Benefit honored Oprah Winfrey and Angelique Kidjo at Harlem’s Apollo Theater with emcee Whoopi Goldberg
Featured performances from Grammy Award-winning artists Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Angelique Kidjo and Bonnie Raitt with special guest Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes
NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Keep a Child Alive CEO Peter Twyman announced today that the Black Ball REDUX, held last night at “Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater,” raised over $2.9 million – funds that will go to providing lifesaving HIV treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. The event honored the incomparable Oprah Winfrey and Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist Angelique Kidjo for their philanthropic contributions in Africa and worldwide and was emceed by Whoopi Goldberg. With performances by Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson and Brittany Howard of the band Alabama Shakes, the event evoked the dynamism of Modern Africa, paying tribute to the empowerment of women and the promise of an AIDS-free Africa.
Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys – I Can’t Make You Love Me
“The phrase ‘the show must go on’ was proven last night at the Black Ball REDUX,” said Alicia Keys. “I’m thrilled by the outpouring of support for Keep a Child Alive despite the recent tragedies in my hometown of New York from Hurricane Sandy. We must never forget to take care of others, near or far, and I’m grateful the show went on, allowing us to continue supporting life-saving programs in Africa and India.”
Curtis Salgado Big Band
What: Labatt Blues Festival
Where: Heritage Amphitheatre Hawrelak Park
When: Tonight at 8:30
Tickets: sold out
Curtis Salgado may have his quibbles over the ups and downs of show business but more than anything, he’s just happy to be alive.
“I’m rich in friends and famous in the eyes of God,” chuckles the singer and harmonica man now based in Portland, Ore.
CURTIS SALGADO Live at Willamette Valley Blues & Brews Festival, Springfield, OR 2010
It was only four years ago that he found himself staring down some heavy health issues, which came to include liver and lung cancer. Some good friends in music — Bonnie Raitt and Steve Miller among them — marshalled forces and held a series of benefits to pay his medical bills, and he got a transplant in the nick of time. In the end, Salgado made a full recovery, or a Clean Getaway, as he put it in the title of his 2008 album.
“I had a couple of miracles happen and I beat some astronomical odds, so it’s hard not to think about it every day,” he says.
Salgado insists he was more focused on getting his career going again with Clean Getaway, and that the songs reflected little of his ordeal. Still, you have to wonder if a little subconscious effort wasn’t at work, given the sheer intensity of the songs.
He was thrilled to be working with the Los Angeles session greats of The Phantom Blues Band, who have backed up Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Raitt and others. Most of it was recorded live off the floor, and some tracks on the album even use his very first vocal take.
“It was so much fun working with these guys. It was like playing with one of those great studio bands from the old days. They just played exactly what I wanted, never too much and never too little.”
Certain tracks do have a spareness and sound that’s reminiscent of vintage soul recordings from the ’60s. The disc’s range and impact have garnered wide acclaim, and earlier this year Salgado was happy to win the Blues Foundation award for Best Soul Blues Male Vocalist.
While Clean Getaway does lean more toward soul, he’s weary of being pigeonholed in one category or another.
“It’s all under the same umbrella. If you look at my other records, they have covered the gauntlet of rhythm and blues from old school rock ‘n’ roll to gospel and funk.”
It’s true, Salgado is a multi-faceted artist. Alongside work in many lesser-known groups, the most famous parts of his musical apprenticeship included stints with Boston’s Roomful of Blues and later, a short time with Carlos Santana. He was even the main inspiration for John Belushi’s role in The Blues Brothers movie years before he made his solo recording debut in 1991.
Today, he finds the realities of touring a bit of a struggle. “Being a musician is kind of like being a migrant farm worker. The crops are in during the summertime, you play every market there is to play and you’re left looking for more work in the winter when the festivals go away. But it seems that a lot of people are coming out to see the show either way.”
Salgado already has a dozen tracks down for his next album, again with the Phantom Blues Band, due out early next year. He says there will be a couple of those numbers on the bill when he appears here today for the first time with a full band.
YOU can think of nine-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt’s music career like a circle.
She got her first guitar at 9 — “It was a $25 Stella I got for Christmas from my grandparents and my folks, together, from Sears.” Today, Raitt, 59, runs a guitar program for kids around the country. “We’re particularly targeting girls,” she says. “It helps their self-esteem.”
She dropped out of Rad-cliffe College but wound up being awarded the Harvard Arts Medal, alongside Harvard dropout Pete Seeger. The medal made her happy, she says, “because the last time I was in that administration building, we took it over during the Cambodia invasion [in 1970] and I was in a band called the Revolutionary Music Collective and we played for the strikers out in Harvard Yard.”
