Twilight Concert Series with Mavis Staples

Twilight Concert Series 2017

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is living, breathing history. She is an alchemist of American music, having continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. Weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and hip hop over the last 60 years, this iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road.

Now in her seventh decade, with the release of her new album Livin' on a High Note (ANTI-), she is only gaining momentum. Produced by M. Ward with songs by Neko Case, Justin Vernon, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc and others, the album serves as a summation and furtherance of her illustrious career. Refusing to fade away, she continues to tour incessantly, remaining as vital, engaged, and true as always. There is no persona; she is, simply and untouchably, Mavis—and Livin' on a High Note is the symphony of her life.

"I think about this album as a new beginning in my career," says Mavis. "I'm living on a high note, I'm floating on air. I know I don't have as much time on this Earth as I've already had, but I see it as saying, 'Mavis has been here, y'all.' Before I move on, I just want to leave some Mavis with you that you're not used to hearing. I want to leave you with some joy and love, and some don't-forget-me songs."

And with those words, her high note is revealed not as a pinnacle of ease and wealth but as a righteous life. Mavis is here, having weaved in and through all that fabric for all these many years, to show us that true joy lies simply in living for others. It's the sermon Dr. King gave all those years ago, and we must be grateful that she is able to echo it for us now. Mavis takes us—not only there, but back, up, and through.

Since her first recording at age 13 in 1954, Mavis Staples has learned from, worked with, and schooled countless legends, and has brought her own timeless talent to every performance. From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers, to the freedom songs of the Civil Rights era, to pop radio stardom during the Stax era with hits "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself," to The Last Waltz, to serving as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, to 21st century collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson, to her GRAMMY®-winning partnership with fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy, the one constant has been Mavis and her singular voice. She has embraced her evolution, absorbing new sounds and ideas, rising to meet the challenges of longevity and bringing her message of hope and positivity to new listeners, song after song, show after show.

The Suffers

"The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston, TX who are redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul,"
"intertwining elements of Classic American Soul with Rock & Roll. Both sonically and visually arresting,"
"the large ensemble packs each position of the rhythm section and horn section with a level of talent and taste that provides the perfect foundation for singer Kam Franklin’s massive voice. The band’s sincerity and emotion are laid bare in their music, which has garnered an audience so broad and varied that they may prove to be the panacea for a jaded and stratified live music scene."
"The Suffers’ ten-piece line up was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and"
"keyboardist/songwriter/vocalist Pat Kelly in 2011. The pair brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, and percussionist Jose “Chapy” Luna, all band mates from earlier projects. Filling out the rhythm section are accomplished jazz saxophonist Cory Wilson and songwriting/producing duo Alex Zamora on guitar/vocals and Nick Zamora on drums/vocals. Vocalist/songwriter Kam Franklin, having recently completed a tour with London-based group The Very Best, was recruited to front the band."
"In a short time, the band has progressed from packing local Houston venues to accepting invitations for"
"main stage performances at the 20th annual Austin Reggae Festival, Houston’s Free Press Summer Festival, and Paste Magazine’s Untapped Festival where they’ve shared the stage with the likes of The Wailers, Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes, The Walkmen, and Cat Power. The Suffers have accepted four Houston Press Music Awards in two years and have been listed among the top musical acts to watch in"
"2014 by the Houston Press and Houston Chronicle. The band’s debut video, a live performance of"
"“Giver,” was recently premiered by Side One Track One following a hugely successful performance"
"during Austin’s Free Week. Work has already begun on a follow-up to their debut 45, which will be a full-"
"length album planned for release in 2015."

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