Welcome to the home page for Black Voices in Cabaret. This is a project that grew out of a need to present and promote Black entertainers who have not traditionally been highlighted in the world of Cabaret. And what is cabaret: a place where audience is face to face with dancers, spoken-word artists, gender-fluid entertainers, musicians, magicians/variety arts entertainers…and of course singers.
Previewing our March month of Sundays:
We plan to provide a forum for education, entertainment, and mutual support of Black artists nationwide, starting in Chicago where American cabaret had its first roots in the 1910s and 1920s. Our goal is to be a resource and home for entertainers like us to learn from and grow with each other.
David M. Stephens, Managing Director BVIC
If you wish to learn more… WELCOME! Glad to have you with us! At this site you will find information on our First Online concert series and public Conversations, Fundraising to support our artists, Help Wanted, and Upcoming Meetings.
Don’t hesitate to reach out, join the roster.
Sign up to receive email news and come back here for additional posts, and more performances and seminars/workshops later in 2021. We look forward to working with you…and entertaining you as well.
ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL SUPPORTS BLACK VOICES IN CABARET
Working In Concert, the two-year-old performing arts collaborative, has been awarded $9,200 by the Illinois Art Council to underwrite a premiere concert by Black Voices in Cabaret to launch this network of African-American performers. The concert “Healing through Song” has three distinct 30-40 minute episodes that will stream on consecutive Sundays in March: the 14th, 21st, and 28th, at 3pm.
This concert is emceed by magician and singer David Stephens and vocalist Arlene Armstrong and being recorded at PianoForte Studio and Epiphany Center for the Arts.
The premiere concert brings together two dozen artists including opera singer Gwendolyn Brown, classical soprano Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, cabaret notables Lynne Jordan and Cynthia Clarey, Natalie Douglas (“Princess of Birdland” in Manhattan), Chicagoan of the Year actress E. Faye Butler, jazz singers Bobbi Wilsyn, Margaret Murphy and Ava Logan, drag queen Coco Sho-Nell, rap artists Che Rhymefest and Seany-Doo, and many more.
According to singer Natalie Douglas, “We’ve always been here, and we’ve always been making music in the cabaret world. But those weren’t the pictures we saw in the movies or on television. It is only through us making a fuss and saying ‘I need to be represented there, too’ that people will be open to the idea that an evening of cabaret isn’t just pretty white ladies in sparkling gowns.”
David Stephens, the Managing Director of BVIC, explains, “Our mission is to showcase Black performers, educate new audiences about the history of Chicago cabaret as seen through Black eyes, and uplift its repertoire beyond the standard American Songbook.”
“We are exploring the rich variety of performing styles, and highlighting both new and established performers from Chicago and beyond. We invite new audiences to get exposed to the art of cabaret and experience the intimacy of live performance.”
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Join our campaign to match this fund by visiting our donation page here. When making this donation please earmark it for Black Voices. THANK YOU for donating by March 28th, 2021.
Additional support provided by WDCB 90.9 FM Radio, Chicago’s Home for Jazz, Blues and More