Ready Or Not Wyclef Jean Performs The Carnival Free At The Apollo Theater

The Apollo Theater will kick off its all-digital fall 2020 season on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at 8 pm EST

with a historic performance by Grammy Award-winning Haitian-American rapper, musician, and actor Wyclef Jean.Presented in partnership with ADCOLOR, the multi-instrumentalist will perform his iconic debut album, Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival, live on the Apollo’s Main Stage with no audience and minimal crew. The special concert, which will be streamed free of charge on the Apollo’s Digital Stage and as part of ADCOLOR Everywhere, will feature Wyclef’s revolutionary mix of Haitian creole, rap, world music, and pop. Nearly 25 years after the debut release, The Carnival continues to be a poignant example of Jean’s musicality and his influence on the music industry at-large. To RSVP for the free event, please click here.

“Stepping on the Apollo stage back in 1996 accomplished one of the greatest goals I had as a young Fugee, so it really feels like I’m coming home by having the opportunity to perform at the theater again,” said Haitian American rapper, musician, and actor, Wyclef Jean. “I’ve been wanting to do a complete performance of The Carnival for a while now, and I’m excited that I’m able to combine energies with the Apollo and ADCOLOR to pull it off. All three of us are here to celebrate culture, diversity and the Black American experience, and we’re ready to provide a historic performance that does just that.”

“We are thrilled that Wyclef Jean is returning to the Apollo Stage, 24 years since his very first performance in 1996, to celebrate his boundary-pushing album,” said Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. “For more than eight decades the Apollo has been a beacon of Black creativity and provided a home to diverse voices, and we are excited to partner with ADCOLOR to share his historic performance with our Apollo family and audiences around the globe as we kick off our fall season.”

“After such a successful ADCOLOR After Dark concert last year, we knew we had to bring the experience back for this year’s virtual event,” said Tiffany R. Warren, Founder and President of ADCOLOR. “It’s truly a remarkable moment for our organization to partner with the Apollo, and it’s all the more iconic with Wyclef doing his first-ever complete performance of The Carnival. I’m here for it, and I know our community will be too.”

Following Wyclef Jean’s performance on September 9, 2020, the Apollo Theater’s fall season will continue with a broad range of free virtual events that expand the nonprofit theater’s role as a partner, commissioner, and producer of programming that centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora. Highlights include a special Live Wire conversation focused on the artistry of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin; an Apollo Education event with author Nic Stone in conversation with Angie Thomas (“The Hate U Give”) about “Dear Justyce,” the sequel to her bestseller, “Dear Martin”; monthly Apollo music nights with independent musical artists through the Apollo Music Café, featuring artists Stout, J. Hoard, and Madison McFerrin; its annual Kwanzaa Celebration featuring renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre; and more. For a complete calendar of upcoming events, please visit the Apollo Theater website at https://www.apollotheater.org/calendar/.

All programming will stream free of charge on the Apollo Digital Stage. As a non-profit organization, the Apollo depends on the generous funding from donors, foundations, and the community-at-large. Please consider donating to the Apollo Theater in support of these free virtual programs. To do so, please click https://www.apollotheater.org/donate.


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ADCOLOR® is a not-for-profit 501(c) (6) organization whose mission is to celebrate and champion diversity in the creative industries. Our process is twofold. First, we help individuals and organizations RISE UP, letting their accomplishments and ideas shine. Then we teach these new leaders and would-be-mentors how to REACH BACK and find others who deserve to be noticed and promoted. Our goal is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and uplift one another. Learn more by visiting www.adcolor.org.

‘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 Master Artist-in-Residence 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. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.

The Apollo’s season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust

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 Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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