The lineup for the Lincoln Center Festival tribute to the late soul music icon Curtis Mayfield has been expanded with the addition of artists Sinéad O'Connor, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, William Bell, Ryan Montbleau and Inyang Bassey. This one-time-only event takes place on July 20 at 8pm in Avery Fisher Hall. Previously announced performers include The Impressions, Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, Kyp Malone and Tune Adebimpe, Dr. Lonnie Smith and a 14-piece house band led by music director Binky Griptite of the Dap-Kings.
Since her 1987 Grammy-nominated album The Lion and the Cobra, Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor has produced an extensive body of work with influences that range from Irish folk songs to reggae. Bilal is an American jazz/alternative hip-hop singer-songwriter, musician and producer who frequently collaborates with popular artists such as Common, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The multi-faceted 10-time Grammy Award-nominee Meshell Ndegeocello is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist and vocalist whose music incorporates influences of jazz, rock, hip-hop, soul and reggae. Singer and composer William Bell is one of the originators of the Stax/Volt sound responsible for some of the key soul records to emerge from Memphis including the classic You Don’t Miss Your Water. Singer and guitarist Ryan Montbleau, whose latest album features a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Here But I’m Gone,” has built a devoted following across the country drawn to his “feel-good, retro funk” (The New York Times). Newcomer Inyang Bassey is a multi-instrumentalist with a dynamic voice, composing music that echoes everything from ’60s soul to funk, blues, dance, electronic, pop and rock.
Over its 17-year history, the Lincoln Center Festival has honored special musical artists with dedicated concerts celebrating their life and work. This year the Festival will collaborate with the Mayfield estate to produce a concert that celebrates this artist, who would have been 70 years old on June 3. His music served as the soundtrack to the civil rights movement, introducing poetry and moral affirmation into pop, soul, funk and R&B. The Lincoln Center Festival tribute concert also celebrates the launch of the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, created by the Mayfield family as a way to help disadvantaged youth realize their musical dreams.