Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 5 | Gipsy Kings

JUN 5 | 8 PM

Melding deep-heated flamenco, rumba, salsa, and pop to the tune of 14 million albums sold, the Grammy-winning hit-makers behind “Bamboléo” have been making music for more than 30 years. The Gipsy Kings’ music extends through generations and reflects the vibrantly eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos.


GIPSY KINGS FEATURING NICOLAS REYES

Nicolas Reyes has been the leader and co-founder of the Gipsy Kings for well over 30 years. In the past three decades, they have dominated the World Music charts and sold more than 14 million albums worldwide. Their platinum compilation, The Best of the Gipsy Kings (1995), was charting for over a year upon its release and their ninth studio album, Savor Flamenco, was awarded the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 2013.                

This iconic legacy began when Nicolas Reyes’ father, Jose Reyes, formed a celebrated flamenco duo with Manitas de Plata (which boasted fans as famed as Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso). When the pair parted ways, the elder Reyes became even more popular upon starting his own band, backed by his son, called Los Reyes. In later years, N. Reyes headed out on his own and began playing in the town of Arles in the south of France. He traveled throughout the country, busking on the streets of Saint-Tropez, playing wherever he could. Having adopted the perpetual motion of the gypsy lifestyle, his band eventually translated “Los Reyes” and became the Gipsy Kings.

The band’s music went on to fuse with popular culture. In addition to the accolades above, the traveling Gipsy Kings have played some of the world’s greatest stages, from the Hollywood Bowl to Royal Albert Hall, as well as hitting the big screen. Their rendition of “Hotel California” was included in the film The Big Lebowski and the HBO series Entourage. The 2010 film Toy Story 3 featured a Gipsy Kings version of the movie’s popular, Randy Newman-penned theme, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The Gipsy Kings recently featured in a Big Lebowski spinoff The Jesus Rolls with Reyes appearing in person with the director and star, John Turturro, for some of the promotion.

As active as this remarkable collective remains, they are also confident in the future of their legacy. “Even though it’s been 30 years, we want to keep on making new music because it’s our life. It’s who we are,” says Nicolas Reyes. “But I think there will be a time when we pass down the Gipsy Kings to our sons.”

Thirty years is an eternity in pop music but the story of the Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes has the depth to endure. Theirs is a music that extends through generations, to the sounds of their ancestors—Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War—and reflects the vibrantly eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos.

MIKAELA DAVIS

“This record is kind of about writing a record,” Mikaela Davis says. The 26-year-old is home in her native Rochester, New York, reflecting on Delivery (2018), her highly anticipated full-length album, as well as the hard journey the classically trained, defiantly original harpist had to travel to become the writer and performer, she was meant to be.

“A lot of these songs came from feeling stuck and also like people were pulling me in a bunch of different directions,” Davis says. “I wanted to say, ‘just wait for me. I’ll figure it out.’”

Davis’ plea for patience—a little bit sweet, a little bit angry and raw—fed a fierce 10-song collection. A joyride that pulls from rock, ‘70s and ‘80s pop, and funk, Delivery manages to be both daring and comfortable, full of not just risks, but hooks.

Produced by Grammy-winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, David Byrne, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Delivery is a triumphant next chapter. “John tries to find that moment instead of the perfect take,” Davis says. “That made it all sound really special.”

Childhood friends Alex Coté (drums, percussion) and Shane McCarthy (bass) play on the record—already close from years of touring. Recently, Davis’ ensemble became a family affair with the addition of Shane’s older brother, Cian McCarthy on guitar.

Davis’ unconventional path to working songwriter began before high school, growing up in Rochester. With plans to join a symphony, she studied harp performance at Crane School of Music, but halfway through, she decided the traditional harpist’s path wasn’t for her.

Following graduation, Davis moved to Brooklyn, following in the footsteps of artists who’ve come before her. But in the city, she could never quite find her footing. She kept busy, toured, and recorded an album that would eventually be shelved. Feeling confused and alone, she retreated back to Rochester, unsure of her next move.

Then, the last place Davis wanted to be saved her. Rochester’s artistic community embraced her, encouraged by bandmates including Alex Coté and the group Joywave, she hit her stride. Rochester became Davis’ sanctuary.

Delivery benefits from it all. “Now, these songs kind of wonder what I should be doing—it’s me trying to get myself back to why I started writing in the first place,” Davis says. “writing made me feel better and safe when the world around me was falling apart.”

“Just let my songs resonate with you somehow. That would make me so happy.”


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JUN 12: ANA GABRIEL – LA LUNA DE AMÉRICA | WITH SPECIAL GUEST FLOR DE TOLOACHE

SEP 2-4: STING

SEP 15: CAIFANES


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 8 | Ben Rector

JUN 8 | 8 PM

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Ben Rector makes his Wolf Trap debut in support of his latest album, The Joy of Music (2022). Rector’s songs—including hits “Brand New” and “Love Like This”—strike a chord with audiences through heartfelt lyrics that are the perfect soundtrack to life’s most transformative moments. Joining Rector are singer/songwriters JP Saxe and Jordy Searcy with Stephen Day.


ABOUT BEN RECTOR

Fifteen years after starting his career writing songs and touring in his Honda Accord on the weekends, Ben Rector found himself at home and at the piano in March 2020. The alchemy of life’s big questions, more downtime than he’d had in a decade, and those now all-too-familiar “unprecedented times” resulted in his career album: The Joy of Music (2022). The project includes a breathtaking short film (featuring seven songs brought to life with stunning cinematography), inviting listeners and viewers to visit a dream world that communicates Rector’s creative process and his reckoning with his job as an artist. He is led through the film’s chapters by his new friend Joy, a muppet monster he created with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. In this fantastic and dream-like landscape we see and hear Rector overcome a deep-seated fear of failure, dancing and singing his way through the journey of rediscovering the joy of music. 

Rector has amassed over a billion streams across all platforms, has performed on numerous late night and morning TV shows including Conan, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, Live With Kelly And Ryan, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and as a celebrity mentor on American Idol alongside alongside Ryan Tedder, Jewel, Brian McKnight, Jason Aldean, and more. His records have topped numerous Billboard charts, with his last two records landing at No. 1 on Billboard’s US Folk and No. 2 on Billboard’s US Rock and US Indie charts. Rector has built a dedicated touring base, regularly selling out theaters and amphitheaters across the country, including three consecutive nights at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and over 100,000 tickets sold on his last headline tour, Magic: The Tour.

