Mavis Staples will turn 80 years old on July 10th and has lined up a trio of shows to commemorate the milestone. “Mavis & Friends: Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples” will feature the soul and gospel legend joined by a selection of to-be-announced musical guests each night. Presented by Newport Folk, the upcoming shows are set for May 9th at New York’s Apollo Theater, May 15th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and May 22nd at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Proceeds from these shows will go directly toward extending the Newport Festivals Foundation’s support of music education programs in the those three cities.
The performances come in the middle of a packed tour schedule for the soon-to-be-octogenarian, who shows no signs of slowing down.
“I must be the happiest girl in the world,” Staples says in a statement. “After all this time, I still do what I love … I never thought I would still be singing at my age, and people seem to really want to hear me, they know me, they give me love.”
Last Friday, Staples released Live in London, a collection of powerful performances recorded since signing with ANTI- Records in 2007, including songs that were written for her by artists like Nick Cave, Neko Case and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. The LP was recorded during a two-night stand at London’s historic Union Chapel, a church that was founded in 1799. Noting the venue as her “best place in the world to sing,” it’s a fitting location for a singer who has comfortably — and masterfully — bridged the genres of R&B, gospel, blues, country and more.
Staples will also perform next month at the Luck Reunion at Willie Nelson’s Texas ranch. An annual event to coincide with SXSW, this year’s Luck Reunion features Staples headlining a largely female stage that includes Mountain Man, Courtney Marie Andrews, Haley Heynderickx, Angie McMahon, Yola, Brandy Zdan and Sunny War. Each performer will pay homage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend by including a performance of one of Staples’ songs in their set.
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Mavis Staples 2019 tour dates:
February 21st – Paducah, KY @ Clemens Fine Arts Center
February 22nd – Robinsonville, MS @ Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino
February 24th – Prior Lake, MN @ Mystic Lake Casino Hotel w/ Buddy Guy
March 14th – Luck, TX @ Luck Reunion at Willie Nelson’s Ranch
March 22nd – Jackson, MS @ Thalia Mara Hall
March 29th – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Resort & Casino
April 13th – Decatur, GA @ Amplify Decatur Music Festival
April18th – April 21st @ Byron Bay, Australia – Byron Bay Bluesfest
April 23rd – Auckland, New Zealand @ The Civic w/ Tami Neilson
May 2nd – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
May 9th – New York, NY @ Apollo Theater (“Mavis & Friends” w/special guests)
May 15th – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium (“Mavis & Friends” w/special guests)
May 22nd – Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel (“Mavis & Friends” w/special guests)
May 31st – Ogden, UT @ Ogden Music Festival
June 23nd – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre
June 25th – Norrmalm, Sweden @ Nalen
June 27th – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Theater Carré
July 16th – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheater with Norah Jones
August 3rd – Lagrange, GA @ Sweetland Amphitheatre at Boyd Park
September 6th – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center for the Performing Arts w/ Brandi Carlile