City Parks Foundation has announced the SummerStage Showcase, a special event taking place at the Highline Ballroom on Thursday, January 10, 2013. In partnership with Santa Monica's Twilight Concerts at the Pier, the SummerStage Showcase will feature R&B legend Shuggie Otis, Brooklyn's own People Get Ready, soul singer Ofei, as well as gospel singer Joshua Nelson and DJ Kool Herc for a night of performances that will offer audiences a preview of the upcoming 2013 season of SummerStage.
Shuggie Otis is a musician's musician, a reclusive genius from Los Angeles whose name has been spoken in reverential tones by his peers for more than four decades. After a long absence, Shuggie returns as a concert headliner with dates across North America in April 2013. Although an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Shuggie is best known for writing "Strawberry Letter 23," a #5 Pop hit for The Brothers Johnson in 1977, and for his guitar playing with Al Kooper, Frank Zappa, Etta James, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, among many others. Under Shuggie's personal supervision, his highly-acclaimed third and final solo album, 1974's INSPIRATION INFORMATION, will be re-released as a double-CD set on April 16, 2013 on Sony. http://windishagency.com/artists/shuggie_otis
The Brooklyn band People Get Ready has been combining music and performance art since 2009, when the group first performed at The Kitchen's Dance and Process series in New York. The band released its self-titled debut last month on Brassland Records, and it's a fine collection of harmony-rich pop. Frontman Steven Reker worked as a dancer and guitarist on David Byrne's 2008-09 tour, and Byrne recently praised the group for its live shows, saying, "They integrate dance, movement, performance, music and singing in a way I haven't seen before." People Get Ready's live show is an incredibly striking mixture of music and performance art. All members are accomplished dancers and musicians, and their live act pools their collective talents into a striking audio/visual experience. http://thesepeoplegetready.com/
Ofei, the mysterious London producer, has dropped his first single "London" to critical acclaim. Mixing elements of soul, backbeats, processed vocals, and electronica, Ofei is the buzz of the UK music scene and is quickly taking the blogosphere by storm. http://www.official-o.com/
You may have never heard of "kosher gospel" music before, but the inspirational performances of Joshua Nelson, the creator of this style, will surely call out to your soul. Nelson has performed around the world, for Presidents, congregations, major music festivals-and for Oprah, who named him a "Next Big Thing." Whatever the venue, Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel, brings people-and cultures-together in joyous song. http://www.goldenland.com/joshua_nelson.htm
DJ Kool Herc is considered by many to be the "first hip-hop D.J". In the Early Stages of hip hop music, DJ Kool Herc brought his sound system to block parties in the Bronx and began playing the brief rhythmic sections of records which would become known as "breaks. Using the two-turntable set-up of the disco DJs, Kool Herc's style led to the use of two copies of the same record to elongate the break. This breakbeat DJing, using hard funk, rock, and records with Latin percussion, formed the basis of hip hop music. DJ Kool Herc's music along with his announcements to his dancers, called b-boys and b-girls, helped pave the way to what everyone now knows as rapping. http://www.myspace.com/thefatherofhiphop
Tickets are required. Tickets are $25 in advance / $30 at the door. Doors open at 6:00PM. Concert begins at 6:30PM. For more event information, including group ticket sales, visit Highline Ballroom's website at highlineballroom.com.
SummerStage presented by AT&T, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York's largest free performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents over 100 performances in eighteen parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin and world music to dance, spoken word and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City's summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception twenty-six years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. For more about SummerStage, go to www.summerstage.org or follow them on Twitter: @SummerStage and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SummerStageNYC.