The Kings and Queens of New Jack Swing Featuring Teddy Riley Keith Sweat, Guy, Blackstreet and More 12/9
On Dec. 9, the Apollo Theater will celebrate 30 years of the ground-breaking New Jack Swing sound and will welcome home Harlem natives Teddy Riley and Keith Sweat for The Kings and Queens of New Jack Swing. This special evening will mark their first time performing at the legendary Apollo in over 20 years. Riley and Sweat will be joined by pioneers of the sound, including, Guy, Blackstreet, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee and more to be announced. More than a concert, The Kings and Queens of New Jack Swing underscores The Apollo's commitment to celebrating the contributions of African American artists and the Theater's role in the American and global musical landscape.
The Kings and Queens of New Jack Swing will take place on Sunday Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $55 and are available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: 253 West 125th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745- 3000, www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visithttps://www.apollotheater.org/event/kings-and-queens-of-new-jack-swing/.
In the mid-90s, the New Jack Swing sound exploded beyond the streets of Harlem, NY on to the national and international music scene. Teddy Riley was soon incorporating his signature style into his work with mega stars such as Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson, helping the King of Pop to reinvent his sound - helming the production for Jackson's classic album Dangerous. The New Jack Swing sound permeated music, infiltrating into other aspects of culture including film (New Jack City, House Party), television (In Living Color, Martin) and fashion (Cross Colors, Fubu).
"New Jack Swing laid the blueprint for the next generation of popular music and can be credited with being the genesis of the merge between hip-hop and R&B." said Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater. "A sound that began right here in Harlem eventually became a worldwide phenomenon. The Apollo Theater is proud to welcome back these iconic artists."
Teddy Riley said, "this show is something that Keith and I have wanted to do for a long time." After having performed all over the world many times over, there is nothing quite like home and it feels so good to come back to Harlem. I grew up three blocks from the Apollo and would always watch the artists come out the stage door from behind the fence at my school which is directly behind the Theater. Harlem is also where the New Jack Swing sound was created sothis homecoming show means so much to me on so many levels."
Keith Sweat added, "to have been part of the amazing legacy that is New Jack Swing from the very beginning and to see at how the music we created has impacted popular culture is incredible. What will make this concert at the Apollo even more special for me is to be able to perform with my brother, Teddy Riley, in the place where it all started. Harlem is home, home is always were the heart is and I am excited to return to the Apollo after such a long time to celebrate New Jack Swing."
About Teddy Riley/ New Jack Swing
Harlem native Teddy Riley is one of the most influential artists and producers in the history of popular culture. As the key architect of New Jack Swing, a fusion of R&B, Hip Hop and Pop with traces of Funk, Soul and Disco, Riley created an era-defining sound that dominated and forever transformed the landscape of popular music. Riley began his career as a songwriter and producer and made his mark early on, producing timeless hits such as Doug E. Fresh's seminal hip-hop classic The Show in 1985. By the late 80s, Riley had developed and honed his unique New Jack Swing sound, introducing the world to it through his collaborations with iconic R&B artists such Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, En Vogue, Bell Biv Devoe, Al B. Sure and his own popular group Guy.
Many of today's top producers cite Riley as their major musical influence including Swizz Beats, Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, who Riley provided with his first professional opportunity as a producer. The New Jack Swing sound recently received a resurgence after superstar Bruno Mars incorporated it into his latest opus 24K Magic and also credited Riley as a major influence in the making of that album.
About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater-the soul of American culture-plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo's programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo, 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella, the annual Africa Now! Festival, and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved. The Apollo is a performing arts presenting organization that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo's legacy through a contemporary lens; global festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin' Convention; international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and Special Projects, multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres-including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo's forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.