ABOUT JP SAXE
Photo of JP Saxe in red shirt

JP Saxe received his first Grammy nomination for his platinum single “If The World Was Ending” featuring Julia Michaels at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. The duet, produced by six-time Grammy Award-winner FINNEAS, was one of the most impactful songs during the pandemic, resulting in over one billion streams across platforms and over 130 million music video views. It has been certified platinum in the U.S., among other territories, and 4x platinum in Saxe’s native Canada. Saxe and Michaels performed the track on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show with James Corden and the 2020 MTV VMAS. In October 2020, Saxe released “A Little Bit Yours” which he debuted live on Live with Kelly & Ryan, and later on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Idolator praised Saxe as “one of 2020’s breakout stars.” In February 2020, JP released his debut EP Hold It Together, which was critically praised by TIME Magazine for “exploring the weird—sometimes lovely, sometimes painful—emotions that bubble up in relationships.” TIME also included “3 Minutes” off the EP in their “5 Best Songs of the Week” roundup. Saxe kicked off 2021 with the release of “Line By Line” featuring Grammy-winning artist Maren Morris. They made their late-night TV debut of the track on The Late Late Show With James Corden in early March.

ABOUT JORDY SEARCY

Jordy Searcy is a Louisiana born, Nashville sharpened singer/songwriter, known across the country for jaw-dropping lyrics, stunning vocals, and intricate guitar work—all packaged in intimate authenticity and approachable hooks and production. With over 700 shows under his belt, over 1,000 songs written including cuts and co-writes with arena-sized artists, an appearance on The Voice, and over 51 million streams on his own music, Searcy has made quite the mark for an artist with only two album releases.

In February 2020, one month before the world shut down, Searcy released Love? Songs—his debut full-length album packed with the lyrical and emotional depth of Randy Newman and the pop mastery and ingenuity of Olivia Rodrigo. Shows in major markets were selling out, and a promising album cycle was about to bloom.

Then, as we know, the entertainment and touring industry came to a halt. Searcy responded in the only way he knew how, by converting his touring van into his home, and driving down the California coast from Oregon to San Diego to surf and write a new album.

Three hundred and eighty-seven songs later, the resulting record Daylight is his most exciting, mature, and adventurous work to date-with influences like Paul Simon, Pinegrove, Taylor Swift’s Folklore album, and Phoebe Bridgers. The album maintains a theme of gleaming goodness from hard situations. “This is the hardest I’ve ever worked on an album. I think this really is the record I’ve been trying to make since l first started writing songs, and I believe in these songs so much.”

With the Tik Tok-viral lead single “Molly” earning over 100k streams and major Spotify playlist support in its first week, the upcoming album promises excitement with each new song. It’s not all internet hype though. Searcy played more than 40 shows on his fall 2021 tour, complete with pin-drop VIP experience acoustic sets and high energy light shows.

Daylight will be out one song at a time, releasing in full in 2022 accompanied by incredible live shows in most major markets. For Searcy, things seem to only look brighter from here.

ABOUT STEPHEN DAY

The pandemic hasn’t left anyone’s life unchanged. In February 2020, Stephen Day was gearing up to tour his 2019 album Guess I’m Grown Now. He and his band were prepping for his first show in Asia then ready to return to the states for his first headline tour a week later. As news on COVID-19 started to spread and the world began to shut down, Day’s view of the immanent future, like everyone else’s, was no longer certain. On March 7, flights to the Philippines were canceled, then SXSW along with his official showcase slot that was no longer, and he and his team had to make the decision to cancel his tour. Like that, Day, along with the rest of the world was in a new digitally driven community. 

Over a year later as the world started to re-open the 25-year-old Nashville resident took the time to reflect on his place in culture, business, and art. “It felt like the world around me and the world inside me was begging for me to dig deeper, in a way asking me to accept the calling of being an artist and I did my best to answer back.” Since the shutdown, Day released his first self-produced project Original Songs and Sound, collaborated with Allen Stone, and passed 43 million streams on his catalog. American Songwriter called his track “Every Way (Supernatural),” “a huge musical leap forward” and went on to add that it “signals rebirth and renewed creative force.” The five song EP made alone in the confines of his bedroom lend to the crooner vocal performance his fans have come to love as well as moving his sound into a contemporary space.

In 2021 Day wrote, recorded, and finished his second full length album The Shapes I’m In. The project was co-produced by Micah Tawlks (COIN, Hayley Williams, Liza Anne) and Day. Eager to get it out to fans Stephen says, “I put so much of myself into this record in hopes that we could all grow a little closer together after the year and a half we’ve had of being separated. It feels like the easiest way to re-enter and rebuild a more social and communal world is by remembering how to give away a little bit of yourself to someone and trusting them with it.” The project represents a new era for Day that isn’t afraid to push boundaries sonically or in subject matter. He’s come a long way since his 2016 debut and looking forward to the future ahead.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
JUN 9: EVERY SHADE OF BLUE TOUR: THE HEAD AND THE HEART | JADE BIRD

AUG 3: THE WRONG PARTY TOUR: FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS | ANDY GRAMMER | BRELAND

SEP 9: SHE & HIM | NEKO CASE


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 9 | The Head and the Heart

Photo of the six members of The Head and the Heart

JUN 9 | 8 PM

Claiming top spots on multiple Billboard charts with songs like “Honeybee” and “Rivers and Roads,” indie-folk collective The Head and the Heart makes its Wolf Trap debut in support of their latest release of Every Shade of Blue. Singer/songwriter Jade Bird kicks off the evening.


ABOUT THE HEAD AND THE HEART

Initially self-released in 2011, The Head And The Heart’s self-titled breakout debut produced instant classics including “Rivers and Roads,” “Down In The Valley,” and “Lost In My Mind” (No. 1 at AAA) and is now Certified Gold. Their next two albums, 2013’s Let’s Be Still and 2016’s Signs of Light, settled into Billboard’s Top 10 albums  chart, with Signs of Light securing the No. 1 position on Rock Album Charts.

“Honeybee” became a fan favorite and breakout track from the band’s fourth full-length album, Living Mirage, released on Warner Records / Reprise Records to critical praise in 2019. The track has seen 100 million streams globally with weekly streams over one million in the U.S.

The band’s high energy live show has sold out six previous Red Rocks and established their status as a touring powerhouse, having landed prime time mainstage slots at Coachella, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

They have appeared in Cameron Crowe’s Roadies, with music featured in countless other commercials, films and TV, among them Corona, Silver Linings Playbook and more. In total, the band has performed 15 times on national television including appearances on Ellen, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and Austin City Limits, with more to come in the coming months.

