Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro
Featuring Becca Stevens and Alicia Olatuja
Pianist and composer Billy Childs received a 2015 Grammy nomination for best jazz vocal album for his Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nyro died before her 50th birthday. But the Bronx-born singer, songwriter, and pianist—whose soulful music was recorded by artists such as Barbra Streisand, The Fifth Dimension, and Three Dog Night—had a significant influence on an array of music makers who followed her. Childs, who’s earned four Grammys and a Guggenheim Fellowship, makes his Center for the Performing Arts debut in a concert featuring music from the Nyro album, which included guest artists Yo-Yo Ma, Esperanza Spalding, Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, Chris Botti, Becca Stevens, and others. Stevens, a “Björk-meets-Joni [Mitchell] singer-songwriter” (jazzwisemagazine.com) who performed with pianist Taylor Eigsti in 2010 at Schwab, and Alicia Olatuja, who dazzled millions with her solo during the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the 2013 presidential inauguration, join Childs for the Schwab Auditorium performance.
Childs is backed in concert by his band, which features saxophonist and flutist Bob Sheppard, guitarist Peter Sprague, harpist Carol Robbins, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Billy Kilson. The State College-based Allegria String Quartet also performs as part of this Center for the Performing Arts concert. Allegria includes violinists Sally Williams Minnich and Mark Minnich, violist Debbie Trudeau, and cellist Jonathan Dexter.