From her start with the Staple Singers to her dynamic solo career, Staples has continued to raise social consciousness through music for six decades. Yvonne Staples, Mavis Staples’ sister and original member of The Staple Sisters, will provide backing vocals.
This performance is part of the Clarice Smith Center’s involvement in The National Civil War Project. The Center is examining the Civil War through the lens of civil and human rights, with a special focus on the Civil Rights Movement.
Mavis Staples is a musical powerhouse. For six decades she has been a solid rock in American music, launching her career with the family group The Staple Sisters. From the delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s (“Uncloudy Day”), to the engaged protest of the civil rights era (“Freedom Highway”), and then on pop radio in the 1970s with a series of soul anthems (“I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself,” “Let’s Do It Again”), Staples’ smoldering voice is iconic.
Staples released her first solo album in 1969, and she has since collaborated with artists such as Ray Charles, Natalie Merchant, Bob Dylan, Prince and Wilco. She says of her solo songs, "They’re about the world today—poverty, jobs, welfare, all of that—and making it feel better through these songs."
Her latest solo album, "One True Vine," produced by Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy, is a gospel album that debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart.
Mavis Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. VH1 named her one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Her previous album, the Tweedy-produced "You Are Not Alone," won the Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2011.
Tickets are $50/$10 (Regular/Students), and can be purchased online or by calling (301) 405-ARTS (2787).