The Gene Stovall Holiday Interview
The one and only Gene Stovall, a staple of the Pgh music scene, is hosting his 9th annual holiday concert this year at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. We had a chance to ask Gene all about the holiday show, what he’s been up to lately, and his relationship with the other artists on the bill. As you will see, he is filled with the holiday spirit this year and then some! The evening should be a delight, so if you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer, check it out!
Kymbo Slice: So 9th annual Holiday Concert – that’s a long time! Tell us about your history with this particular concert series. Has it always been at Kelly Strayhorn?
Gene Stovall: In 2004, I did my very first annual concert at the CLO Cabaret Theater Main Stage called Gene Stovall’s Season’s Greetings Concert with an after party for the event called the Happy Hollar Daze Dance Party that was held at Shadow Lounge directly after the event. It was a huge success and lots of fun, so I decided to make it an annual event. Most of the events were called by different names and most of them took place at the Shadow Lounge. This year, I decided to keep my tradition and do two totally different holiday events: OCCUPY CHRISTMAS SHADOW LOUNGE 2011 (which took place on Saturday, December 3rd) and The 9th Annual Gene Stovall Holiday Concert scheduled for Saturday, December 17th. This concert has always been a great way to bring performing artists, family, and longtime friends together to celebrate the inspirational magic that we call Christmas.
KS: What inspired the pay what you can ticket price?
GS: The good people at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and myself decided to make the event this way to inspire people of all ages and different walks of life to come together during this special time of joy and giving.
KS: Tell us about some of the other musicians on the bill. What’s your relationship with all of them?
GS: I am actually a fan of the other performers on the bill and have had the pleasure of working with all of them on various musical endeavors. Carolyn Perteete and I wrote on 4 different songs together and have more to come. Anna Ciaccio, Nina Demeter, and Rachel Dumas are vocalists that I have had the pleasure of hearing and thought that they would make great additions to the concert. David Jennings Smith was once head of the vocal department at CAPA High School when I attended school there and has been my vocal mentor since 1991. Jennings Smith, Anqwenique Wingfield, and James Hall will join me and the Holiday Band to perform a piece of music from “Amahl and the Night Visitors” called “Have You Seen a Child”.
KS: You’ve been involved in some exciting projects this year. I believe you were in a show in New York…tell us more about this!
GS: Yes, I was one of four actor/singers in the 2011 production of Do Wop Love at Barbara Ann Tier’s National Black Theater in Harlem, New York. All of our characters were called by our names, so I played “Gene”, and performed classic hits like “Hurts So Bad”, “Sittin’ in the Park”, “What’s Your Name?”, and “Duke of Earl”. The production was nominated for five AUDELCO Awards and we performed the Temptation’s smash hit “I Can’t Get Next To You” at this year’s ceremony.
The show opened up a door to me being represented by talent agent Shirley Faison of the Carson Adler Talent Agency and proud mother of NBC Sitcom “Scrubs” star, Donald Faison. My singing also got the attention of R&B music producer, Bert Price and lead him to becoming lead vocalist of the legendary Philadelphia/New York soul group Blue Magic, known for hits such as “Sideshow” and “Spell”. I will begin touring with Blue Magic in mid-February 2012.
KS: Future plans? What’s in store for Gene in 2012??
GS: 2012 will mean more work for Team Stovall as we roll into the new year. I will be releasing a remastered version of “2+2=5: Gene Stovall vs Geno Jive” and “Gene Stovall: Over The Place” in Summer of 2012. I plan on giving my absolute best to Blue Magic and hope the road doesn’t come to own me. I also look forward to building with my bands Scientific Map of Chicago and Smoke Ritual of Pittsburgh and rockin’ as many live shows as possible.
This event takes place Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 PM. There will be a meet and greet at 7PM. The concert ends around 9:30/9:45pm. It will be short, but powerful.
Dennis Jennings Smith
Carlos Pena – guitar/vibraphone
Quinton Zigler – piano
Tony Depaolis – bass
Doug Lane – drums
We here at NakYouOut and the entire Nakturnal family couldn’t be happier for Gene. He’s been grindin’ for years, and all of his hard work is finally paying off. Another fantastic PGH export! Best of luck to you, Gene!