Variety Show Set to Celebrate Harlem Renaissance in Northern California

Hosted by Michael Mwenso and the Shakes, the show is set for Nov. 23

Vuyo Sotashe of Mwenso & the Shakes at the 2018 New York Hot Jazz Festival
Vuyo Sotashe of Mwenso & the Shakes at the 2018 New York Hot Jazz Festival (photo: Alan Nahigian)

Featuring the music of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ethel Waters as well as a nine-piece band with three dancers, Harlem 100 is set to celebrate one of the country’s most influential artistic movements: the Harlem Renaissance.

Hosted by vocalist Michael Mwenso and his band the Shakes, the Harlem 100 variety show includes special guests Brianna Thomas, Michela Marino Lerman, and Vuyo Sotashe.

The multimedia show was created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum and JMG Live. It features music from performers such as Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Langston Hughes, and other leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. The movement lasted roughly 15 years from 1918 until the mid-1930s and is considered an intellectual, artistic, and social restoration of the African-American arts.

The show is a tribute to the cultural works made famous in the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, and elsewhere.

It’s set to take place on November 23 at 8 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., in downtown Livermore, California. General admission tickets cost $20 to $75. Students and military pay $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.