Commissioned by Harlem Stage, the concert is a culmination of The Year of James Baldwin presented by the theatre, a 14-month celebration of the legendary thinker, poet, novelist, playwright and essayist.
"The work of James Baldwin is embedded so deeply within my DNA that, until I began writing Notes of a Native Song, I was rather unaware of how intimately, if not thoroughly, it had guided my path," said Stew in a press statement. "From church youth choir to punk rock clubs, from LA to Amsterdam, from Broadway to Harlem (Stage), Baldwin was my GPS."
Stew is a Tony winner for Passing Strange, the multi-award-winning musical that played the Belasco Theatre in 2008. He co-composed Notes of a Native Song with long-time collaborator Hedi Rodewald, who also performs. Along with a band, Stew presents a deeply personal homage to the late great writer.
"In this show I want to rescue Baldwin from respectability. I want to pull him out of the stuffy, noble, artist-activist tearoom and drag him back to the freaky cafe where he belongs," continued Stew.
Performances run through June 7 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, located at 150 Convent Ave., New York. For more information and to purchase tickets visit HarlemStage.