Aretha Franklin Tribute
Daniel Meyer conductor
Tamika Lawrence vocalist
CoCo Smith Vocalist
Blaine Krauss vocalist
In August 2018 the world lost an American musical icon in Aretha Franklin. Loved for her deep soul, her powerful voice, and her ability to get funky at the drop of a hat, The Queen of Soul’s unmistakable sound resonates with generations who love her uninhibited singing and classy style.
We will celebrate her amazing life’s work in a tribute concert featuring some of her most recognizable hits, like Respect, Think, and Natural Woman. This soul-stirring celebration will feature Broadway vocalists CoCo Smith (“The Book of Mormon”), Tamika Lawrence ("Come From Away,""Hercules") and Blaine Krauss ("Kinky Boots,""The Cher Show") alongside Daniel Meyer and the Erie Philharmonic as they provide the soundtrack for Aretha’s timeless arrangements from her Atlantic Records days and beyond.
This is a night when you just might want to bring your dancing shoes!
CoCo is thrilled to be part of “RESPECT: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin” having spent the last few years traveling the world with “The Book of Mormon” (Broadway/ National Tour/International). Since being chosen one of “Broadway’s Rising Stars” in 2015, CoCo has starred in numerous regional productions including “Oklahoma” (Weston Playhouse), “Sideshow” (Near West Theatre), Children Of Eden (Near West Theatre), and made a return appearance in the 2016 edition of “Broadway’s Rising Stars” at historic Town Hall in the heart of Times Square. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. CoCo would like to give special thanks to Mary Feeney and Amanda Colliver.
Hailing from the Mount Hope neighborhood of the Bronx, Tamika Lawrence began her musical career on Broadway almost 10 years ago. (The Wiz Live! On NBC, Book of Mormon, Come From Away, RENT) She then began to lend her Alt-Rock vocals to movie soundtracks and sang backgrounds for artists including Hugh Jackman, and Idina Menzel. A cross between Jack White and Betty Davis, Tamika began to write her own music and in 2014 released the Album "Ugly" with her the band Tamika & The Slay to critical acclaim. In 2018, Tamika won a Grammy for her work on the Dear Evan Hansen Album and completed her debut solo EP "Two Faced" scheduled for release in 2019.
Blaine Krauss is thrilled to be part of the second season on “Pose” while appearing in “The Cher Show”on Broadway. He was most recently seen as ‘Lola’ in “Kinky Boots” shortly after making his Broadway debut in the smash hit "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812." He traveled the world as 'Simba' in "The Lion King" and starred in the Radio City Summer Spectacular. Blaine regularly performs with symphonies around the globe and is a regular performer at Feinstein's/54 Below. His talents led him in 2011 to be a feature performer for the largest Commemoration of 9/11 outside of the U.S at the Trocadero in Paris, France. In 2010 he was selected to be 1 of 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts by the White House and Presidential Scholar Commission. This venture led to having met President Obama and concluded with a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He was selected to be the Feature Vocalist at the 2010 July 4th Celebration at the US National Archives; was a selected participant at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. His theatrical credits include Godspell and Spelling Bee at the West Virginia Public Theatre, Evita, Into the Woods, Civil War, Make Me A Song, Chess and Jean Valjean in CCM's Les Miserables. Blaine is a proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.