Keith Richards rocks Apollo theater with heartfelt tributes
Reflecting on Keith Richards' stirring performance at the Apollo Theater, the article revisits his homage to Merry Clayton and his profound impact on the jazz and blues community.
It was a night to remember at the Apollo Theater when rock legend Keith Richards graced the stage, not just as a performer but as a beacon of support for the jazz and blues community. This throwback to 2015 takes us to the Jazz Foundation of America's annual A Great Night in Harlem benefit concert, where Richards showcased his solo work from the album "Crosseyed Heart."
Richards, amid a flurry of engagements for his new album, chose to dedicate his time and talent to this noble cause. The concert, aimed at raising funds for medical care and assistance for jazz and blues musicians in need, became a stage for Richards' heartfelt tributes.
Tribute to Merry Clayton
Among the unforgettable moments of the evening was Richards' performance of "Gimme Shelter". This rendition was not just another cover; it was a poignant homage to Merry Clayton, who lent her voice to the original studio version and had suffered a grave car accident the previous year. Richards' tribute, deeply moving and resonant, was a testament to his respect and admiration for Clayton's artistry.
The Apollo Theater, steeped in history, was the perfect backdrop for such a moment. A standing ovation for Clayton, acknowledged via a pre-recorded segment, preceded Richards' appearance. His words, "Now you know how many friends you got, honey," were not just a greeting but a reminder of the close-knit bonds within the music community.
A Star-Studded Evening for a Cause
The concert wasn't just about Richards. It also paid homage to civil-rights activist Julian Bond and jazz legend Sonny Rollins. With the presence of stars like Danny Glover, Keb’ Mo’, Donald Fagen, and Rollins himself, the night was a fusion of advocacy, memory, and extraordinary music.
Richards, backed by his trusted band, the X-Pensive Winos, brought a sense of unity and celebration to the evening. The synergy between the musicians, including notable figures like Waddy Wachtel, Ivan Neville, and vocalists Sarah Dash, Lisa Fischer, and Bernard Fowler, created an ambiance that was both electrifying and emotional.
Richards' Enduring Impact
This retrospective look at Keith Richards' performance at the Apollo Theater is a reminder of his enduring influence not just in rock music but across genres. His participation in this charitable event reflects his deep connection to the roots of music and his unwavering support for fellow artists. It was an evening where music transcended entertainment, becoming a powerful force for solidarity and healing in the community.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)