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."