Photo: Adjoajo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Events include the Apollo’s Spring Benefit, “Music Under the Marquee” as part of the Festival of New York, and “Crossfade,” A Career Panel on Music Production

This June, the Apollo celebrates Black Music Month, a month-long celebration of Black artists and their musical influences that have become an integral part of today’s cultural heritage. Highlights include a broad-range of free and ticketed in-person and digital events including the Apollo Spring Benefit on Monday, June 13 featuring The Roots; Music Under the Marquee as part of the Festival of New York on Tuesday, June 21; Crossfade, a career panel about music production on Tuesday, June 21; and more. The Apollo’s Black Music Month celebration builds on the non-profits

88-year history of being a beacon for Black excellence and creativity and highlights its commitment to serving its community, artists, and audiences.

“The Apollo is thrilled to once again celebrate Black Music Month by providing opportunities for our community to come together safely and uplift both the past and future of Black culture. While it is our mission to support Black artists throughout the entire year, Black Music Month is a fantastic reminder to hold space for those who have paved the way and to celebrate and cultivate the newest wave of contributions to the Black musical tradition,” said Apollo President and CEO Jonelle Procope.

Central to the celebrations will be the annual Apollo Spring Benefit. Hosted by Emmy winner and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson, the evening will honor filmmaker, actor and philanthropist Tyler Perry with the Impact Award, presented by Academy Award winner and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg. The event will feature musical performances by The Roots with special appearances by Stephanie Mills, Anthony Hamilton, emerging soul artist Ogi, and more. International celebrity DJ, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones will return with his signature sounds for a lively benefit afterparty. Global investment and merchant banking firm LionTree will receive the Corporate Award. Visit www.ApolloTheater.org for more information.

In addition to June’s Black Music Month programming, the Apollo will continue to celebrate up and coming performers with its longstanding talent competition Amateur Night at the Apollo on June 15 and June 22 and every Wednesday thereafter. Known for its notoriously tough “Be Good or Be Gone” audience who “cheer” or “boo” each contestant, attendees are crucial in determining which participants will go on to compete for the chance to win this year’s champion title and grand prize of $20,000. Since its inception in 1934, Amateur Night has played a major role in the cultivation of artists who have gone on to influence genres across the musical spectrum, win numerous Grammy Awards, and perform to sold out crowds. Tickets are on sale now through August. More information can be found at www.ApolloTheater.org/Amatuer-Night/

THE APOLLO CELEBRATES BLACK MUSIC MONTH:

Black Music Month Social Challenge
Entire Month of June

In celebration of Black Music Month, the Apollo Theater team will activate their social media community to honor the musical contributions and influences of Black artists, which have and will continue to be an essential part of the global landscape of music. Challenges include share your swap playlists with a friend, listen to an album recorded Live at the Apollo, and donate to a music school or charity. Follow the Apollo Theater’s social platforms for more information @ApolloTheater.

Apollo Night: Dreaming Zenzile
Thursday, June 16 at 7PM
Live & In-person at the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW)
Tickets start at $25

Written and performed by international music sensation Somi Kakoma, this world premiere musical is an electrifying portrait of a revolutionary artist’s singular voice and vision. The soul-stirring production taking place at the New York Theater Workshop includes a live band playing original music and reinterpretations of Makeba’s remarkable catalog.

The Apollo Night performance will include a post-show program hosted by NYTW and Apollo Education with Claro de los Reyes (Theatre-based Educator) and Abimbola Kai-Lewis (Educator and Ethnomusicologist) about the role of artists and the responsibility of institutions in today’s ever-changing socio-political landscape. Dreaming Zenzile is developed by Octopus Theatricals and the National Black Theatre, co-commissioned by Joe’s Pub at The Public and ArtsEmerson, Boston, MA and developed with the support of The Apollo Theater. For more information, visit: www.nytw.org

Music Under the Marquee
Tuesday, June 21 from 1 – 5pm ET
Live & In-person under the Apollo Marquee
Free & open to the public

The Apollo, Make Music New York, the Festival of New York, and WBAI offer an afternoon of music under the Apollo’s iconic marquee. Hosts MamaSoul & The L.A.W. from The Harlem Connection radio show lead the musical journey through Motown, Soul, Hip-Hop, Afrobeat, Caribbean, Latin music and more. Featured DJs include Amateur Night at the Apollo’s DJ Jess, Apollo Music Cafe & WBAI’s Haitian All Starz DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry, Uptown Vinyl Supreme’s DJ Sunny Cheeba, WBAI’s Afrobeat Radio & WVKR’s First World Music DJ Akenataa Hammagaadji, and Hip-Hop fusion artist, DJ LiKWUiD. For more information, visit: www.ApolloTheater.org

Career Panel: Crossfade
Tuesday, June 21 at 6pm ET
Live and In-person at the Apollo
Free with RSVP

Apollo Education brings together prolific beatmakers and music producers to lead an exploratory discussion on careers in music production, entitled Crossfade. Beatmakers and music producers are key components to the process of music production, assisting artists with bringing their vision to fruition and guiding their sound along the way. Part panel discussion, part live demonstration, this career panel will demonstrate music production techniques, share tips on identifying a signature sound, and give tangible lessons to empower the next generation of creative minds. Audiences will hear from industry professionals J. Black and Nick Simone in a conversation moderated by one of the most sought-after producers in the recording industry today, Antoine “Amadeus” Thompson. For more information, visit: www.ApolloTheater.org

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

The health and safety of our audiences, artists, and staff is the Apollo’s top priority. Please note that all attendees must present a government-issued picture ID prior to entry. Photo ID for children under 12 will not be required if they are accompanied by parents/guardians with government-issued photo ID. All attendees are required to wear masks inside the theater, and there is no eating or drinking allowed. All attendees at the Apollo’s Spring Benefit on June 12 will be required to present valid proof of vaccination. For a complete list of the Apollo’s COVID-19 safety protocols, please visit www.ApolloTheater.org.

ACCESIBILITY

The Apollo is wheelchair accessible throughout the building and offers assisted listening devices. For more information on accessibility or to request special assistance, please visit apollotheater.org/accessibility or contact the Apollo Box office at access@apollotheater.org or (212) 531-5305.

SUPPORT

The Apollo’s 2021-2022 season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Accenture, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citi, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, HBO, and the Mellon Foundation.

Public support for the Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Coca-Cola is the lead sponsor of Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Apollo Community Programs are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Leadership support for the Apollo Education Programs is provided by BNY Mellon, Fund II, the Hearst Foundations, the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, The Pinkerton Foundation, and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

ABOUT THE APOLLO

The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.