Melba brings Moore to B.B. King’s
8/22/2013, 11:21 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2013, 11:21 a.m.
It is only fitting that a music icon such as Melba Moore has chosen to grace a stage bearing the name of another icon by the name of B.B. King. On Aug. 23, the ageless chanteuse will perform along with jazz saxophonist Andre Ward on the stage at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York City’s Times Square.
Hailing from a musical family, Moore is a native of Newark, N.J. During her stellar career, this magnificent talent has been the pioneer of many firsts. When she joined the cast of the Broadway musical “Hair,” she became the first African-American woman to replace a white woman, which happened to be the acclaimed Diane Keaton, in a leading role on Broadway. Her other firsts include being the first female pop artist to do a non-operatic solo concert at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House.
These days, the Tony Award winner and Grammy-nominated artist is extremely busy. As usual, she is working on new groundbreaking avenues.
Melba tells the Amsterdam News: “I’ve been doing a lot of theater and working on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. I’m also producing my new album, ‘Forever Moore.’ I’ve released two singles from it that are making some noise. One is called ‘Love Is’ and the other one is ‘What Can I Do to Survive?’ It’s written and produced by Dominic McFadden, Gene McFadden’s son. He is a genius songwriter, just like his dad. It’s a contemporary R&B song.”
Having won the Tony for her role as Lutiebelle in “Purlie Victorious,” as well as starring on Broadway in “Timbuktu,” the theater is Moore’s first home. She is currently working on a play called “Galvination” at Miles College in Birmingham, Ala., which is her mother’s alma mater.
Says Moore: “Bill Cosby is supporting the play. He is on the school’s board of directors. He recommended me for the piece. We’re in rehearsal. It will be performed at the Birmingham Convention Center.
“Black theater is exploding all over the place. In fact, my autobiography is being developed into a theatrical piece. It’s called ‘Still Standing: The Melba Moore Story.’”
However, right now, Moore says she is finishing reinventing herself with song.
“My [main thing] is music. I have a chance to have a greatly successful album and build the public awareness back to what it was,” explains Moore. “I am in charge. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. The new CD is going to be my focal point.” The album will be completed by the spring of 2014.
Says Moore: “I have seven songs completed. I want to do about five or six more and have more than I actually need.”
While her fans and followers have constantly been aware of her great work, at B.B. King’s they will get to hear a mix of classic Melba Moore music and jazz as well as cuts from the upcoming CD. Moore is also very excited about working with Ward.
“I am using this performance as a showcase to start touring with Andre,” she said. “He’ll be my band. He’s had quite a few hits, so we’ll be doing classics and the new singles. The audience will also get to hear favorites like ‘You Stepped Into My Life’ and ‘Lean On Me.’”
All in all, it sounds like a great show. Audiences always want to hear Moore of Melba.
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill is located at 237 W. 42nd St. Showtime is 8 p.m. Call 212-997-4144 for more information.