UPDATE (6/1): This event has been rescheduled to Thursday, June 4, in observance of Black Out Tuesday — a music industry protest against police brutality.
The Roots’ “Captain” Kirk Douglas, Gary Clark Jr., Kool and the Gang, Robert Randolph and Michael McDonald are among several artists tapped to perform during Let’s Stay (in) Together: a Benefit to Support the Apollo Theater. Sponsored by Gibson through its Gibson Gives Foundation, the virtual benefit concert will livestream for free on the Apollo Theater’s website as well as on Tidal on June 2nd at 7:30 p.m. ET. As has been the case for venues throughout the U.S., the venerable Harlem theater was forced to close in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the performances, Dionne Warwick, Doug E. Fresh and Roy Wood Jr. will make appearances, with additional special guests to be announced soon.
“Music has the incredible power to connect, transform and heal,” reads a statement from Apollo Theater. “We hope you’ll support the Apollo Theater and join us for a special event featuring music that lifts our spirits, shapes our lives, and continues to unite us all.”
Artists will perform music from performers who have graced Apollo’s stage, including B.B. King, Patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder. The event seeks to benefit the legendary theater as well as the community. “A portion of the funds raised will be allocated for micro grants to support local merchants and small businesses in the 125th Street neighborhood impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the theater’s statement continues.
“For more than eight decades, the Apollo Theater’s strength and resiliency have been as constant as the talent on our stages, but like non-profit organizations around the world, we are facing an unparalleled challenge. Immediate additional funding is critical for us at this time, and I am incredibly grateful to the generous donors and friends who have supported the Theater since we closed our doors in March,” Jonelle Procope, Apollo Theater President & CEO, said in a statement. “I hope this online celebration inspires people across the globe to come together and enjoy the sounds of the Apollo, as well support the Theater’s mission to champion Black culture and the arts of the African diaspora. Through such generosity we will be able to give back directly to the vibrant Harlem community that has supported us for many years.”