ABOUT JADE BIRD

For Jade Bird, the second that lockdown lifted, there were no aimless summer days spent meeting friends in parks; no languorous evenings in pub gardens. She was headed straight back to Nashville to complete her second album—albeit via a strict two-week quarantine in Mexico City. She allowed herself to see no more of the Mexican capital than the local store and a leg-stretching walk around the block, not wanting to jeopardize any chance of being allowed into the States to finish what she had started with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, John Prine, Lady Gaga). The highlight of her stay in Mexico was literally her boyfriend pointing out a particularly gnarly spider he spotted as he had a cigarette on the balcony. “I move on really quick,” Bird explains of the urgency she felt. “My partner always says there’s no in between with me whatsoever, it’s on or it’s off. My feeling was: I’m in it, I love these songs, I want to sing. That’s why we made heaven and earth move so I could do that in that moment.”

For Bird, moving fast was about staying connected to the music that she had written (as always), not capitalizing on momentum or anyone else’s idea of a career plan. She had a taste of the UK hype cycle, making the BBC’s 2018 “Sound Of…” poll and being tipped everywhere from Vogue to Rolling Stone. Her self-titled debut album arrived a year later. Despite those early garlands, she didn’t become an overnight success. “I was really glad,” she says. “Musically I was not ready. Lyrically I was not ready. And mentally I was not ready.” Nevertheless, Bird—as barnstorming an album as came out in 2019—received plaudits from the likes of Pitchfork and NPR. And it showed Bird, an obsessive at bettering her craft, how she wanted to build on the foundations she had laid. She was grateful that her label, Glassnote, was invested in letting her develop album by album. “If you lose a sense of who you are, to re-establish that is really difficult,” she says of the pressures hype puts on developing artists. “And the time that it takes for you to re-evaluate your life, your sound, who you are, the UK doesn’t have time for that either.”

That mature perspective is typical of Bird, who even at 21 was wise to how young female musicians are expected to become cute ambassadors for feminism. (“I’m not sure how to do anything but what I’m doing because what I’m doing is feminism,” she told the Guardian. “You don’t need to wear a hashtag T-shirt.”) Still, as all 21-year-olds tend to, she thought she had life pegged. A standout from her debut, “Love Has All Been Done Before,” looked at her mum and her grandma’s respective divorces and confidently concluded that any relationship of hers would also end up doomed. She proved herself wrong: she’s been with her boyfriend (he’s also her guitarist) for three years. “I ended up realizing I’m really happy and stable,” she says.

Her new song, “Houdini,” puts to bed the part of her past where she was obsessed with literal abandonment. If her debut reflected on “literally every male family member being absent, present, absent, present,” she says, Different Kinds of Light (2021) reflects on what it means to stay, to love, to allow yourself to be loved. It’s about “being with somebody who you adore more than the whole world that hasn’t got the foundations to believe in themselves,” she says. “Hasn’t had people supporting them in a way that their potential can be realized, ’cause they’ve been crippled by the people or environments that surround them.”

Bird translated these conflicted emotional states into sharply observed narrative vignettes that show her flair as a storyteller: the guy oblivious to what’s in front of him, the escape artist who confesses to being “asleep at the wheel my whole damn life;” the wastrel burning through their promise. “If I had a penny for all your potential, I’d be left drowning in my mouthful of metal,” Bird sings on “Now Is the Time.” It speaks to how quickly her writing has matured from the more polemical storytelling of her debut. “When you’re young, you sit in a chaos of emotions and desperately try to write out of it,” says Bird, who’s still only 24. “But when you’re older, you work out what’s affected you and why more clearly. It’s amazing what two years can do: it’s like you’re writing as you’re watching instead of writing to see.”

Different Kinds of Light (2021) was properly born in a rental in upstate New York in January. Some came from the song-a-day project that she undertook during lockdown, which she spent with her boyfriend, her mum, and grandma at home near Gatwick. In Mexico, she pushed herself to write more and found her British influences—the Smiths, Cocteau Twins—coming out. She used to road-test songs live; not being able to do so this year brought out a different side of her writing. One new highlight, “I’m Getting Lost,” “is quite a bizarre riff to jam out,” says Bird, “so it helped me evolve at the same time.”

After a session together earlier in the year that minted their studio chemistry, Bird returned to Nashville with more new material to bring to life with Dave Cobb, though she maintained an equally monastic lifestyle, moving strictly between her apartment and the studio to protect herself and her collaborators. She and Cobb had clicked in an earlier session thanks to how he treated her potent yet weathered vocals. “I love anyone who can make you sound so imperfect in a great way,” she says. They let her sound find its groove, joining tough ‘90s alt-rock and the melodicism of Blur and Oasis at their sweetest to the taut rattle of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger.” “That rock element that I’ve been missing and deeply love,” is how Bird describes it. “If I’m in the car, that’s what I put on.”


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JUN 15: BELLE AND SEBASTIAN | JAPANESE BREAKFAST | LOS BITCHOS

JUL 21: THE WILD HEARTS TOUR: SHARON VAN ETTEN, ANGEL OLSON, AND JULIEN BAKER

JUL 28: OUTSIDE PROBLEMS TOUR: ANDREW BIRD AND IRON & WINE | MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 10 + 11 | Bonnie Raitt

JUN 10 + 11 | 8 PM

Throughout her career, blues-rock legend Bonnie Raitt has again and again proven her status in music history, earning her a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ten Grammy Awards. Named one of Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Singers of All Time,” she’s on the road once again, this time with Lucinda Williams, the Americana icon behind hits such as “Passionate Kisses” and “Can’t Let Go.” These fan favorites are back to showcase their musical stylings through shared grace and grit.


ABOUT BONNIE RAITT
Photo of Bonnie Raitt sitting on a wooden bench

Bonnie Raitt is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose unique style blends blues, R&B, rock, and pop. After 20 years as a cult favorite, she broke through to the top in the early ‘90s with her Grammy Award-winning albums, Nick of Time (1989) and Luck of the Draw (1991), which featured hits “Something To Talk About” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” among others. The 10-time Grammy winner was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and Rolling Stone named the slide guitar ace one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”

Raitt’s widely-acclaimed 2012 independent release Slipstream sold over a quarter-million copies, making it one of the top selling independent albums, and earned Raitt her 10th Grammy Award (Best Americana Album). In February 2016, Raitt released her highly-anticipated 20th album, Dig In Deep (Redwing Records.) On tour for much of 2017-2019, Raitt and her band performed overseas in Australia, New Zealand, as well as Canada, before spending the summers touring as support for James Taylor in stadiums and arenas across the U.S., United Kingdom, and Europe. Raitt’s latest album Just Like That… was released in 2022 and it draws on the range of influences that have shaped her legendary career, while creating something that speaks to the circumstances and challenges of these unprecedented times.

