Mavis Staples is living, breathing history. She is an alchemist of American music, having continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. From gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and hip hop over the last 60 years, this iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road.
Since her first recording at age 13 in 1954, Mavis Staples has been in the company of countless legends. From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her family as The Staple Singers, to the freedom songs of the Civil Rights era, to pop stardom during the Stax era with hits 'I’ll Take You There' and 'Respect Yourself,' to The Last Waltz, to serving as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince, to collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson, to her GRAMMY®-winning partnership with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
Mavis is here, having weaved in and through all that fabric for all these many years, to show us that true joy lies simply in living for others. It’s the sermon Dr. King gave all those years ago, and we must be grateful that she is able to echo it for us now. Mavis takes us—not only there, but back, up, and through.
Since her first recording at age 13 in 1954, Mavis Staples has learned from, worked with, and schooled countless legends, and has brought her own timeless talent to every performance. From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers, to the freedom songs of the Civil Rights era, to pop radio stardom during the Stax era with hits “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself,” to The Last Waltz, to serving as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, to 21st century collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson, to her GRAMMY®-winning partnership with fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy, the one constant has been Mavis and her singular voice. She has embraced her evolution, absorbing new sounds and ideas, rising to meet the challenges of longevity and bringing her message of hope and positivity to new listeners, song after song, show after show.
Wednesday April 19th: ASB Theatre, Auckland
Tickets via Ticketmaster
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