Following years of soulful albums and performances by Curtis Mayfield, the artist was tragically paralyzed after a freak accident in 1990. Seven years after his debilitating injury, Mayfield managed to record an entire album on his back, singing one line at a time to ensure he performed up to the incredible standard he set throughout his life.
This coming Friday, July 20th, an event will be held at Lincoln Center to honor the musical virtuoso who passed in 1999. “Here But I’m Gone: A 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield” will be important to not only highlight his career as a musician and singer, but to honor the genuine personality and caring spirit of the deceased legend. Proceeds from the event will go to the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, which distributes scholarships to the Atlantan arts school, Tri-Cities High School.
The Roots will take part in the musical portion of the event, covering the discography of Mayfield, specifically pieces from the “Super Fly” soundtrack which Mayfield initially wasn’t too thrilled to create. The Roots are a perfect fit to recreate the sounds of the Mayfield catalogue, that’s characterized by soul, fluidity and funk.
If you haven’t yet experienced Curtis Mayfield, make sure you check out the work of the soul legend that has even been sampled numerous times by Kanye West himself.
Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an African-American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Super Fly, Mayfield is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music. (From Wikipedia)