Musician And Composer Damien Sneed Presents 'A Tribute To Aretha Franklin: The Queen Of Soul'
Musician and composer Damien Sneed pays homage to his mentor Aretha Franklin tonight, Monday Nights with WBGO: "Damien Sneed Presents A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul" Monday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, located in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, on Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.
The multiple genre recording artist and instrumentalist is part of Dizzy's Club October lineup of tributes to jazz icons and music legends and WBGO Monday Nights series, which features talented new artists, hosted by WBGO announcer Nicole Sweeney.
"During the last four years of Ms. Franklin's life, I shared a special relationship with her as a band member," says Sneed. "She originally reached out to me to teach her private lessons in classical piano, but a few months later she asked me to start traveling with her band doing background vocals, organ and piano after she requested that I send an audition recording of me playing and singing 'I Say A Little Prayer For You' and 'Amazing Grace.'"
"I never had the opportunity to sing background," Sneed continues. "But little did I know that I would learn so much from her and receive such a large amount of impartation about life, her experiences working with the Jazz legends of her youth and my responsibility to carry the baton for my generation and those coming after me. I miss Ms. Franklin more and more with each day. When the world lost her, we lost a giant, a monogen?"s that God only blesses the Earth with every few hundred years."
Joining Sneed on stage for tonight's tribute are Chenee Campbell (vocalist), Matia Celeste Washington (vocalist), Markita Knight (vocalist), Alicia Peters-Jordan (vocalist), Joel Tate (drums), John Matthew Clark (bass), David Daniels (lead guitar), Marquéz Cassidy (organ), Jonathan Shillingford (trumpet), Markus Howell (alto saxophone and flute) and Jack Kotze (trombone and horn arrangements). As music director Sneed will bring the audience fresh renditions of some of Franklin's classic tunes including "Respect," "Knew You Were Waiting," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Precious Memories," "Think," "Until You Come Back To Me," "Daydreaming," "Freeway," "Natural Woman," and others. Both sets of "Damien Sneed Presents A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul" will be available via Livestream at jazz.org/live.
In January 2020, Sneed will kick off his 40+-City North American tour, "We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Joe's Pub in New York, NY, and will make stops at concert halls and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The two-month tour will conclude on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center in Kent, WA. To view footage from last year's tour, click HERE.
Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B with legends including the late Jessye Norman, which he recently was the musical director for her funeral service, and will be featured on Norman's forthcoming and final recording, Bound For The Promised Land on Albany Records on November 2, 2019. He also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others.
Sneed recently joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, where he teaches graduate-level courses in conducting, African American Music History, a singer/songwriter ensemble, a gospel music ensemble, and private lessons in piano, voice, and composition.
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