Performing Arts: Smokey Sings & Gives Back

by Editorial

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Presents the 2012 Performance Series of Legends featuring Smokey Robinson.
By Jill A. Norris

Gladney and Smokey Robinson at Kennedy Center Honors Red Carpet. December 5, 2010. (Photo by Tony Powell)

Music fans of all ages will be going to a go-go to see Smokey Robinson, the King of Motown, live on Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 pm in the concert hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Although Robinson will not have the month of May, he will most-likely have a packed house, as it is not everyday that music fans have the opportunity to hear such an admired and influential musical talent. There will be no tears for Robinson to track because in addition to raising money for the acclaimed school, the Michigan native will be celebrating his 50th anniversary of being a part of the music business, as well as the 50th anniversary of Motown Records, where he was once vice president.

Smokey Robinson played a prominent role in shaping the music industry into what it is today. In addition to crusin’ his way to producing 37 top 40 hits over his music career, he has also received numerous awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Performance, Male,” and has been inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, both as a solo artist and with his musical group, The Miracles.

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded in 1974 and offers its student many opportunities, such as the Performance Series of Legends, to experience different cultures through art and academia. Because the school is so dedicated to enabling its students to express their creativity, it is no wonder that so many musical figures have performed for the school over the years. A few of Robinson’s performing predecessors include David Chappelle, Denyce Graves and Stevie Wonder.

“These artists’ willingness to give back their time, resources and inspiration through this Performance Series provides Duke Ellington students valuable exposure and customized artistic direction,” said Rory Pullens, Head of School and CEO of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. This is only one way in which Robinson has been able to stay in-tune with his musical roots.

to “shop around” for general tickets, go to the Kennedy Center Box Office or order them online. Ticket prices run from $50 – $150 and VIP tickets are available for pre-sale for $500 at the office of the Ellington Fund.  Benefit sponsorship packages are also available from $2,500 to $100,000.

For more information regarding this event, please click here to visit the Ellington School of Arts official website.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, composer, pianists, and jazz musician. Photo: K. Olsen

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