IMG Artists, today’s leading global performing arts management agency, announces Damien Sneed’s 40+-city North American tour, “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” The 2020 tour kicks off on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Joe’s Pub in New York, NY, and will make stops at concert halls and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The tour will conclude on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center in Kent, WA.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the multi-genre artist will bring his brand of classical, jazz, and sanctified soul to venues across the country during Dr. King’s holiday, Black History Month, and Women’s Month. “We Shall Overcome” is a joyous celebration reflecting on the triumphant and victorious moments during our history. To view footage from last year’s tour,
“I’m super excited about the upcoming ‘We Shall Overcome’ tour,” says Sneed. “Last year was our first time going out, but now we are well prepared for the rigorous schedule and vast amount of travel required. The best part of this tour is how we will be able to touch the lives of so many different people through the lyrics and messages in the music.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Damien Sneed,” says Toby Tumarkin, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Artists and Attractions. “He is an amazing rising star, and ‘We Shall Overcome’ is an excellent opportunity for audiences across the country to experience Damien’s incredible music-making.”
Joining Sneed on tour will be an ensemble of multi-genre vocalists and instrumentalists, including Chenee Campbell (vocalist), Markita Knight (vocalist), Anitra McKinney (vocalist), Alicia Peters-Jordan (vocalist), and Linny Smith (vocalist) and other special guest artists to be announced. The musicians include Joel Tate (drums), John Matthew Clark (bass), and Marquéz Cassidy (keyboards).
Following the concert on January 14, at Joe’s Pub, the tour will continue to Place des Arts in Montreal, QC (Thursday, January 16); the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, PA (Friday, January 17); the Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH (Saturday, January 18); Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady, NY (Sunday, January 19); the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, MA (Monday, January 20); the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT (Wednesday, January 22); the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT (Thursday, January 23); Millersville University in Lancaster, PA (Friday, January 24); Gettysburg College at the Majestic Theater Gettysburg, PA (Saturday, January 25); the Fine Arts Center at University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Amherst, MA (Tuesday, January 28); the Alden Theatre at McLean Community Center in McLean, VA (Thursday, January 30); and the January tour dates will conclude at the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, VA (Friday, January 31).
During Black History Month, the We Shall Overcome tour will kick-off at The Wilson Center at Cape Fear College in Wilmington, NC (Saturday, February 1); High Point Theatre in High Point, NC (Tuesday, February 4); Temple Theater in Lufkin, TX (Thursday, February 6); Texas A&M University Auditorium in College Station, TX (Friday, February 7); Irving Arts Center in Irving, TX (Saturday, February 8); the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, TX (Sunday, February 9); Miami University of Ohio Hall Auditorium in Oxford, OH (Wednesday, February 12); Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Charter Township, MI (Thursday, February 13); the Wharton Center in East Lansing, MI (Friday, February 14); the Dominican University at Lund Auditorium in River Forest, IL (Saturday, February 15); the Moraine Valley Community College at the Fine and Performing Arts Center in Palos Hills, IL (Sunday, February 16); the University of Dubuque at the Heritage Center in Dubuque, IA (Tuesday, February 18); the Victoria Theatre Association in Dayton, OH (Wednesday, February 19); the University of California Berkeley in Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA (Thursday, February 20), the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford, CA (Friday, February 21); Chico Performances at Laxson Auditorium at California State University in Chico, CA (Saturday, February 22); Portland’5 Center for the Arts in the Newmark Theatre in Portland, OR (Monday, February 24); Arts Commons in Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, AB (Thursday, February 27); the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, BC (Saturday, February 29).
The final leg of the tour concludes with a series of dates during Women’s History Month starting with the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, WA (Sunday, March 1); the Brigham Young University’s Harris Fine Arts Center in Provo, UT (Monday, March 2); the University of Utah at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, UT (Wednesday, March 4); Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine, CA (Saturday, March 7); Pepperdine University at Smothers Theatre in Malibu, CA (Sunday, March 8); the College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Center at Twin Falls, ID (Wednesday, March 11); and the Tower Theatre in Bend, OR (Thursday, March 12); and the Kent Meridian Performing Arts Center in Kent, WA (Friday, March 13).
On Friday, January 10, 2020, Sneed will also release the deluxe edition of the 2019 CD, Damien Sneed: We Shall Overcome on his label, LeChateau Earl Records, which was established in 2019 to reflect his varied musical interests. In September 2019, he released his new offering, Jazz In Manhattan. Previous recordings included Damien Sneed: We Shall Overcome (January 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).
As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, he has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B with legends including the late Aretha Franklin and Jessye Norman, which he recently was the musical director for his mentor’s funeral service, and will be featured on Norman’s forthcoming and final recording,Bound For The Promised Land on Albany Records on November 2, 2019. He also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others.
The composer and pianist recently premiered his new opera, “We Shall Overcome — Our Journey: 400 Years from Africa to Jamestown,” at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage for the Sphinx Organization Performance and Gala, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robert F. Smith. Sneed also wrote the libretto, which showcases musical styles from the African American diaspora from African rhythms to spirituals to gospel to jazz, all interwoven in the classical genre. He was joined by fellow Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipients and Metropolitan Opera’s J’Nai Bridges (mezzo-soprano) and Will Liverman (baritone), along with Sneed’s chorus, Chorale Le Chateau, and the Sphinx Virtuosi Orchestra, who brought to life his ground-breaking opera during the evening’s finale performance.
Sneed was also commissioned to compose a new chamber opera titled MARIAN’S SONG about the life of Marian Anderson for Houston Grand Opera, which will have its world premiere on March 5, 2020, at the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Center. In addition to MARIAN’S SONG, he was commissioned to compose a symphony in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen with its world premiere in summer 2020 in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
Sneed recently joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, where he teaches graduate-level courses in conducting, African American Music History, a singer/songwriter ensemble, a gospel music ensemble, and private lessons in piano, voice, and composition. A graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School in his hometown of Augusta, GA., Sneed studied at some of the finest conservatories and universities, including Howard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University; New York University, where he earned a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia; and the Manhattan School of Music. Sneed will also graduate with his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from USC in 2020. Sneed was a member of the faculty at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Nyack College. His other professional affiliations have included The Juilliard School as a staff accompanist, Jazz at Lincoln Center as an artistic consultant, and the City University of New York (CUNY) as a professor of music. In 2015, Sneed established the Damien Sneed Performing Arts Institute, a division of the Damien Sneed Foundation. He is the founder and artistic director of the international vocal ensemble Chorale Le Chateau.