As known for her lifelong commitment to social activism as she is for her music, Raitt has long been involved with the environmental movement, performing concerts around oil, nuclear power, mining, and water and forest protection since the mid ‘70s.  She was a founding member of MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) which produced the historic concerts, album and movie NO NUKES (1979) and continues to work on safe energy issues in addition to environmental protection, social justice, and human rights, as well as creator’s rights and music education.

ABOUT LUCINDA WILLIAMS

“It’s all come full circle,” says Lucinda Williams about her powerful Grammy-nominated album, Good Souls Better Angels (2020). After more than 40 years of music making, the pioneering, Louisiana-born artist has returned to the gritty blues foundation that first inspired her as a young singer/songwriter in the late 1970s. And after spending much of 2019 on her sold-out Car Wheels on a Gravel Road 20th Anniversary tour, Williams reunited with that game-changing 1998 album’s co-producer and engineer Ray Kennedy, recording Good Souls, Better Angels with her ace touring band at his Nashville studio. Joining them as co-producer is Williams’ manager Tom Overby, to whom she’s been married for a decade and who contributed lyrics to her masterful songcraft. “That’s what I always dreamed of—a relationship with someone I could create with,” Williams enthuses. 

The result—Good Souls Better Angels—is the most topical album of Williams’ career. The dangerous world we live in, the constant barrage of a frightening news cycle, depression, domestic abuse, a man without a soul—and, yeah, the devil—figure prominently among its 12 tracks.  “The devil comes into play quite a bit on this album,” Williams says. “I’ve always loved the imagery in Robert Johnson songs and those really dark Delta blues that are sort of biblical. I was inspired by Leonard Cohen—he dealt with that in his songs—and Bob Dylan and Nick Cave.” While Good Souls Better Angels reflects many dark realities that surround us, the album is tied together with themes of perseverance, resilience, and ultimately, hope.

As for the topicality of the material, Williams says, “Because of all this crap that’s going on, it’s on the top of everybody’s minds—it’s all anybody talks about: Basically, the world’s falling apart—it’s like the apocalypse. That’s where that Old Testament stuff comes from. It’s different from my other albums in that there aren’t the story songs about my childhood and all. It feels exciting.”

From the driving blues of the opening track “You Can’t Rule Me” to the ominous gothic “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” from punk-blues-fueled “Bone of Contention” to fire ‘n brimstone “Drop by Drop (Big Rotator),” Williams has never been more raw and direct, with gut-punching wordplay crossing the Good Book with hip-hop with Ginsbergian beat poetry. The Williams-Overby collaborative songwriting experiment clearly has been a success. “It just happened organically,” says Williams. “Tom and I started working on songs together and he came up with some of the ideas. He gave me lines that he’d written and I took it from there. I love it because it expands things. ‘Man Without a Soul’ was his idea, and he came up with ‘Big Black Train,’ about that big black cloud of depression. When I listen to that track, it makes me cry.” 

Recording live in Ray Kennedy’s vintage-equipped studio, Williams and her longtime band—guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton, and drummer Butch Norton—cut most of the songs in two or three takes, with the rhythm section’s rock-solid pulse and Mathis’ versatile sonic attacks backing Williams’ distinctive passion-drenched vocals. The brutal “Wakin’ Up,” punctuated by Mathis’ chainsaw guitar, viscerally details a woman’s harrowing escape from domestic violence, while the pensive “Shadows & Doubts” sheds light our quick-to-judge, social-media-led society and how everyone may love you one moment, but completely abandon you the next. Williams turns Greg Garing’s honky-tonk shuffle “Down Past the Bottom” into a dark-night-of-the-soul hard rocker. Tongue-in-cheek irony leads the swingin’ “Bad News Blues” as Williams bemoans a plethora of “liars and lunatics/fools and thieves/clowns and hypocrites” and Mathis’ guitar work slithers around the lyrics like a snake. The bittersweet counterpoint “When the Way Gets Dark,” with its lovely melody and evocative guitar, offers hope to us all, Williams urging in her most tender vocals, “Don’t give up/Take my hand/You’re not alone.”

Williams has traveled a long road since her 1979 debut, Ramblinon My Mind, followed by Happy Woman Blues, her first album of originals released forty years ago in 1980. (She says that she’s still “the same girl” except that now “I have a bigger fan base and I can afford to stay at better hotels.”) Over the course of 14 remarkable albums, three Grammy Awards, and countless accolades, including Time’s Songwriter of the Year of 2001, Williams is one of our most revered artists, beloved for her singular vocals and extraordinary songs. Her double albums, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) and Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016), released on her own label, received some of the best reviews of her career. 

Giving voice to all her experience, Williams ends Good Souls, Better Angels with the luminous “Good Souls,” one of the last songs written for the album. It is a deeply moving invocation: “Keep me with all of those/who help me find strength/when I’m feeling hopeless/who guide me along/And help me stay strong and fearless.” 


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JUN 16 + 17: SHERYL CROW | JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT | WAXAHATCHEE

JUL 20: JACKSON BROWNE

AUG 6: LYLE LOVETT AND HIS LARGE BAND | CHRIS ISAAK


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 12 | Ana Gabriel

JUN 12 | 8 PM

Recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Latin music superstar Ana Gabriel is beloved by fans and critics alike. With a career spanning more than 45 years and 28 studio albums, and hits such as “Cosas del Amor” and “Quién Como Tú,” Gabriel is sure to wow audiences in her Wolf Trap debut. The all-women mariachi-fusion band Flor de Toloache opens the show.


ABOUT ANA GABRIEL

Ana Gabriel, affectionately known to her fans as La Luna de América, is a legendary Mexican singer whom throughout her career has become one of the most important global ambassadors of Mexican music. In her 45 years in the industry, Gabriel has greatly influenced music, not only in Mexico but in Latin America and around the world.

In 1974, she debuted with her first professional performance. Since then, she has conquered the world’s most prestigious stages, with her timeless songs recorded in styles such as bolero, ballad, and mariachi. She has also collaborated with such greats as Vicente Fernández, Pedro Fernández, Vikki Carr, Plácido Domingo, Jose Luis Perales, and Juan Gabriel.

Possessing one of Mexico’s most recognizable and expressive voices, this icon continues energetically bringing her music to audiences across Latin America.


Ana Gabriel, La Luna de América, es una artista que, con su inigualable voz y a lo largo de su trayectoria, se ha convertido en embajadora indiscutible de la música mexicana.  En sus 45 años de carrera artística ha influenciado notablemente la música no solo en México sino en Latinoamérica y el mundo entero.

Fue en el año 1974 cuando la cantante debutó en los escenarios y desde entonces ha obtenido múltiples reconocimientos, gracias a la maestría con la que interpreta géneros como el bolero, la balada y el mariachi. Durante su exitosa carrera, Ana Gabriel, ha colaborado con artistas de la talla de Vicente Fernández, Pedro Fernández, Vikki Carr, Plácido Domingo, José Luis Perales, Juan Gabriel, entre otros.

