Greetings! Services for national treasure Dr. Maya Angelou, the multitalented poet, civil rights activist, educator and humanitarian who died last Wednesday at 86 years old, will be held on the campus of Wake Forest University, which will livestream the funeral on its website on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m. Angelou served there as Reynolds Professor of American Studies since 1982.
Wake Forest is also encouraging donations to be made to the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Oprah Winfrey will speak and several heads of state and other dignitaries are expected to attend the private service.
“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences,” “A Raisin in the Sun”), is a musical inspired by the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics. It officially opens June 19 at the Palace Theatre, one of Broadway’s largest venues. The cast will be led by performance artist, poet and musician Saul Williams. Performance previews begin May 29.
“After Midnight” celebrates Harlem’s golden age and the timeless songs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Harold Arlen, all woven around the prose of Langston Hughes. Fantasia is back by popular demand! The music is by select Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. Fourth St. For information, call 212-719-4099 or visit brooksatkinsontheatre.com.
The historic 2014 revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s heart-wrenching family drama, stars Academy and Tony Award winner Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson. It is directed by Kenny Leon (“Fences”). It is currently in a limited run through June 15 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., where it originally opened in 1959. To order tickets, call 800-901-4092 or visit Telecharge.com.
“Alive!” is a celebration of a generation in song, featuring a company of performers ages 55 and over. It was conceived and written by the first lady of WBLS, legendary producers Vy Higgensen and Ken Wydro. It’s now playing in repertory at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem, 227 W. 127th St. For more information, call 212-280-1067 or visit mamafoundation.org.
“Motown: The Musical,” with book by Berry Gordy Jr. and featuring 2013 Tony nominee Charl Brown, Brandon Dixon and Felicia Roswell, is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St., between Eighth Avenue and Broadway. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or motownthemusical.com.
“Lady Day,” at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, a tribute to jazz legend Billie Holiday, features multi-Tony Award winner Audra McDonald performing Holiday’s classic moods and melodies. The show takes place, Circle in the Square Theater, 1633 Broadway. Call 212-239-6200 for more details or visit ladydayonbroadway.com.
“Satchmo at the Waldorf” is the new play about Louis Armstrong, the man who invented jazz. It’s appropriate for audience members ages 14 and older due to strong language. It’s now playing at the Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 W. 43rd St., between Ninth and 10th avenues. For more information, call 212-239-6200 or visit www.satchmonyc.com.
The world-famous Apollo Theater announces that their 2014 annual spring gala will be held in honor of the storied theater’s 80th anniversary on Tuesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. The evening will include special award presentations and tribute performances by the music industry’s biggest artists, including Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, the Isley Brothers and more. It will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated entertainer Wayne Brady. For tickets and information, call 212-531-5305, visit the Apollo Theater box office (253 W. 125th St.) or visit www.apollotheater.org.
B.B. King Blues Club presents Maxi Priest on Wednesday, June 11 and Tevin Campbell on Saturday, June 14. For information, visit bbkingsblues.com.
Newark Symphony Hall in New Jersey presents “A Father’s Day Gospel Celebration” on Saturday, June 14, featuring Richard Smallwood, Total Praise, I Love the Lord, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Testimony and many more! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert is at 7 p.m. It will be hosted by Liz Black of WLIB/WBLS. For tickets, go to the Newark Symphony Hall box office, located at 1030 Broad St. in Newark, or call 973-643-8014. Tickets are also available at Ticketmaster, by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com.
Minutes after his announcement of his first New York City performances in over 10 years, Dave Chapelle and Live Nation sold out five consecutive shows featuring several musical guests with a full orchestra at Radio City Music Hall June 24-28. The musical guests joining Chapelle include the Roots on Tuesday, June 24; Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier and Janelle Monae on Wednesday, June 25; and Erykah Badu on Thursday, June 26, with more to be announced. For tickets and information, visit livenation.com or radiocitymusic-hall.com.
Celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the Mama Foundation for the Arts on Tuesday, June 10 at 6 p.m. at St. Martin’s Cathedral (230 Lenox Ave.) with their second annual gala, a grand celebration of Harlem’s culture and community. Proceeds benefit the Mama Foundation for the Arts Education programs to promote the history and fundamentals of African-American music. For donation information, call 212-280-1045 or visit mamafoundation.org.
Brothers, sisters, comrades and friends are all invited to a continued celebration of the late Elombe Brath, Pan-African freedom fighter and founding leader of the December 12th Movement on Monday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the House of the Lord Church (415 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn). For more information, 718-398-1766.
The Ausar Auset Society hosts “Women’s Wellness Day” on Saturday, June 21 from 12-7 p.m. to honor and celebrate all women. Ausar Auset is located at 305 Remsen Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. It will include workshops, healing dance, meditation sessions, music and more. Delicious vegetarian food will be available on location. Vending is available. For further information, call Taui at 718-469-3199 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM daily with “Imhotep’s On-Air Guide to Black Events” and “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and on WLIB-AM with “The GBE Mind Flight,” Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. The full show can be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: The “Global Black Experience” and “Global Beat Experience,” Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. We are archived online with both shows at www.wbai.org. To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event, email email@example.com, find Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.