Civil rights icon and living legend Mavis Staples returned home to Chicago for one night only on February 4, 2023 as part of the 30th season of the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series. Her unforgettable appearance was captured on film in MAVIS STAPLES AT SYMPHONY CENTER, CHICAGO premiering on Wednesday, June 7 at 8:30 pm on WTTW, wttw.com/watch, and the PBS app.
With a presence “so unfailingly joyful that you never take your eyes off her” (The New Yorker), Staples brought her iconic smoky sound to Orchestra Hall in a scintillating evening of soul, gospel, and her signature brand of R&B. Performances include “Slippery People,” made famous by Talking Heads and “For What’s It Worth,” by Buffalo Springfield, along with standards that include “Respect Yourself,” “Let’s Do it Again” and “No Time for Crying.”
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a Grammy Award winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. At a time when most artists begin to wind down, Staples ramped things up, releasing a trio of critically acclaimed albums in her ’70s with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and has teamed up with a slew of other younger artists as well.
WTTW’s presentation of the film will include a live interview with WXRT host Terri Hemmert with Geoffrey Baer and Sylvia Ewing, along with special membership drive gifts including a number of passes to the 2023-2024 Symphony Center Presents Jazz series, a Mavis Staples tote, and a CD/DVD of the program.
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