Stephanie Mills
Saturday 11/07
Stephanie Mills @ The Howard Theatre
$69.50 / $75
Stephanie Mills is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music whose onstage energy and power inspires standing ovations wherever she performs. She is a legendary Grammy and America Music Award winning recording artist with five best selling albums and ten Billboard #1 singles. Career History Over the span of 35 years illustrious career, Stephanie Mills has distinguished herself as an actress and performer. Stephanie‘s critically acclaimed appearances in shows like the four-time Tony Award -winning “The Wiz” have assured her of her consistent and loyal fan base. Stephanie hails from Brooklyn, New York and grew up singing in her home church. Her vocal abilities became evident by age nine. For six consecutive weeks, a young Stephanie won the amateur night at the acclaimed Apollo Theatre. She then went on to do her first Broadway musical, "Maggie Flynn". She then did classical tv shows such as "Captain Kangaroo" and "The Electric Company". Ms. Mills signed with 20th Century Fox Records in 1979. While working with producers James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, Stephanie recorded "WhatchaGonna Do With My Lovin" and by 1984, she had climbed the charts with major hits: "Sweet Sensation", "Never Knew Love Like This Before" (a gold single), "Two Hearts" (a duet with Teddy Pendergrass), "Keep Away Girls", "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?." Stephanie scored three best selling albums in a row with "WhatchaGonna Do With My Lovin", "Sweet Sensation', and "Stephanie" in a span of just two years. Stephanie has an insatiable appetite for singing. It is one of the things she loves to do. She says it makes her happy and she looks forward to putting out new music in 2014. She hopes her music will make her fans as happy as it has made her!
Kyle Dunnigan
Wednesday 10/07
Kyle Dunnigan @ The Howard Theatre
$20 / $25
“One of the most innovative, clever and hysterical acts ever unleashed at the fest” said the Montreal Gazette of Kyle’s performance on a prestigious gala set at the 2013 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Most recently Kyle was hired to write and perform on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer for both seasons 1 and 2. In addition to this, Kyle has an animated pilot set-up at Nickelodeon, where he is set as the creator, Executive Producer and voice of the title character. Kyle’s original character “Craig” has garnered over 8 millions views on his YouTube channel, which currently has 27,000 subscribers. Kyle continues to build a following in the digital space with his weekly podcast, Professor Blastoff, which he co-hosts with Tig Notaro. In 2013 the podcast was all over the top ten iTunes Comedy Podcast Charts, and peaked at #1 numerous times. Furthermore, Kyle has been invited to perform at the most prestigious comedy and music festivals in 2013 such as Montreal and Chicago Just for Laughs, Bumbershoot, Bonnaroo, Vancouver, San Francisco Sketchfest, Fun Fun Fun Fest and Sasquatch is on the books for 2014. Kyle also released a comedy and music Christmas album last year, which heavily featured this original character “Craig” along with a host of other original characters and celebrity impressions. The album peaked at #6 on the iTunes comedy album charts. Kyle has been featured by prominent media outlets such as The Onion AV Club, Marvel Comics, Paste Magazine, Thought Catalogue, Social Times, Crave Online, New Media Rockstars, Laughspin and The Comics Comic. In previous years Kyle was cast in the pilot Garfunkel and Oates for HBO GO and recurred on Reno 911. As a stand-up comic Kyle has had his own half hour special on Comedy Central along with numerous late night performances (Conan, Kimmel, Leno).
Big Daddy Kane & Rakim
Thursday 10/08
Big Daddy Kane & Rakim @ The Howard Theatre
$29.50 / $35
Big Daddy Kane On September 10th, 1968, Bed Stuy, Brooklyn gave birth to one of hip hop's most lyrical, diverse, innovative, and trendsetting MCs. He is known by many attributes - Dark Gable, Black Caesar, and King Asiatic Nobody's Equal - but he is known to the world as Big Daddy Kane. This baritone-voiced, stylishly dressed MC was the first one to bring the "playa" element to hip hop, and along with Bobby Brown and Michael Jordan, he put dark skin back on the map. Kane was the first rapper to ever hold not one, but two sold-out shows at the world-famous Apollo Theater for women only. In the words of the late Big Pun, Kane is "not only a playa, he just crush a lot" - a reference to his rapid-fire, metaphoric battle rap style. Kane's influences are Muhammed Ali, Marvin Gaye, and his rap hero Grand Master Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, but once dancers Scoob Lover and Scrap Lover join him on the stage, you can clearly see the James Brown and the Famous Flames influences as well. With several Gold albums to his credit, Kane has enjoyed a long career, including the releases Long Live The Kane ("Ain't No Half Steppin'" and "Raw"), It's A Big Daddy Thing ("Smooth Operator," "Warm It Up, Kane," and "I Get The Job Done"), and Taste Of Chocolate ("Hard Being The Kane" and "All Of Me," a duet with the late legendary Barry White). As a powerful figure in the rap game, he has also collaborated with many artists, including Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Heavy D, Patti LaBelle, and Quincy Jones. All of these accomplishments combine with a Grammy Award to make Kane a true hip hop legend. Rakim In 1986, Rakim started to work with New York-based producer-DJ Eric B. The duo—known as Eric B & Rakim—is widely regarded as among the most influential and groundbreaking of hip-hop groups, due in no small part to Rakim's technical abilities. The duo’s first single, "Eric B. Is President" was a success and got the duo a contract with the fledgling Island Records sub-label 4th & B'way. The duo’s next single, the smash “I Know You Got Soul,” sparked early debate on the legality of unauthorized, uncredited sampling when James Brown sued to prevent the duo's use of a fragment of his music. It also established Brown's back catalog as a hip musical mining ground for a new generation of hip-hop programmers. Their first full album, Paid In Full, was released in 1987. causing a stir in the hip-hop music world due to its novel sound, approach, and subject matter. Rakim pioneered a practice previously unknown to hip-hop called internal rhyming. Already an important aspect of traditional poetry, where rhymes could be found throughout the bar of a lyric which added to the rhythmic complexity of the song: "I keep the mic at Fahrenheit, freeze MCs, make 'em colder/The listeners system is kicking like solar/As I memorize, advertise like a poet/Keep it goin', when I'm flowin' smooth enough, you know it's rough." Instead of two rhyming syllables within two lines at the end of the lines, as we would find in the older hip-hop style displayed above, we have 18 rhyming syllables in just four lines. Rakim also introduced a lyrical technique known as cliffhanging and popularized the use of metaphors with multiple meanings. His songs were the first to really impart hip-hop music lyrics with a serious poetic device sensibility. Eric B & Rakim went on to produce three more successful albums, all now considered hip hop standards. Prior to Rakim, hip-hop music lyricism was usually rather simple from a structural standpoint and the ideas it expressed were easy and direct. Many hip-hop artists (both underground and mainstream) acknowledge a huge debt to Rakim's innovative style. He is given credit for popularizing the heavy use of internal rhymes in hip-hop—rhymes that are not necessary to the overall rhyme scheme of the verse, but occur between the endpoints of lines and stanzas, serving to increase the alliteration, assonance, and emphasis of the rhyme. He is also credited for the jazzy, heavily stylistic, seemingly effortless delivery of his lyrical content.