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Mavis Staples, Rob Mathes in concert in Greenwich

By Christ Church Greenwich

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Mavis Staples
GREENWICH, CT - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mavis Staples will be performing as part of a one-night only concert in Greenwich, Conn., at Christ Church Greenwich on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. Staples will be performing with Greenwich’s own Grammy and Emmy nominated musician Rob Mathes. The evening, heralded as a “Night of Celebration,” will also feature a tremendous group of some of the best Gospel singers in the area, hand-picked for this performance by Mathes. Tickets for the concert are $40 and are available online at: http://www.christchurchgreenwich.org or http://www.courageandfaith.org.

“Some of the greatest African American voices in the area will be performing brand new arrangements of great African American soul and gospel spirituals arranged especially for this event,” noted Rob Mathes, who wrote the arrangements and hand-picked the musicians. “This night of celebration will be capped off by an appearance by RnB and soul legend Mavis Staples singing a number of her favorites to finish off the evening. It will be an incredible night of music that mustn’t be missed.”

Mavis Staples launched her career in music with the family band The Staples Singers after graduating from high school in 1957. They became the spiritual voices of the civil rights movement, inspired by their close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. With her bold new album, the highly acclaimed You Are Not Alone, Staples adds a remarkable new chapter to her historic career and proves she has been going strong ever since. In addition to her Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Mavis Staples is a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient and VH1 named her one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll; Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Of her new album, Mavis states, “These songs take me back to the best times, and the best songs, of my life. It was a feeling of pure joy to be singing the songs I sang when I was young, visualizing what I was when I first sang them. It’s like being a kid again.”

Rob Mathes
“It’s a thrill for me to work with Mavis,” said Rob Mathes. Mathes wrote the arrangements for the evening and will be performing with Staples. “She’s one of my hero’s in the world of blues, gospel, folk and even pop music, so this will be a kick working and performing with her in such an intimate venue as Christ Church Greenwich.”

Rob Mathes is quite a performer in his own right. His recent years have been extremely busy working with Sting and Bruce Springsteen, including working on the recent opening number at the Grammy’s with Springsteen conducting the strings; and he has just finished an interesting set of arrangements for the pairing of Kid Rock and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Mathes also worked on Sting’s new Broadway musical The Last Ship, and has produced Stings last couple albums. He was the music director for Sting’s 60th birthday celebration that featured Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Mary J Blige, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Chris Botti, Rufus Wainwright, The Royal Dragoon Guards of Scotland (a bagpipe and drum corps), and Lady Gaga and Sting himself.

The Mavis Staples and Rob Mathes Night of Celebration is the culminating performance that is part of Conversations on Courage & Faith, a series of lectures, artistic performances and spiritual experiences that inspire and equip people to live Christianly in a postmodern world. Conversations on Courage and Faith is a Christian formation program of Christ Church Greenwich. Past Conversations on Courage & Faith events included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a women’s retreat with Phyllis Tickle, Belfast native and author Peter Rollins, artist Makoto Fujimura, lectures with Marcus Borg, Andy Crouch, Richard Rohr, Becca Stevens, and N.T. Wright; concerts with Rob Mathes and Irish poet Micheal O’Siadhail; a healing service with Rev’d Nigel Mumford; a talk and book signing with Tony Campolo; and a lecture and piano performance by Dr. Jeremy Begbie; and an evening with Dr. Maya Angelou accompanied by the Rob Mathes Gospel Singers. For more information on the Conversations on Courage & Faith series or to obtain tickets to the Mavis Staples and Rob Mathes concert, visit www.courageandfaith.org or email info@courageandfaith.org.

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