Tickets went on sale today for a special Valentine’s week performance by music legend Mavis Staples at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) at California State University, Northridge on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
The concert, which will include opening act Son Little, is being hosted by 88.5-FM, Southern California’s leading Triple-A (adult album alternative) format radio station, a combined effort of CSUN and Orange County-based Saddleback College.
“My predecessor, Sky Daniels, started ‘The Independent 88.5-FM’ tradition of curating our own shows and private performances from the likes of Tom Petty, Sting and Sheryl Crow,” said 88.5-FM General Manager Patrick Osburn. “We are very excited to be partnering with The Soraya on our next show featuring Mavis Staples, fresh off her tour with Bob Dylan.”
Osburn noted that the offices and studios for 88.5-FM share a building with The Soraya, and he called the Mavis Staples concert “a true testament that our combined efforts are luring world-class acts, with more to come.”
Mark “Mookie” Kaczor, 88.5-FM’s program director, called Staples “a legendary artist and one of the most positive people on the planet.”
“We admire her dedication and unmatched commitment to music and humanity,” he said. “88.5-FM is extremely thankful for her support.”
Mavis Staples has been hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace.” She is a once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She has been inducted into the Blues and the Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. She is considered a civil rights icon, and she is a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient, as well as a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Martin Luther King Jr., performed at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and sang at the White House for President Barack Obama. Over the years, she has collaborated with such artists as Prince, Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire and Hozier.
Staples started her singing career in 1950 as a member of The Staple Singers with her father and three sisters. By the 1960s, The Staple Singers became the spiritual and musical voice of the civil rights movement, gaining national acclaim for covering such songs as Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth.” By the 1970s, the group hit the Top 40 eight times between 1971 and 1975, including two No. 1 singles, “I’ll Take You There” and “Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas.”
Staples started a solo career in the early 1960s with the single “Crying in the Chapel.” She released her first solo album in the late 1960s. Other albums followed over the years, including two produced by Prince, “Time Waits for No One” and “The Voice,” which People magazine named one of the Top Ten albums of 1993. In 2004, her album “Have a Little Faith,” featuring spiritual music, garnered national attention. Three years later, Rye Cooder produced her critically acclaimed album “We’ll Never Turn Back,” which features gospel songs of the civil rights movement, as well as two original songs by Cooder.
She has won two Grammy Awards, one in 2010 for “You Are Not Alone,” which won Best Americana Album, and one in 2015, her interpretation of the classic “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” from the Son Little-produced album “Your Good Fortune,” which won Best Americana Roots Performance.
Now 80, Staples has just released her latest album, “We Get By,” a collaboration with multi-Grammy Award winner Ben Harper.
Son Little is the stage name of American rhythm and blues musician Aaron Livingston. Little first gained acclaim for his work with electronic dance musician RJD2. He has been featured as a guest vocalist on two albums by The Roots, as well as tracks by rapper Hezekiah and indie-rock band Portugal. The Man. In 2015, the same year he collaborated Staples on the album “Your Good Fortune,” Son Little released his first album, “Consequence of Sound,” which NPR called “nu-soul, not neo-soul, and the distinction is drastic. Little doesn’t strive to reproduce his influences; he recombines them into something new.”
Little’s latest album, “Invisible,” was released earlier this year.
Tickets (starting at $36) for the one-night-only concert are on sale at ticketmaster.com.