Gabriel es sin lugar a duda, uno de los más grandes referentes de la música mexicana, un ícono que ha demostrado a nivel mundial que su talento no tiene límites.

Con 21 albums grabados, ha recibido innumerables reconocimientos y nominaciones a los premios mas importantes de la industria de la música incluyendo 29 nominaciones a Premios Lo Nuestro de las cuales ha recibido 13 premios, quatro nominaciones a los Latin Grammy y una nominación a los premios Grammy.

ABOUT FLOR DE TOLOACHE
Photo of the three members of Flor de Toloache in black and white suits

Having performed at Coachella and on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, this Latin Grammy-winning, New York-based ensemble is one of the finest all-female mariachi groups on the planet. Flor de Toloache began as a trio named for the delirium-inducing Mexican flower used as a love potion for generations. As they have grown in notoriety, the band has expanded to as many as 10 members depending on the setting, forming a truly global ensemble with musicians hailing from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Their highly anticipated new album Indestructible (2019), produced by 11-time Grammy-winner Rafa Sardina (Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Rodrigo y Gabriela, among others), premiered via NPR First Listen, where NPR’s Marisa Arbona-Ruiz said: “Flor de Toloache’s new bilingual album Indestructible pushes the boundaries of mariachi music and its instruments through reimagined pop covers, originals and original collaborations.”

Indestructible follows Flor de Toloache’s critically acclaimed and Latin Grammy Award-winning sophomore release, 2017’s Las Caras Lindas, and features a number of notable collaborations, including the all-female flamenco quartet Las Migas, critically acclaimed multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend, Latin Grammy/Juno-winning singer-songwriter Alex Cuba, R&B star Miguel, and accordion virtuoso Josh Baca from Los Texmaniacs.

Announced as one of the official selection of WOMEX 2019, the world’s biggest showcase for world music, Flor de Toloache performed over 100 shows in 2019, touring Japan for the first time.

The New York ensemble and beloved press-darlings were also invited in 2019 to perform as special guests for the Grammy Museum’s inaugural Latin Music Gallery Exhibition ribbon-cutting ceremony, also paying a special homage to Linda Ronstadt with a magical mariachi presentation at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors.


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JUL 10: YACHT ROCK REVUE

AUG 11: ENCANTO: THE SING ALONG FILM CONCERT

SEP 15: CAIFANES

© Disney. All rights reserved.


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 15 | Belle and Sebastian and Japanese Breakfast

Collage photo of Belle and Sebastian and Japanese Breakfast

JUN 15 | 7 PM

For more than 25 years, Belle and Sebastian have endured as one of music’s most beloved indie-pop bands. Their latest release is A Bit of Previous (2022), a collection songs and melodies that won’t leave your head and lyrics that can make you smile and ponder and sometimes be melancholic. These “Scottish sovereigns of indie pop” (Rolling Stone) make their Wolf Trap debut alongside Japanese Breakfast.

Japanese Breakfast has won acclaim from major music outlets for releases Psychopomp (2016) and Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017). Her most recent album, Jubilee (2021), earned two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. Rounding the bill is the cumbia-psych inspired outfit from London, Los Bitchos.


ABOUT BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
Photo of the seven members of Belle and Sebastian sitting on chairs in a wood paneled room

A Bit of Previous (2022) is the 10th studio album by Belle and Sebastian and their first full-length in seven years. This may be surprising to anyone following the recent life pursuits of the Glasgow seven-piece: The Boaty Weekender—a 3,000 capacity star-studded four-day music festival on a cruise liner sailing the Mediterranean; a trilogy of EPs; a soundtrack for the directorial debut of The Inbetweeners’ Simon Bird; a live album showcasing the band’s present-day iteration as savvy main stage entertainers; and in 2020 a collaborative project with fans called “Protecting The Hive.” But in all these idiosyncratic endeavours, as intrinsic to the band’s DNA as the stage invasion at the end of each of their shows, a full-length has eluded us.

A Bit Of Previous is a classic Belle and Sebastian album preoccupied with songs and melodies that won’t leave your head and lyrics that can make you smile and ponder and sometimes be melancholic. It’s an album self-produced and recorded by Belle and Sebastian (with contributions from Brian McNeill, Matt Wiggins, Kevin Burleigh and Shawn Everett) and their most hands-on since The Boy With The Arab Strap (1998).

In some respects, A Bit Of Previous is also a first. It’s the first album the band recorded in their native Glasgow in 20 years (the last being 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant). What started off as a pandemic necessity—having to ditch plans to record in California in spring of 2020—became a refreshing change of pace. Unbeholden to restrictive and expensive studio schedules, it allowed for long walks through the streets and parks of Glasgow and spontaneous train journeys to nearby towns which embedded proceedings with a peculiar sense of place. The band upgraded their practice space to a makeshift studio, making some creative interior design choices to keep it pandemic safe.

A Bit of Previous is Belle and Sebastian taking on age and getting older and emerging all the more vital for it. “Young And Stupid” is a stuttering acoustic rocker that without its lilting violin might be mistaken for a T. Rex song, the lyrics and nonchalant vocals facing the passage of time with wry ennui: “Now we’re old with creaking bones / Some with partners some alone  / Some with kids and some with dogs  / Getting through the nightly slog / Everything is fine when you’re young and stupid.” “Come On Home,” with its fireside piano and conversational exchanges between Murdoch and Martin, evokes a handing over of the generational baton with a call to “Give a chance to the old / Set the record straight on the welfare state / Give a chance to the young / Everyone deserves a life in the sun.”

While the arrangements are often playful, there is an underlying gravity. The deceptively feelgood, choir-backed “If They’re Shooting At You” reads like a poignant ode to defiance and survival: “If they’re shooting at you kid / You must be doing something right.” On Martin’s “Reclaim The Night,” a jaunty backbeat tells of a cross-generational everywoman trepidation that in 2022 is more pertinent than ever.

A Bit of Previous is also scattered with big, occasionally delirious pop moments. “Unnecessary Drama” rips through a cacophony of overdriven riffs and a droning harmonica that borders on the unhinged and is one of the band’s heaviest outings since, well, ever. The 140+ bpm “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” is ablaze with euro synths and keyboard horns as the voices of Murdoch and Martin intertwine on a breathless chorus. “Working Boy in New York City” exists in a parallel universe where the band did in fact make it to California—such is the escapist bliss of its sloping flute and bittersweet funk.

