The Billie Holiday Project featuring Queen Esther...

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Queen Esther is the TRUTH. And her co-stars held their own in song and dance. But this show is one that should be taken around New York and abroad.

[Helese TALKS!]


Support the Apollo Theatre to Keep Shows Like This Alive‏

As I sit in the dark --one of the ways I nurse a mild migraine-- images of the night (April 13, 2012 to be exact) that I went to see Harlem, in its sparkling and historical glory, come to life once at again at the Apollo come to mind.

Queen Esther along with Francesca Harper, Charles Wallace, Keith L. Thomas and the Jazz quintet The Hot Five (under the direction of Matt Ray) performed “The Billie Holiday Project” for a select few that night; the lucky ones who managed to get in and find a good seat in the Apollo Music Cafe.

It’s so sweet there, and every time I step in, I always wished I was with someone special to share the moment. The show included elements of Zora Neale Hurston’s short stories that have recently been revealed, Monkey Junk and The Country in the Woman.

They were slathered with a thick layer of Queen Esther’s defiant feminine hot sauce. For me, it was her eyes that really made me believe that she was truly a Queen. With the intensity and the intention of her stare, she could behead you with them. That coupled with the smoothness and strength of her voice, as she sang songs that I could relate to. The song about Jim was one that almost had me cry, but pick a song, any song, about heartbreak and that’ll do.

Queen Esther is the TRUTH. And her co-stars held their own in song and dance. But this show is one that should be taken around New York and abroad.

This mystery of a Harlem past should keep being conjured up in big ways and small. We have keep its scent alive, because if we lose that good jazz, that classically trained singing, and the Ailey worthy dance, we lose our soul and the integrity of the arts scene that was embodied during the Harlem Renaissance. 

As descendants of Africa, all of us have a part in creating this culture. We have to support institutions like the Apollo Theatre and it’s programs like Apollo Music Cafe if we want it to be here for the next generation.

Go to www.apollotheater.org to find out about all the wonderful shows, concerts, and programs. 


--
Helese Smauldon, Columnist for The Black Star Newswww.blackstarnews.com

803-760-2404
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Let's be Tweeples! @helesetalks





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