NY Pops Set For 2011 Central Park Summerstage Gala June 14
On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, The New York Pops orchestra - famous for presenting popular music with a symphony orchestra of the highest quality - will perform at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park for the annual SummerStage Gala presented by City Parks Foundation. This special event, entitled Motown Meets NYC, will feature the timeless music of Motown performed by an eclectic group of music legends and up-and-coming stars, under the baton of New York Pops Music Director Steven Reineke. Confirmed artists to date include Martha Reeves of Martha and The Vandellas, Percy Sledge, Dennis Edwards of The Temptations, Bettye Lavette, Robert Earl Keen, Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Joan Osborne, José James, Amel Larrieux, Deva Mahal, Ryan Shaw, Everett Bradley, Terry Burrell, Ramona Keller, Mykal Kilgore and Destan Owens. 2011 Tony Nominee and Obie Winner Colman Domingo will serve as the event's host.
The evening begins at 6:00pm with a private VIP cocktail reception, followed by dinner. Doors open for concert-only ticketholders at 7:00pm, and the performance begins at 8:00pm. The program features top Motown hits such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours", "Dancing in the Street", "Papa Was a Rolling Stone", and a medley tribute to Jackson 5.
Premier and preferred tables range from $15,000 - $25,000. For light fare and reserved concert seating, tables range from $1,000 - $1,500. Concert-only/bleacher seats are $49. For event information, including ticket sales, please visit: http://www.summerstage.org/gala or contact Shahna Sherwood at 212-360-8170, or by email at SSherwood@CityParksFoundation.org.
About the Artists
Dennis Edwards began his career as a Gospel singer, later sang with the Contours, and eventually replaced David Ruffins as a lead singer in The Temptations, appearing on the Grammy-award winning hit singles "Cloud Nine" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."
Martha Reeves was lead singer of the Motown girl group Martha and the Vandellas, which had over a dozen hit singles including "Dancing in the Street" and "Nowhere to Run."
Percy Sledge is an R&B and soul singer of thirteen Top 100 R&B singles, including the #1 worldwide Motown classic "When a Man Loves a Woman."
Joan Osborne, a singer-songwriter best known for her hit single "One of Us" (from the triple-platinum album Relish), has toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothers and was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in The Shadows of Motown.
Bettye Lavette, nominated in both 2009 and 2011 for a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy Award, has released numerous albums, including "Tell me a Lie" on Motown Records in 1982. She performed at the Kennedy Center Honors as well as at President Barack Obama's 2009 Inaugural Celebration.
Ryan Shaw is a two-time Grammy-nominated soul singer that hails from Georgia. He began his career singing Motown covers in the group Fabulous Soul Shakers, and his debut solo album, This is Ryan Shaw, was a Billboard Magazine heatseeker.
José James won the Edison Award and L'Académie du Jazz Grand Prix for best Vocal Jazz Album of 2010, For All We Know. Recent projects include guest performances with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and touring internationally with McCoy Tyner. He performed as part of the 2010 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.
Amel Larrieux's first single "Tell Me" went certified gold, and the R&B singer and New York City native went on to release three solo albums, as well as receiving a Grammy nomination for her collaboration on Stanley Clarke's "Where is The Love."
Eli "Paperboy" Reed was named a "Breaking Artist" by Rolling Stone and nominated in 2009 for a MOJO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. His search for soul music has taken him all over the country, from his hometown of Boston down to Mississippi, northward to Chicago and finally to his current home in New York, where he recently helped to organize the Brooklyn Soul Festival.
Colman Domingo, Obie award-winning actor, writer, director and singer, has a long list of theater and film credits, including recent starring roles in The Scottsboro Boys (2011 Tony Nominee) and Passing Strange. He is currently working with Motown record label founder Berry Gordon on developing a Broadway musical on the history of the label.
About The New York Pops
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of the venue's highest subscription renewal rates of any series. The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage. Along with performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The orchestra's media projects include performing for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC, nationwide radio broadcasts, and numerous recordings. The New York Pops' extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout New York City's five boroughs.
In June, 1986, SummerStage was launched with a free performance from Sun Ra and the Omniverse Jet Set Arkestra. Today, City Parks Foundation's SummerStage is a free city-wide festival showcasing world-renowned and emerging talent from around the globe and from New York City's own backyard. With 300+ performers in the world of music, dance and theater, over 100 performance dates in 18 parks in all 5 boroughs, it is one of the largest, most geographical diverse and thematically broad festivals in the nation. The SummerStage Gala raises funds to support City Parks Foundation's free year round arts programming in parks citywide.
About City Parks Foundation
City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. Programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.