A very special composition of essential elements is set to explode onstage at Maui Arts & Cultural Center (The MACC) on Sunday, Aug. 4, as Earth Wind & Fire returns to Maui for a concert in the A&B Amphitheater. Earth Wind & Fire (EWF) was a Maui audience favorite the last time they were here in 2007 with their signature mix of soul, funk, jazz and rock, all delivered with impeccable staging and showmanship.
EWF will hit the stage at 7 p.m., but the gates open at 4 p.m. for special "lazy-Sunday" lead-in festivities (live music, food and beverages) and a more relaxed time frame to allow concert-goers to enjoy their afternoon.
The current line-up for EWF features Verdine White on bass, vocalist Philip Bailey and drummer Ralph Johnson, along with a full corps of guitars, keyboards, percussion and horns--Myron McKinley on keyboards, Philip Bailey Jr. on background vocals, B. David Whitworth on vocals and percussion, Greg Moore on guitar and vocals, Morris O'Connor on guitar, John Paris on drums and vocals, Gary Bias on saxophone, Bobby Burns Jr. on trumpet and Reggie Young on trombone.
Earth Wind & Fire features (left to right) Verdine White on bass, vocalist Philip Bailey and drummer Ralph Johnson, along with a full corps of guitars, keyboards, percussion and horns.
This classic band continues to deliver the lush arrangements and tight performances for which they have been known since the '70s--a signature mix that combines the showmanship of elaborate costumes and staging with the delivery of their own brand of funk, R&B and jazz-influenced music. It's a combination that works and makes audiences happy to be present.
As the group's Web history proclaims: "Their performances blasted a cosmic wave of peace, love and other happy vibrations to audiences using a combination of eye-popping costumes, lights and plain old good music Earth, Wind & Fire's message was one of universal harmony, in both musical and cultural senses."
In the process of creating harmony and melding cultures, EWF also created a music legend. They stand as one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands from the '70s, and among the first acts to bring African culture to prominence in pop culture.
The first version of the band was assembled in 1969 by Maurice White, with the intent to abolish the conventional lines between musical genres and borrow freely from all styles of music. EWF combined showmanship with jazz/funk-influenced music, and that formula worked. With their elaborate costumes and stage effects, Earth Wind & Fire's stage performances are legendary. The band became the first black performers to headline throughout the world without an opening act, and was the biggest-selling act of any kind in the history of Columbia Records.
EWF has won six Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, received ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award in 2002 and BET's Lifetime Achievement Award and they still pack a wallop. Even after almost four decades in the business, EWF shows are still a big production, jam-packed with big stage presence and big hits like "Shining Star," "Can't Hide Love," "Getaway," "September," "Boogie Wonderland," "After the Love Is Gone," the classic "Let's Groove" and their cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life."
Tickets are $65, $79, $89 and $129 (plus applicable fees). Order online at www.mauiarts.org, visit the MACC Box Office (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday) or call 242-SHOW (7469).
For more information, visit MauiArts.org, Facebook (maui.arts) or Twitter (mauiartsculture).
EWF is a Tom Moffatt Production.