Howard Theater Reopening In April After $29 Million Renovation

by Sophie Pyle · March 1, 2012

    The Howard Theatre, the historic arts landmark that launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes, announces their grand re-opening after a $29 million renovation with a star-studded opening gala and lineup of top-tier events. The Howard Theatre will re-open the week of April 9th with performances by Wale, The Roots, Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Meshell Ndegeocello, Bad Brains, Chuck Brown and comedienne Wanda Sykes.  

    On April 12th, the new venue will host a Grand Opening Gala Fundraiser presenting performers from the Howard Theatre's past and future including Smokey Robinson, Al Jarreau, Madeleine Peyroux, Savion Glover and many more. The event will honor famed Motown Records founder and producer Berry Gordy, who will be in attendance. A full slate of wide-ranging performances in the 12,000 square foot, 650 seat (1,100-standing room) theatre will continue with a lineup that includes Chuck Berry, Chaka Khan, Esperanza Spalding, Jack Bruce, Boyz II Men and a weekly Sunday Brunch featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir.  The scheduled lineup is listed at the end of this release.

    The Howard Theatre will be operated by Blue Note Entertainment Group, the owners and operators of clubs and theaters around the world which include the Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club and The Highline Ballroom in New York.

    Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment Group, said:

    "I'm very excited about the opportunity to be associated with the restoration of the legendary Howard Theatre. It’s an honor to be a part of this project and to help preserve the rich tradition of the Howard, while bringing forth a modern concept in both design and programming that we hope will revitalize the music-loving community. We've created a very flexible venue that can host an amazing array of events.  Our booking policy will be eclectic, and we plan to feature the top names in all genres of music.”