This February, the world-famous Apollo Theater will kick off Black History Month with Apollo Open House: Celebration of Cool on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, from 1 p.m. – 6.p.m., to celebrate and explore the rich history of the Theater as it continues the legacy of Black History.
Apollo Open House: Celebration of Cool, free and open to the public, will be hosted by Billy “Mr. Apollo” Mitchell and MetroFocus’ Jenna Flanagan, with music by WBGO’s host of Afternoon Jazz Keanna Faircloth. The event will include film screenings, presentations, and performances by GRAMMY™ award-winners Casey Benjamin and the Keyon Harrold Quartet. In addition to the mainstage performances, there will be an advanced screening of the documentary American Masters -Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool followed by a post film talkback moderated by NJTV News Anchor and WBGO-FM host Michael Hill, with director Stanley Nelson, legendary producer James Mtume, Keyon Harrold, Angeleisha Rogers and Vince Wilburn.
Additional activities include Apollo Open House: For the Cool Kids on the Theater’s Soundstage –hosted by Apollo Music Café’s Jodine Dorce and DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry. This event, focused on school-aged children, will feature interactive activities including a screening of the new PBS KIDS special The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur presented by THIRTEEN, WBGO Kids Jazz presents I Have a Song Inside My Heart™, performances from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s Oom Bop Sh’Bam, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling’s “What is Cool about Harlem,” and ImageNation’s screening of award-winning miniseries, Little Apple.
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, 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 Theater 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, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, 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.
In fall 2020, the Apollo Theater will mark its first ever physical expansion with the theaters at the Victoria, part of the vision for a future Apollo Performing Arts Center. The theaters at the Victoria will support the growth of the Apollo’s artistic programming as it continues to provide a home to artists of color, create an expanded 21st century American performing arts canon, and provide additional educational and community programming in Harlem and beyond. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
Apollo Open House is free and open to the public.
Admission is free with RSVP. For tickets and additional information, visit www.apollotheater.org/openhouse.
The Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, New York, NY