The Kravis Center will present an array of programs featuring award-winning Black artists, musicians, and academics in celebration of Black History Month in February.
The festivities kick off February 1 with Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. presenting “Up Up & Away! A Musical Fable.” The Grammy Award-winning duo began their career as the original stars and lead singers of the group The 5th Dimension, whose magical harmonies drew equal inspiration from pop, R&B, soul, gospel, jazz, and Broadway music. UP UP & AWAY! is a journey and musical celebration of their iconic music. The show also includes tributes to fellow music legends including The Beatles and The 5th Dimension’s original lineup. Click here for tickets to the 8 p.m. show.
On February 4, Boyz II Men will head to Dreyfoos Hall for an unforgettable performance. Considered one of the most iconic R&B groups in music history, Boyz II Men redefined popular R&B and continues to create timeless hits that appeal to fans across all generations. With four Grammys, nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, and three Billboard Awards, Boyz II Men captivates sold-out crowds with their legendary sound. Click here for tickets to the 8 p.m. show.
For movie buffs, the Seventeenth Annual African-American Film Festival will screen Poetic Justice on February 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rinker Playhouse. Directed by John Singleton, the film follows a mismatched pair pushed together on a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland. Justice (Janet Jackson) and Lucky (Tupac Shakur) have only one thing in common: they can’t stand each other. The film will be accompanied by a panel discussion with Eduardo Culmer, Jr., Breion Moses, and Dwayne Taylor, moderated by Terri Francis, Ph.D. Tickets are $12 and are available here.
The celebration continues with the Gospel Gala, headlined by Tasha Cobbs Leonard, on February 15 at 7 p.m. in Dreyfoos Hall. Dubbed Billboard’s Gospel Artist of the Decade, Cobbs Leonard rose to fame with her Grammy Award-winning single “Break Every Chain.” Regarded as one of the most glorious voices in modern Christian music, she earned the 2020 Dove Award for Gospel Artist of the Year. The evening’s special guest performers are Terrion Nelson and The Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches. Tickets are available here.
On February 16, join lecturers Brian Knowles and Bianca Nightengale-Lee, Ph.D, for “Passageways to Liberation: The Black Experience Through Music, Dance, and Visual Arts” at 7 p.m. in the Rinker Playhouse. Knowles and Nightengale-Lee will discuss the historical experience of African Americans through the lens of music, dance, and visual art. They will explore how artistic expression has not only been used to encapsulate these experiences, but also create passageways to mainstream American society. Tickets are $25 and are available here.
Martha Redbone will round out the month’s offerings with “Bone Hill: The Concert”
February 25 at 8 p.m. and February 26 at 1:30 p.m., both in the Rinker Playhouse. Inspired by her life and the women she is descended from, Redbone tells her family’s stories in songs that span a swathe of American music telling a parallel history. From traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies, to bluegrass, rhythm and blues, country, gospel, jazz, and rock, “Bone Hill: The Concert” takes audiences on an epic, unexpected American exploration of family, history, and cultural identity. Tickets are available here.