On the other side of the spectrum are some of Belle and Sebastian’s most moving ballads. Tender finger-picked paean to a lover “Do It For Your Country” and doo-wop-inflicted “Sea Of Sorrow” showcase Murdoch’s tenor at its most bare and affecting, while Stevie Jackson contributes lovelorn country waltz “Deathbed of My Dreams.”

So what is A Bit of Previous? It’s a bit of everything, and a lot of what makes Belle and Sebastian so special and enduring. It’s a band tackling the insight, experience, and responsibility that come with getting older with humour and irreverence and lyrical exactitude and musical bravado. It’s one of the U.K.’s most beloved pop portraitists asserting themselves as an infallible source of energy and fun.

There’s a touch of Buddhism, too, a practice increasingly influential on Murdoch’s outlook in recent years and given a further manifestation via his popular weekly guided online meditation sessions. The album title is possibly a reference to the concept of reincarnation. As Murdoch notes in the liner notes:  “There is a firmly held belief in Buddhism that we have been reborn so many times and in so many guises that if we look around us, we are bound to see a person who has been our mother in a past life. And we are surrounded by people who have been our children. If we truly had that in our minds and in our hearts, we would drop the prejudice we had: our attitude to strangers and difficult people would alter emphatically.”

ABOUT JAPANESE BREAKFAST
Photo of Japanese Breakfast in yellow outfit

From the moment she began writing her new album, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner knew that she wanted to call it Jubilee (2021). After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way they grappled with anguish; Psychopomp (2016) was written as her mother underwent cancer treatment, while Soft Sounds From Another Planet (2017) took the grief she held from her mother‘s death and used it as a conduit to explore the cosmos. Now, at the start of a new decade, Japanese Breakfast is ready to fight for happiness, an all-too-scarce resource in our seemingly crumbling world.

How does she do it? With a joyful noise. From pulsing walls of synthgaze and piano on “Sit,” to the nostalgia-laden strings that float through “Tactics,” Jubilee bursts with the most wide-ranging arrangements of Zauner’s career. Each song unfurls a new aspect of her artistry: “Be Sweet,” co-written with Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, is a jagged, propulsive piece of ‘80s pop that’s followed by a sweetly melancholic ballad in “Kokomo, IN.” As she rides a crest of saxophones and synthesizers through “Slide Tackle,” a piece of nimble pop-funk run through a New Order lens, Zauner professes her desire to move forward: “I want to be good—I want to navigate this hate in my heart somewhere better.”

In the years leading up to Jubilee, Zauner also took theory lessons and studied piano in earnest for the first time, in an effort to improve her range as a songwriter: “I’ve never wanted to rest on any laurels. I wanted to push it as far as it could go, inviting more people in and pushing myself as a composer, a producer, an arranger.” She pours that sentiment into the album from the very beginning, weaving a veritable tapestry of sound on the opening track “Paprika.” To build such an anthem of self-actualization, Zauner maxed out the technical limits of her recording rig, expelling her anxieties and egoism with layers upon layers of triumphant horns and marching snares. “How’s it feel to be at the center of magic? To linger in tones and words?” she ponders, conjuring the widescreen majesty of Kate Bush. “I opened the floodgates and found no water, no current, no river, no rush!”

Later, on “Savage Good Boy”—a kooky, terrifyingly prophetic jam co-produced with (Sandy) Alex G—Zauner reduces the excess of modern capitalism to an emotional level, sarcastically imagining the perspective of a billionaire trying to convince his lover to join him underground as the apocalypse unfolds. “I want to make the money until there’s no more to be made/And we will be so wealthy, I’m absolved from questioning/That all my bad behavior was just a necessary strain/They’re the stakes in a race to win.”

“I don’t want to weave politics into my music in a way that feels cheap, but I couldn’t make something that doesn’t comment on the reality we live in,” says Zauner. “I think that you need to push yourself to care, and that’s part of what this album is about: If you want change, in anything, you need to go to war for it.”

At the end comes “Posing for Cars,” one of the longest, most visceral Japanese Breakfast songs to date. In its muted opening, Zauner quietly re-embraces impassioned facets of youth—wistful daydreaming, fierce loyalty—atop a bed of slowly-strummed guitars. Those same feelings pour out of her fingertips as she erupts into a cathartic, nearly three-minute-long solo to close out the record, with gradual swells of distortion that evoke the arena-sized guitars of bands like Wilco or Sonic Youth.

Jubilee is an album about processing life and love in the quest for happiness, and how that process sometimes requires us to step outside of ourselves. “Savage Good Boy” isn’t the only time Zauner takes on a persona; on the cavernous masterpiece “Posing In Bondage,” she imagines a woman left behind in the confines of an empty house, traversing the blurred lines between domesticity and dominance as she sings to an absent lover. Meanwhile, “Kokomo, IN” was written from the perspective of a small- town Indiana boy, forced to say goodbye to a girlfriend who’s shipping off to study abroad. But throughout Jubilee, Zauner is hardly fictionalizing her lyrics, instead pouring her own life into the universe of each song to tell real stories, and allowing those universes, in turn, to fill in the details. Joy, change, evolution—these things take real time, and real effort. And Japanese Breakfast is here for it.

ABOUT LOS BITCHOS
Photo of the four members of Los Bitchos sitting on grass

Los Bitchos are a cumbia-inspired psychedelic rock band from the UK. During the lockdown, the four band members were quite busy recording their debut album Let The Festivities Begin! (2022), produced by Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos. With an arsenal of new tracks and a crazy touring schedule, they can’t wait to finally play live again!

With an arsenal of new tracks and a crazy tour schedule, they’re chomping at the bit to get out and play live again, and of course release Let The Festivities Begin! (2022) into the wild.

Championed by the likes of Cheryl Waters, Khurangbin, King Gizzard, Marc Riley, She Shreds, Vogue, NME, DIY, and SXSW, Los Bitchos are set for a massive 2022.

Before lockdown they band wowed crowds supporting the likes of Mac De Marco, Ty Segall, Viagra Boys, Bill Ryder Jones, Dry Cleaning, Kikagaku Moyo, and Methyl Ethel. “It’s impossible not to have a good time watching this band,” wrote DIY Magazine.


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JUL 21: THE WILD HEARTS TOUR: SHARON VAN ETTEN, ANGEL OLSEN, AND JULIEN BAKER

JUL 28: OUTSIDE PROBLEMS TOUR: ANDREW BIRD AND IRON & WINE | MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO

AUG 24: THE DECEMBERISTS: ARISE FROM THE BUNKER TOUR 2022


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

SEP 7 | Van Morrison

SEP 7 | 8 PM

Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison began performing as a traveling musician at age 13 and never looked back. For more than 50 years, his iconic hits “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Tupelo Honey,” “Moondance,” and “Gloria” have entranced listeners, and now he’s ready to take you “into the mystic.”

