Greetings! No play could have hoped for a better lead in than the president of the United States himself, Barack Obama, singing its theme at an international news event. “Amazing Grace,” based on the true story of the beloved song, follows John Newton, a willful and musically talented young Englishman who is torn between following in the footsteps of his father—a slave trader in Britain’s international empire of slavery—or embracing compassion. The show takes place at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St., New York City. Call 212-821-8000 or visit www.nederlander.com.
“Black Angels Over Tuskegee” is the story of six men embarking on a journey to become pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps despite the overwhelming odds against them. Going beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, it exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of the overwhelming odds against them. St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 46th St. Sundays, July 5 to 26 at 1 p.m. For information, call 800-276-2392 or visit boxoffice.broadway.com.
“Sistas” tells of the struggles, the joy and the triumphs of being Black and being a woman in America, as told through the life of one woman and the women in her family. Moving from the days of Jim Crow to the present, the narrative is presented through songs like “Strange Fruit,” “Society’s Child” and “Taint Nobody’s Business,” right up to the present. Saturdays, July 4 to 25 at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays, July 5 to 26 at 4:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Theater, 308 W. 46th St., New York City. Call 212-239-6200 or visit telecharge.com.
The 2015 Essence Festival, July 2 to 5, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Poydras St., New Orleans, La. For ticket information, visit essence.com.
Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”) and Maxine Nightingale (“Right Back Where I Started From”) and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Saturday, July 11, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Resorts World Casino, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Jamaica, N.Y. (next to JFK Airport). For information, visit rwnewyork.com or call 718-215-2828.
Salt-N-Pepa, Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m., BB King Club Bar & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St., New York City. For ticket information, call 212-997-4144 or visit bbkingblues.com.
Jill Scott, Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m., Toyota Oakdale Theater, 95 South Turnpike Road, Wallingford, Conn. For information, visit ticketmaster.com or call 844-854-1450.
Jill Scott, Wednesday and Thursday, July 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., Kings Theater, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. For information, visit kingstheater.com or ticketmaster.com.
R. Kelly, Thursday, July 16, Friday, July 17 and Sunday, July 19 at 8 p.m. at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods, Foxwoods Resort and Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, Conn. For information, call 800-369-9663 or visit Foxwoods.com.
R. Kelly, Saturday, July 18, at 8 p.m. at the Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette St., Newark, N.J. For information, call 973-757-6000 or visit prucenter.com.
George Clinton and Parliament-Funkedelic’s “Shake the Gate” tour, Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m., the Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington, N.Y. For ticket information, visit ticketmaster.com, paramountny.com or call 630-673-7300.
“What Happened Ms. Simone?” by Liz Garbus is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone. currently on Netflix. Hear Simone’s voice telling her story and hear never-before-heard recordings as well as her best known songs and see rare archival footage.
Kevin Hart’s “What Not?” tour, Tuesday, July 7 at 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street, New York City. For ticket information, call 212-465-6741 or visit thegarden.com.
Paul Mooney and Dick Gregory, one night only, Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, 237 W. 42nd St. For information, call 212-997-4144 or visit bbkingblues.com.
In celebration of approaching its 30th anniversary, SummerStage, New York City’s largest free performing arts festival, has created six-day “mini-festivals” in eight parks featuring music, dance, theater, film, circus and family days. Visit www.summerstage.org.
The International African Arts Festival is back in Brooklyn for July 4 weekend at Commodore Berry Park with a Black Music Month encore featuring Living Colour, Talib Kweli, Norman Connors and more! Visit iaaafestival.net.
The New York chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations, in conjunction with the International African Arts Festival, hosts its 26th annual symposium on “Culture, Community and Struggle” Saturday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The symposium brings together outstanding scholars, intellectuals and activists to discuss and go over solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the global African community. P.S. 287, located at 50 Navy St. in Brooklyn, N.Y. (between Park and Flushing avenues, near the Manhattan Bridge in downtown Brooklyn). For further information and admission requirements regarding NAKO’s symposium, call 718-789-3264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the STEP Inc.’s Rites of Passage Manhood Development Organization on its 15th anniversary celebration and fundraiser. Show your love for the brotherhood and the young men who have chosen the path of serving our people. Join doctors, lawyers, husbands, fathers and much-needed future leaders of the righteous cause. Please come and celebrate Saturday, July 18 at 4 p.m. at the Marion Bolden Center, 230 Broadway, Newark N.J. For information, visit steptothefuture.org.
Hear Imhotep Gary Byrd on 107.5 WBLS-FM weekly with “Express Yourself,” Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and simulcast over WLIB 1190AM. The full show can also be heard on HD radio at WBLS-HD2 and at WBLS.com.WLIB.com and iHeartRadio. IGB is also heard on WBAI-FM 99.5 with Radio GBE: “The Global Black Experience” and “The Global Beat Experience,” Fridays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both shows are archived online at www.wbai.org. To contact us for bookings or to reach us about your event or for comments, email email@example.com, find us at Imhotep Gary Byrd on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GBELIFE or call 212-592-3279.