Sound Business, Inc., (SBI), a Harlem-based not-for-profit education services organization, will honor Emmy & Tony award winning choreographer George Faison at its first annual gala May 19 at the renowned Harlem Stage.
The winner of Tony and Drama Desk choreography awards for the soulful adaptation of The Wiz featuring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson and an Emmy for choreography of HBO film The Josephine Baker Story, Mr. Faison has spent the last two decades using his eponymous Firehouse Theater in West Harlem to explore ways to tell life stories as well as give students an insight into career opportunities on, off and around the stage.
“George Faison has had an incredible 30 year career as a famed dancer and celebrated Broadway choreographer,” said Charles Thompson, SBI’s executive director. “He could have simply stopped there. Instead, he renovated an abandoned firehouse in Harlem and made it his mission to create an incubator for black and brown students to experience theater and dance in a master class setting.”
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Dubbed Straight Outta Harlem, the gala will provide funding for full-time staff and production equipment for SBI’s Performing Arts Experience at A. Phillip Randolph High School. SBI is seeking sponsorship to upgrade the historic 1,000-seat auditorium, develop its student tech program and invite local theater, dance and filmmakers to present their work in Harlem.
The evening’s festivities will begin with an open bar cocktail reception where guests will have a chance to mingle on the terrace or bid in the silent auction whilst enjoying gourmet appetizers from local Harlem restaurants topped off with a multi-media showcase by students enrolled in the SBI Performing Arts Experience.
Attendees will also enjoy live performances from four internationally recognized musicians: Belgian singer, Zap Mama vocalist Marie Daulne, classically trained composer and violinist, Daniel Bernard Roumain, singer, Jennifer Jade and pianist and composer, Kwami Coleman.
Event committee members include Sherry Bronfman, Charles Thompson, Musa Jackson, Carl Nelson, Rob Romanzi and Maija Garcia.
The gala will be held 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Avenue. Tickets are $100 per person and $500 for a table for six.
For information on how to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/straight-outta-harlem-gala-tickets-23521279781
Photos by Hollis King.