ABOUT VAN MORRISON

Van Morrison is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, author, poet and multi-instrumentalist, who is widely considered one of the most important living artists of our time. He has albums that are ranked greatest in the entire rock and roll canon. He has more than 150 songs featured in major motion pictures, including his hits “Brown-Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” “Wild Night,” and “Gloria.”

Born in 1945, Morrison heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country, and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, and Leadbelly, he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and saxophone, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.

Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club, Them soon established Morrison as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered “Gloria” and “Here Comes The Night.”

Those talents found full astonishing range in Morrison’s solo career. After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on Top 40 pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl” (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.

Recorded over three days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation, and Afro Celtic Blues wailing. Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.

Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track “Listen To The Lion.”

Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.

Indeed, born of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.

Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One, an album centering on “Summertime in England” and would often become a thrilling improvised centerpiece to his live shows.

Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.

Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.

The international reach of Morrison’s art has been honored with several awards and accolades including a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys, honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres.


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SEP 2-4: STING | MY SONGS TOUR

SEP 17: TOM JONES | SURROUNDED BY TIME


THANK YOU TO

Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 4 | Black Violin

JUN 4 | 8 PM


Led by classically trained string players Wil B. (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin), Black Violin keeps “classical music alive for the next generation” (NPR). With influences ranging from Bach to Jay-Z, the group’s unique blend of classical and hip-hop breaks down stereotypes and encourages people of all ages, races, and backgrounds to come together. Black Violin is joined by gospel legends and Grammy Award-winners the Blind Boys of Alabama.

BLACK VIOLIN

For 17 years, Black Violin has been merging string arrangements with modern beats and vocals and building bridges in communities along the way. Members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste first met in orchestra class at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, becoming classically trained on the violin and viola through their high school and college careers. Post-college, they reconvened to produce beats for South Florida rappers, and began building an audience in local clubs. They later went on to win Showtime at the Apollo in 2005, and eventually sold out headline performances at venues across the country, including a sold out two-night headline run at The Kennedy Center in 2018. NPR took note and declared “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” Black Violin’s latest release, Take the Stairs (2019), earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

Pre-pandemic, Black Violin was playing over 200 shows a year (many of these are performances for young low-income students in urban communities – in the last year alone, the group played for over 100,000 students) with the goal of challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions of what a “classical musician” looks and sounds like. “The stereotypes are always there, embedded so deep in our culture,” says Baptiste. “Just by nature of our existence we challenge those ideas. It’s a unique thing that brings people together who aren’t usually in the same room, and in the current climate, it’s good to bring people together.”

Last year, the group launched the Black Violin Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth by providing access to quality music programs in their community. Black Violin Foundation believes that music and access to music programs should not be determined by race, gender, or socio-economic status. Black Violin Foundation’s inaugural program the Musical Innovation Grant for Continuing Education will provide scholarships to young music students to attend a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA

The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Recording Academy with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 70 years.

The Blind Boys are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince, and Tom Waits. They have appeared on recordings with many artists including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Harper, Patty Griffin, and Taj Mahal. The Blind Boys of Alabama have also appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Night, The Grammy Awards, 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report, and many other television shows.


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AUG 19: FANTASIA | LEELA JAMES

SEP 18: BOYZ II MEN | SWV


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

JUN 3 | Kool & the Gang

JUN 3 | 7:30 PM

It’s a celebration! Kool & the Gang bring their biggest hits—including “Celebration,” “Cherish,” and “Jungle Boogie”—to Wolf Trap for a night full of feel good fun! They are joined by funk and soul stalwarts Morris Day & the Time.


KOOL & THE GANG

Kool & the Gang, officially launched in 1969, after performing for five years under various band titles, has influenced the music of three generations and become true recording industry legends.

Thanks to iconic songs like “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness” and “Open Sesame,” they’ve earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top 10 R&B hits, nine Top 10 pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums.

From Nairobi to Newark, Kool & the Gang has performed continuously longer than any R&B group in history and their bulletproof funk and jazzy arrangements have made them the most sampled R&B band of all time.  The heavily-in-demand band has continued to tour the world, appearing alongside Kid Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John, The Roots, and Van Halen.

In 1964, Ronald Bell and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined Jersey City neighborhood friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk. At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, the band went through various names—The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & the Flames—before settling on their famous moniker.

Over the next several years they solidified their musical chemistry on the rough-and-tumble East Coast music scene supporting acts like Ritchie Havens and Richard Pryor. Their self-titled 1969 debut album introduced their signature instrumental sound and fierce horn arrangements and spawned their first Billboard R&B charted single, “Kool & the Gang.”

In 1969 Kool & the Gang released their self-titled debut album. It was the introduction to a theme—music is the message—that Kool & the Gang stands by today. The instrumental album was an expression of their deep love of music. It was also an introduction to their signature sound and the fierce horn arrangements created by Khalis, Dee Tee, and Spike. Their debut album spawned their first Billboard R&B charted single “Kool & the Gang” and later “Let the Music Take Your Mind.”

In 1970, their audacious sophomore set Live at the Sex Machine (1971)vpeaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s R&B chart and yielded three hit singles: “Funky Man,” “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight,” and “I Want to Take You Higher.” Next came The Best Of Kool & the Gang Featuring The Penguin (1971), Kool & the Gang Live at PJ’s (1971), Music Is The Message (1972), and Good Times (1972), all of which helped solidify a sound that wowed not only fans but contemporaries such as James Brown and Nina Simone.

The band’s stellar reputation grew with each album, but 1973’s gold disc Wild & Peaceful took Kool & the Gang to another level (No. 6 R&B, No. 33 pop), spurred by the immortal party anthems “Funky Stuff,” “Hollywood Swinging” and the platinum smash “Jungle Boogie.” Hits like “Higher Plane”(No. 1 R&B), the classic “Summer Madness(featured on the Grammy-winning movie soundtrack Rocky) and LPs “Spirit of the Boogie,” “Love & Understanding,” and “Open Sesame”followed. The latter’s title track was featured on the top-selling movie soundtrack of all time, Saturday Night Fever, earning the group their second Grammy.

In 1979, Kool & the Gang unveiled a smooth new sound with Ladies Night. Produced by the legendary pop/jazz musician Eumir Deodato, it became their first platinum album. The No. 1 R&B title track reached No. 8 at pop and was followed by “Too Hot” (No. 3 R&B, No. 5 Pop). The 80’s would see them dominate the mainstream, starting with the double platinum-selling album Celebrate (driven by the international monster hit “Celebration,” which spent six weeks atop the R&B chart and became a No. 1 pop single).

