhouse the Revive Big Band. Fans of the eclectic, Grammy-nominated artist - known for solo hits "Soul Sista" and "Fast Lane," and for collaborations with The Roots, Erykah Badu, Beyoncé and Common - will see a different side of the singer at this performance. Bilal constantly pushes the boundaries of music with a repertoire that spans soul, jazz, hip hop, rock, blues, electronic and more; this show highlights his classical musical training and deep connection to diverse music, with big-band-style arrangements of his hits alongside imaginative covers and rarely heard tunes.
Bilal's performance is part of Harlem Stage's "Uptown Nights" music series, designed to advance the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance when uptown venues were places for young and adventurous music lovers to find the "next big thing" or see established artists in intimate settings. Now in its fifth season, "Uptown Nights" includes a pre-show mixer, food and drink for purchase, and a DJ-fueled post-performance dance party -- all in a cabaret-style setting. The Harlem Stage Gatehouse is located at 150 Convent Avenue @ 135th Street. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are available by phone at 212-281-9240 ext.19 or online at http://www.harlemstage.org/event/bilal/.
Born in Philadelphia, Bilal Oliver is a dynamic live performer with a fan base that includes fellow artists Erykah Badu, Janelle Monaé, Q-Tip, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. He has performed with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Diddy and Common among others. Bilal's major-label debut was 2001's First Born Second, a CD that sold over 300,000 copies and heralded him as an artist to watch. His sophomore recording Love For Sale was downloaded more than 500,000 times. Airtight's Revenge was released in 2010 and yielded the Grammy-nominated single "Little Ones." His latest album is 2013's A Love Surreal.
The Revive Big Band was formed in 2010 by Igmar Thomas as a multi-generational ensemble of like-minded musicians who celebrate and advance the big-band tradition. The group showcases original compositions alongside imaginative arrangements of jazz standards and contemporary classics. This show marks the second time Bilal and Revive have performed together; Bilal was a special guest at the 2014 Winter JazzFest's Blue Note 75th Anniversary Concert that featured the Revive Big Band.
After the performance, guests can dance to the beat of DJ Reborn, who is internationally known for her masterful, infectious blend of soul, hip-hop, reggae, house, afro-beat, nu-jazz, rock and more.
Two nights earlier, on February 19 at 7 p.m., Bilal hosts a listening session of his music at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, where he discusses his influences, discography and the evolution of his sound. Part of Harlem Stage's "Dig Deeper" series that offers insight, context and a chance to learn about an artist's creative process, the listening session will be moderated by ethnomusicologist and Visiting Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Oberlin College, Fredara M. Hadley, Ph.D.