Poway OnStage Concert
A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul
Aretha Franklin is recognized as the most successful female recording artist in history, with 112 charted singles on Billboard, 18 Grammy Awards, and over 75 million records sold. Her legendary career rightfully earned her the title, “The Queen of Soul.” Through A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul, Damien Sneed, Franklin’s personally mentored musician, vocalist and composer, pays homage to the monarch herself. Among the show’s cherished hits are “Respect,” “Knew You Were Waiting,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Precious Memories,” “Think,” “Until You Come Back To Me,” “Daydreaming,” “Freeway,” “Natural Woman,” and others.
Joining the tour is 2021 Women Songwriters Hall of Fame winner Valerie Simpson, a legendary singer and songwriter who penned hits for Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and others. Together with her late husband, Nick Ashford, Simpson wrote such classics as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Every Woman” (included in the 1993 movie, The Bodyguard), “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” and “Solid.”
Valerie Simpson has penned such chart-toppers as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” and “Solid.”
ABOUT VALERIE SIMPSON Valerie Simpson is half of the songwriting-performing-producing entity known as Ashford & Simpson, an award-winning collaboration with her late husband Nick Ashford that began in the 1960s. Together they have penned such classic hits as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “Solid,” “Your Precious Love,” “The Boss, “It’s My House,” “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and many others.
Simpson serves on the board of the ASCAP Foundation where a monetary award, the REACH OUT AND TOUCH Award honoring Nick Ashford, has been established to aid struggling songwriters. In recent years, Valerie has toured with Dave Koz as a special guest and with Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band. Four Ashford & Simpson songs are featured in the Broadway hit Motown: The Musical, which is touring the country. “I’m Every Woman” is featured in The Bodyguard: The Musical, which is currently on tour. In 2018, Simpson was featured in a limited engagement in Broadway’s CHICAGO, The Musical, in the role of Mama Morton. The songs of Ashford & Simpson are in constant play through commercials and documentaries (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston), feature films and television shows. Ashford & Simpson have rightfully earned their place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, where the duo was inducted in 2002. In 2019, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presented the Trustees Award to Ashford & Simpson in a televised program adding yet another exciting new dimension to a diversified career. Valerie Simpson owns and runs the popular New York City’s Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, a restaurant and music club, where young writers-singers-musicians have a platform to perform.
Musical Director Damien Sneed
ABOUT DAMIEN SNEED As a multi-genre recording artist and instrumentalist, Damien Sneed is a pianist, vocalist, organist, composer, conductor, arranger, producer, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. He has worked with opera, classical, jazz, pop, R&B, and gospel legends, including the late Aretha Franklin and Jessye Norman, which he is featured on Norman’s final recording, Bound For The Promised Land on Albany Records. He also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, J’Nai Bridges, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others. Sneed has served as music director for Grammy Award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Kim Burrell, among others.
Sneed’s most recent studio recording is Damien Sneed: Unplugged, an all-gospel collection of soulful and inspirational songs, recorded in a spare studio setting with Sneed on piano and vocals alongside several noted vocalists, including Chenee Campbell, Linny Smith, Tiffany Stevenson, and Matia Washington. In January 2020, Sneed released his debut classical album, Classically Harlem and We Shall Overcome Deluxe on his boutique label, LeChateau Earl Records, which was established in 2009 to reflect his varied musical interests. Previous recordings also include Jazz In Manhattan (September 2019); The Three Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul (July 2018); Broken To Minister: The Deluxe Edition (March 2015); Spiritual Sketches (June 2013); and Introspections LIVE (January 2010). Sneed is a 2020 Dove Award winner for his work as a featured producer and writer on The Clark Sisters’ project, The Return, released on March 13, 2020.
For more information on Damien Sneed go to www.damiensneed.com.
Friday March 4th, 2022 - 8pm
A $9 handling and facilities restoration fee will be added to each ticket.
- Location: The Poway Center for the Performing Arts Get Directions
- Run Time: 120 Minutes
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