|R&B legends Toussaint, Staples, to perform at UNC|
|Wednesday, September 07, 2011|
In a rare appearance together, rhythm and blues legends Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples will perform for one night only at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Carolina Performing Arts will present the concert in Memorial Hall, to feature new hits and well-known favorites by the pair: New Orleans pianist, writer and producer Toussaint, whose career spans 40 years, and Staples, an R&B and gospel singer who began performing with her family group, the Staple Singers, in the ’70s (“Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There”).
And still, the accolades come.
“[Toussaint] has just made what may be the finest jazz recording of 2009,” the international webzine PopMatters wrote of his latest album, “The Bright Mississippi.” “It makes little difference how you categorize it, this is simply wonderful music.”
VH1 named Staples one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll. Rolling Stonelisted her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and reported, “Mavis Staples is the most underrated diva of the century. She has an almost superhuman ability to implant the pure power of passion and emotion.”
Toussaint, an influential figure in New Orleans R&B, has produced, written for and performed with music giants including Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Patti LaBelle and The Rolling Stones. Elton John said in 2009, “When I meet someone like Allen Toussaint, that for me is like meeting, you know, someone the equivalent of the Dalai Lama, because for me, he influenced the way I played the piano.”
Toussaint long has advocated for the music and culture of New Orleans. Forced from the city by Hurricane Katrina, he returned to music a year later with an album with Elvis Costello, “The River in Reverse.” The album earned them a Grammy nomination for pop/vocal album of the year. Besides his active touring schedule, Toussaint also has played himself on the HBO series “Treme.”
Staples is a 2011 Grammy winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and the recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy produced Staples’ latest album, “You Are Not Alone,” released more than 60 years after she began singing with her groundbreaking family group. Coincidently, the album includes Staples covering Toussaint’s “Last Train” from his 1975 album “Southern Nights.” She released the Grammy-nominated “Hope at the Hideout” in 2009and “We’ll Never Turn Back,” her collection of civil rights movement songs, in 2007.
Ticket prices for the Sept. 14 concert range from $10 for students to $59. For tickets, visit the Memorial Hall box office at 140 E. Cameron Avenue, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; call (919) 843-3333 or visit www.carolinaperformingarts.org.
Carolina Performing Arts’ mission is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences. The organization nurtures artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; challenges and inspires audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and integrates the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.
Carolina Performing Arts contact: Ellen James, (919) 843-0516,