David Bowie pianist Mike Garson announces star-studded birthday concert for rock legend
In 2016, the legendary David Bowie left this planet far too soon. In 2020, the live music industry was shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Jan. 8, 2021, a star-studded group of musicians and vocalists – including those who grew up with his music as well as his friends and bandmates who worked with him and knew him best – will come together on the weekend of the fifth anniversary of Bowie’s passing (what would have been his birthday) to reconnect, heal and share the music that has meant so much to so many.
Mike Garson and producers Stacey Sher and Kerry Brown have joined forces with Rolling Live Studios to produce “A Bowie Celebration: Just for one day!,” bringing together dozens of Bowie alumni band members spanning Bowie’s career from his 1969 self-titled album to his final album, “Blackstar,” along with many of the world’s most famous voices for a special experience. The concert will feature performances from Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), William Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins), Bowie’s good friend and Oscar-winning actor Gary Oldman, Gavin Rossdale (Bush), Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Grammy-winning singer Macy Gray, Ian Astbury (The Cult), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz), Bernard Fowler (Rolling Stones), Corey Glover (Living Color), Tony-winning rocker Lena Hall, vocal phenom Judith Hill (Grammy winner for “20 Feet From Stardom”), and many more to be announced.
As Bowie’s longest and most frequent band member, Garson played on dozens of Bowie albums and performed in 1,000 concerts with the rocker, including both Bowie’s first and final performance in the U.S. When Garson’s most recent “A Bowie Celebration” tour was abruptly stopped mid-tour as the pandemic devastated the live music industry, Garson began looking for the best way to keep the music playing and to allow the celebration of Bowie and his legacy to continue. He began reaching out to artists and alumni about a very special virtual experience for the fans – despite the world looking so different than before.
“I reached out to friends who had played with David, people who grew up listening to him, those he inspired and influenced. Artist after artist I spoke with, each immediately understood my vision and enthusiastically said yes to taking part in this special show,” Garson said. “That’s the magic of David’s legacy. Like many of the great and timeless songwriters before him – George Gershwin, Cole Porter – David left the world with an amazing and enduring library of music and this is the perfect time to be able to share that music in such a unique and cathartic way.”
Alumni members of Bowie’s bands from throughout his career will join the event, including David’s final touring band of Garson, Dorsey, Earl Slick, Sterling Campbell, Gerry Leonard and Catherine Russell, along with Zack Alford, Carlos Alomar, Kevin Armstrong, Alan Childs, Robin Clark, Emm Gryner, Omar Hakim, Clare Hirst, Erdal Kızılçay, Tim Lefebvre, Martha Mooke, Holly Palmer, Mark Plati, Carmine Rojas, Charlie Sexton, Bowie’s long-time record producer and musician Tony Visconti. Others will collaborate with Garson’s special guest vocalists for a setlist of some of Bowie’s most memorable hit songs, along with a collection of deep-cut Bowie gems.
“What we’re planning is an amazing show with the most talented musicians from every period of David’s career, as well as phenomenal artists from many different genres,” Garson said. “We’ll hear different interpretations of David’s songs; some with totally new arrangements that have never been heard before.”
Garson said additional vocalists and alumni band members will be announced soon – and fans should “stay tuned for more exciting announcements to come!”
Tickets are on sale now at http://rollinglivestudios.com/bowie with early-bird pricing offered through Sunday, Nov. 1. A variety of VIP ticket bundles are available offering fans a variety of exclusive opportunities and merchandise, including everything from access to private rehearsals to access to a preshow soundcheck and an aftershow Q&A with members of the band.