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Wednesday, December 28

Soul, Roots, Spirituals

This winter, The Music Hall has created an extraordinary lineup of shows entitled Soul, Roots, Spirituals. The five dates include author Henry Louis Gates (1/17) in the Writers in the Loft series; while the Intimately Yours concert series will present the Carolina Chocolate Drops (2/26), Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires (2/3) and the Temptations (2/24). And, the Soweto Gospel Choir (2/13).

According to Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall, “We first saw Carolina Chocolate Drops live two years ago at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and were wowed - an Americana Renaissance band of the first order. We’ve asked Henry Louis Gates Jr. here because of both The Music Hall’s and Portsmouth’s connection to African-American history: from Frederick Douglass speaking twice on our site; to featuring one of the first African-American opera stars, Siseretta Jones, after she was denied a role at the Met; to contemporary performers like the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires (introduced to us by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings!). Bringing these master artists even further into our community, we’ve asked the Soweto Gospel Choir will perform a post-concert song over the African Burying Ground. And to round out all that great programming, the Temptations will take the stage on 2/24. It’s entertainment that connects with our African-American history.”

Writers in the Loft: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 7pm, in the Loft
Book: Life Upon These Shores
Ticket package: $64, $61 members. Includes reserved seat, book ($50.00), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.

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Henry Louis GatesOne of America’s foremost critics and historians, Henry Louis Gates is Harvard University’s Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He joins us to discuss his new landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the 2008 Presidential election.

Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship, and sumptuously illustrated with more than eight hundred images—ancient maps, art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters – Life Upon These Shores focuses on history-defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop on to the Joshua generation. Life Upon These Shores is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination. Don’t miss meeting this famous historian in the intimate Loft setting and learning more about his work.

“The academic superstar who found Oprah’s roots and set off a firestorm over race and the police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, now returns with a massive history—more than five hundred pages with more than seven hundred color photos and images.” – USA Today

Writers in the Loft Series Sponsor: Citizens Bank

Intimately Yours: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Thursday, January 26, 2012, 7:30pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $24; $19

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Carolina Chocolate DropsRolling Stone Magazine described the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ style as “dirt-floor-dance electricity.” If you ask the band, that’s what matters most. Yes, banjos and black string musicians first got here on slave ships, but now this is everyone’s music. It’s okay to mix it up and go where the spirit moves. This new take on the string band music of the legendary fiddler Joe Thompson helped the Drops become the first black string band to play the Grand Ole Opry. They’ll be touring behind their latest CD, Genuine Negro Jig, which won the 2011 Grammy Winner for Best Traditional Folk Album. Don’t miss this Portsmouth premiere!

“The Carolina Chocolate Drops are…revisiting, with a joyful vengeance, black string-band and jug-band music of the Twenties and Thirties—the dirt-floor dance electricity of the Mississippi Sheiks and Cannon’s Jug Stompers.” – Rolling Stone


Series Sponsors: 92.5 The River; 106 Kitchen & Bar
Evening Sponsors: Me & Ollie’s; Clear Eye Photo

Intimately Yours: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires

Friday, February 3, 8pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $27; $22

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Charles BradleyFrom the legendary Daptone Records comes the late blooming Screaming Eagle of Soul touring behind his autobiographical album, No Time for Dreaming– about which Time Out New York said, “may be this year’s most remarkable debut album.” After driving Music Hall fans crazy as the opener for last year’s visit by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Bradley returns as the headliner. Don’t miss this!

“The next great talent in DapTone’s formidable R&B roster” – Rolling Stone


Series Sponsors: 92.5 The River, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe
Evening Sponsors: Clear Eye Photo

Music Hall Presents: Soweto Gospel Choir

Monday, February 13, 2012 7pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $42; $36

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Soweto Gospel ChoirDirect from South Africa, this awe-inspiring vocal ensemble, performs inspirational tribal, traditional and popular African and Western gospel in eight languages. Earthy rhythms, rich harmonies, a capella and charismatic performances uplift the soul and express their country’s hopes for the future. Note: following the show, the Soweto Gospel Choir will celebrate the work of the African Burying Ground Committee by singing a special encore over sacred ground.

“remarkable voices… spirited and spectacular” – The New York Times


Sponsors: Hilton Garden Inn Portsmouth Downtown, Cava Tapas and Wine Bar

Intimately Yours: The Temptations

Friday, February 24, 2012, 8pm, Historic Theater
Tickets: $52; $44

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TemptationsWith founding member Otis Williams at the helm, the Temptations take their smooth stepping and flawless presentations of Temps classics to sold out performances around the world – The Way You do the Things You Do, My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – they’re all here, reflecting the history of contemporary American pop and the original Motown machine invented by Berry Gordy. Don’t miss this sensational night at The Music Hall!

“Four Grammy Awards, four U.S. No. 1 pop hits, 14 U.S. R&B hits, an Emmy Award, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — but more powerful than the accolades are the history and contributions they made to the music industry and a changing nation.” – Bismarck Tribune


Series Sponsors: 92.5 The River; 106 Kitchen & Bar
Evening Sponsors: Me & Ollie’s; Clear Eye Photo; MoJo’s BBQ Grill & Tavern; The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric; Wells Fargo Advisors; and People’s United Bank

Season Sponsor
River House Restaurant

To purchase tickets

All shows are on sale now and can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online.

Box office: (603) 436-2400     |     24-hour Film Line: (603) 436-9900     |     Business Office: (603) 433-3100