“Celebration” remains de rigueur at joyous occasions worldwide. The smashes “Get Down On It,” “Take My Heart,” “Let’s Go Dancing,” “Joanna,” “Tonight,” “Misled,” “Cherish,and the anthem “Fresh”solidified the group’s international stardom. Kool & the Gang landed global commercial endorsements, supported countless charitable causes and were the only American group to participate in Band Aid’s 1984 Do They Know It’s Christmas project for famine victims in Africa.

With the explosion of hip-hop in the 90’s, Kool & the Gang’s incredible catalog of grooves made them DJ favorites. They were second only to R&B icon James Brown as sources of rap music samples.

Today, the group enjoys global fame and recognition and a following that spans generations due in part to the groups widely sampled catalogue. Kool & the Gang’s drum beats, bass, guitar, and signature horn lines lace the tracks of numerous artists including the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, and P. Diddy. Kool & the Gang’s music is also featured on the soundtracks for Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction, Wreck-It Ralph and countless others.

In 2014, they were honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2015, Kool & the Gang were honored to take their place as American musical icons with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

In 2016, they released a single, “Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours).” The song signified a modernization of Kool & the Gang’s unmistakable sound, down to the dance floor-tailored bass grooves and the perfectly timed horns.  It was their first airplay chart hit in a decade.

Kool & the Gang continues to delight fans around the globe with their timeless hits and amazing live performances. Their most recent album, Perfect Union, was released in 2021.   

MORRIS DAY & THE TIME

It’s time for the artist who first posed that infamous question to do what he does best… generate infectious music and riveting performances that inspire the audience to get up and move!

The legendary, pimpadelic funkmaster Morris Day, best known as the break-out star of rock movie sensation Purple Rain, released his latest album in 2004 through Hollywood Records: It’s About Time. Day returns as the freakalicious frontman for one of the all-time greatest party bands and reunites with the time’s original bandmates, valet/vocalist Jerome Benton, drummer Jellybean Johnson, and keyboard artist Monte Moir to present past favorites such as “Jungle Love,” “Get It Up,” and “The Bird,” as well as four new tracks including “My Ride,” “Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed,” and “Two Drink Minimum.”

Born in Minneapolis, Day had a flair for fashion. Inspired by photographs of his grandpa in zoot suits, a true fashionista was formed. Day went to school with Prince Rogers Nelson and sang in Prince’s first band Grand Central. Prince grew as an artist and so did the opportunity around him. The Time was originally created as Prince’s alter-ego to be seen as the cool, street-wise funk band contrasting Prince’s more soulful R&B sound. After looking at several lead vocalists, Prince wanted someone with mad talent so he cast his high school friend—the funky, the fabulous Day.

Soon after, Morris Day and The Time were cast in Purple Rain which captured the exploding Minneapolis music scene at its peak. Day burst onto the public scene with the group’s self-titled 1981 album, The Time, which included “Get It Up,” “Cool,” and “Girl.” Soon after the world was introduced the prolific Minneapolis music marvel, the group went on to record three more albums, including the 1982 What Time Is It? (featuring the hits “777-9311,” “Wild And Loose,” “Walk,” and “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”) and Ice Cream Castle in 1984 (which included the hit “Jungle Love”).

After three albums, Day launched his solo career, releasing three albums: the Color Of Success (1985), Daydreaming (1987), and Guaranteed (1992). Combined sales of Day’s solo work and the time is in excess of 10 million units. “It was such an innocent time,” Day reminisces. “We were just doing our thing, talking the way we talked and dressing the way we dressed. Bringing our personalities to the record. It was us being us. I’m proud of where I came from musically and the things we’ve done, but I ’m here with another project. I’m looking forward to the ride again. That’s what I ’m focusing on now.”

When asked, where have you been? Day smiles his smooth cheshire (mischievous) grin. “I’ve been waiting for just the right time to launch a new project. I felt that hip-hop has had such a strong hold on the industry the timing needed to be perfect. I’ve continued to record over 100 songs and to tour. With new artists sampling old-school music, my phone started ringing off the hook. I knew it was the right time.”

Day was performing for South Park’s 100th episode celebration to a private Hollywood crowd of industry insiders when manager Courtney Benson approached him backstage. “His performance was electrifying, and the audience reaction was phenomenal,” says Benson (also manager to hip hop-superstar Nelly). Benson brought Day to Hollywood Records where Day met with label head Bob Cavallo and his team, and the deal was inked.

Most recently, Day contributed a cover of Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” for the haunted mansion soundtrack and gave an unforgettable performance in Kevin Smith’s hit 2001 film, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, in which Day and the band served as a running plot device and performed a soaring “Jungle Love” finale. “Kevin said he’d written the script with us in mind,” nods Day.

In his latest album, Day combined classic old school sounds with new music featuring hot new artists. He delivers energetic vocals and witty lyrics, complemented by his trademark smooth-as-silk dance moves, all wrapped up in flashy, dapper fashions! Somebody bring the man a mirror—it’s a brand new day.


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JUN 18: VOODOO THREAUXDOWN FEATURING TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE AND SPECIAL GUESTS TANK AND THE BANGAS, BIG FREEDIA, CYRIL NEVILLE: THE UPTOWN RULER, GEORGE PORTER JR. & DUMPSTAPHUNK PERFORM THE MUSIC OF THE METERS AND THE SOUL REBELS

JUL 27: ZIGGY MARLEY & STEPHEN MARLEY | BOB MARLEY CELEBRATION

AUG 28: THE BEACH BOYS


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters

Categories
Summer 2022

MAY 29 | Blast Off!

MAY 29 | 8 PM


The “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band returns to kick off the summer concert season with an all-American salute to music. This special concert highlights pieces and composers that have provided the soundtrack for art and culture that kept us entertained and resilient during the unprecedented challenges and isolation of the last two years. Chief among these creators is the legendary composer and friend of “The President’s Own,” John Williams, whose music permeates our nation’s films and concert stages.

ABOUT “THE PRESIDENT’S OWN” U.S. MARINE BAND

Established by an Act of Congress in 1798, the United States Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Its mission is unique—to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. President John Adams invited the Marine Band to make its White House debut on New Year’s Day, 1801, in the then-unfinished Executive Mansion. In March of that year, the band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration and it is believed that it has performed for every presidential inaugural since. In Jefferson, the band found its most visionary advocate. An accomplished musician himself, Jefferson recognized the unique relationship between the band and the Chief Executive and he is credited with giving the Marine Band its title, “The President’s Own.”


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© 1980 & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox Film Corp, Lucasfilm and Warner/Chappell Music. © All rights reserved.



SPECIAL THANKS TO
Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters