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WHAT’S GOING ON, Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic concept album sung from the point of view of a Vietnam vet who returns home to a country torn by hatred, suffering, and injustice, has become a cultural touchstone—and its relevance today is chilling.
The brilliant guitarist and bandleader FELICIA COLLINS (The Late Show with David Letterman) gathers a host of friends including Toshi Reagon, Siedah Garrett, Kecia Lewis, and more to be announced, with an all-star band featuring Terri Lyne Carrington, Bette Sussman, Alexa Tarantino, Nicki Richards, Tabitha Fair, LaTanya Hall, Valerie Naranjo, and Deah Harriott, for a deep dive into Gaye’s legacy, as they play the record in its entirety. Check the website for updates—lineup subject to change.
What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye’s eleventh studio album, was released on May 21, 1971, by the Motown Records-subsidiary label Tamla. Recorded between 1970 and 1971 at Hitsville U.S.A., Golden World, and United Sound Studios in Detroit; and at The Sound Factory in West Hollywood, it was the first album Gaye produced himself and the first to credit Motown’s now-legendary in-house studio band, the Funk Brothers. What’s Going On met with immediate critical and commercial success and soon came to be regarded as a landmark recording in American popular music. Rolling Stone ranked it sixth on the magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
Music Director Felicia Collins is best known around the world as the guitarist and vocalist in the CBS Orchestra on The Late Show with David Letterman / World’s Most Dangerous Band with Paul Shaffer. Prior to The Late Show, Felicia was the lead guitarist and vocalist in Al Jarreau’s band and then a member of Cyndi Lauper’s band. She has also led her own bands: 360 (a power trio starting with Will Lee and Anton Fig), and B!tchslapp, which went on to become Felicia Collins and the Life. She produced Anarchists Of Color ll, the live music show which featured Black Rock musicians and artists celebrating Black Rock past and present, and (with Kecia Lewis, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Deah Love-Harriott) was in the cast of the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Off-Broadway Production of Marie and Rosetta, a story about Marie Knight and the legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the electric guitar innovator who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2018. Felicia paid tribute in Sister Rosetta’s induction performance, channeling Tharpe on vocal and electric guitar.
Her third self-produced solo album, Felicia Collins Discovers The Blues, features Dumpstaphunk members Ivan Neville, Brady Blade, and Tony Hall, along with Paul Shaffer and the rest of the World’s Most Dangerous Band. Also throwing down on the joint is Mickey Raphael, long-time harmonica player with Willie Nelson; the great Bette Sussman on piano; and SNL keyboardist Leon Pendarvis. Amongst Collins’ many original projects is DANCE, MF, DANCE, an underground live dance groove-athon curated and produced by her.
Check back for more updates to the lineup!