And she’s been friends with bluesman Taj Mahal for almost 40 years — “I opened for him at Skidmore College in 1971,” Raitt recalls. Now the two are touring together, with equal billing, in a show playfully dubbed “BonTaj Roulet,” which touches down here tomorrow night in Prospect Park, one of the benefit shows to support the Celebrate Brooklyn! series.
Part of the proceeds from ticket sales on the tour go to one of four causes: blues and music education, social justice, environmental protection and safe and sustainable energy. “That’s wind and solar and no nukes,” says Raitt, a longtime anti-nuclear-power activist who doesn’t buy the current thinking about clean nukes. (Check bontaj.com for details about the charities.)
Despite her long history and high profile with a number of causes, Raitt says she’s a musician first, activist second. “People come to see me because of my voice, not because of my activism,” she says.
When she was younger, Raitt hadn’t even been planning a career in music. “Most people really have a dream of being a star, work at their music so hard. I worked at my music, but as a hobby,” she says.
Raitt, who had an uncle who worked for the social-action Quaker group American Friends Service Committee, majored in social relations and African studies. “My plan was to go over to Tanzania and do that kind of work,” she says.
The daughter of Broadway singer John Raitt and pianist Marjorie Haydock, California-born Raitt comes with a certain musical pedigree. But her own music runs more to mixed breed — rock, R & B, folk and blues, with Raitt’s signature bottleneck so flexible, she wouldn’t be out of place in the Allman Brothers.
Raitt came into folk music early on. “I was trying to change the world, sing those protest songs, playing in school assemblies,” she says. “Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and Pete Seeger were my heroes.
“But on the other side, at the after-school dances . . . the Isley Brothers’ ‘Twist and Shout’ probably spontaneously put me into puberty right there.” She adds Fats Domino and Chuck Berry to the musicians she went “absolutely nuts” for, along with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles and Motown. And old-time bluesmen like Mississippi Fred McDowell, for whom she opened at some New York Clubs at the start of her career.
Redhaired Raitt (her white streak, she says, “is definitely the only natural color I’ve still got”) is clearly still enjoying her rockin’ self. “I’ll be 60 this year. Can you believe this? I mean, none of us thought 60 was gonna be feeling like 30,” she says.
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Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2, the anticipated new John Prine tribute record from Oh Boy Records, is out today. Stream/purchase HERE.
Created as a celebration of Prine’s life and career, the album features new renditions of some of Prine’s most beloved songs performed by Brandi Carlile (“I Remember Everything”), Tyler Childers (“Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You”), Iris DeMent (“One Red Rose”), Emmylou Harris (“Hello In There”), Jason Isbell (“Souvenirs”), Valerie June (“Summer’s End”), Margo Price (“Sweet Revenge”), Bonnie Raitt (“Angel From Montgomery”), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (“Pretty Good”), Amanda Shires (“Saddle in the Rain”), Sturgill Simpson(“Paradise”) and John Paul White (“Sam Stone”). Proceeds from the album will benefit twelve different non-profit organizations, one selected by each of the featured artists.
Bonnie Raitt - Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues
60 years anniversary celebration of Arhoolie
December 10, 2020
Arhoolie Foundation celebrates it's 60th anniversary (1960-2020) with an online broadcast.
Bonnie Raitt - Shadow of Doubt
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
October 3, 2020
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass celebrates it's 20th anniversary with an online broadcast titled “Let The Music Play On”.
Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs - You Don't Know Like I Know
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road
Sam & Dave classic written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.
Sheryl Crow & Bonnie Raitt - Everything Is Broken
[Eric Clapton’s Crossroads 2019]
Eric Clapton, one of the world’s pre-eminent blues/rock guitarists, once again summoned an all-star team of six-string heroes for his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2019. Held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the two-day concert event raised funds for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, the chemical dependency treatment and education facility that Clapton founded in 1998.
'A Tribute To Mose Allison'
Celebrates The Music Of An Exciting Jazz Master
Raitt contributed to a new album, If You're Going To The City: A Tribute To Mose Allison, which celebrates the late singer and pianist, who famously blended the rough-edged blues of the Mississippi Delta with the 1950s jazz of New York City.
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Bonnie Raitt about her friendship with the Mose Allison. They're also joined by Amy Allison — his daughter, who executive produced the album — about selecting an unexpected list of artists to contribute songs to the album.
Recorded on tour June 3, 2017 - Centennial Hall, London - Ontario Canada