Seven-time Grammy Award winner Maurice White was the mastermind behind multi-platinum funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. BAMcinématek pays tribute to the late bandleader with two phenomenal vintage shows from the height of their powers: a live-in-the-studio performance on January 1973 on Channel 13’s black variety show Soul!, and a film of a 1981 New Year’s Eve set at the Oakland Coliseum, directed by Michael Schultz (The Last Dragon, Car Wash) and co-produced by White himself for HBO.
Directed by Michael Schultz
This 1981 concert features the band at its Afrofuturist apex, showcasing their Egyptian symbols, signature showmanship, glittery costumes, choreography by Tony winner George Faison, and much more. Highlights include the hits “Fantasy,” “Sing a Song,” “Devotion,” and a celestially groovy encore.
In this pre-stardom 30-minute funk workout on PBS, White opens the set with his signature thumb piano and timbale alongside lead singer Philip Bailey in black nationalist red, black, and green. The performance continues with drummer Ralph Johnson keeping it on the one, Verdine White on his hands and knees exorcising his bass, and the band’s unique take on a James Taylor classic.
Thursday, Jun 30, 2016, 8pm
Putnam Triangle Plaza, 22 Putnam Ave