Black History Month At The Arsht Center

Author:  Suzette Espinosa Fuentes
February 2018 features diverse entertainment at the Center including the “Empress of Soul” GLADYS KNIGHT, 17-time Stellar Award-winning Gospel Great MELVIN WILLIAMS, 10-time Grammy Award-winning Jazz Legend GEORGE BENSON, ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER featuring Miami’s own Jamar Roberts And Tony Award-winning Best Musical THE COLOR PURPLE

MIAMI, FL January 22, 2018 – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) is proud to present 16 dance, music and Broadway performances this February during Black History Month:

Glady KnightFebruary 10 at 8 p.m.


John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

Tickets: $29, $49, $69, $99, $119*

Part of the 2017-2018 Live at Knight Series

AN EVENING WITH GLADYS KNIGHT will feature songs from the legend’s vast catalog of hits encompassing the past 50+ years – including the iconic song “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

The great ones endure, and Gladys Knight has long been one of the greatest! Known as the “Empress of Soul,” very few singers over the last fifty years have matched her unassailable artistry! This seven-time Grammy Award winner has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance. Knight began performing at the age of four and at sixteen debuted her first album with the classic group, Gladys Knight & The Pips. The group went on to achieve icon status, having recorded memorable songs such as “Every Beat of My Heart,” “Letter Full of Tears,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye),” “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” “Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me” and the #1 smash “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

After earning her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Since then, Knight has continued to achieve honors with BET’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” (2004), BET Soul Train’s “Legend Award” (2011) and most recently, the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Gospel Album” (2015). Knight has recorded more than 38 albums over the years, including five solo albums during the past decade, and she remains a tireless performer around the world!

February 11 at 5 p.m.


John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

Free Admission with First-Access Passes

Part of the 2017-2018 Free Gospel Sundays Series

Now in its eleventh season, FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS series continues with a Black History Month celebration starring GRAMMY-nominated gospel icon MELVIN WILLIAMS. The multi-award-winning singer, songwriter and producer will fill the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall with his distinctive, soulful vocals and emotion-filled lyrics from his chart-topping hits, including “Cooling Water” and “Another Blessing.” 

Over the course of his five-decade career, MELVIN WILLIAMS has established himself as one of Gospel’s most notable voices across the world. As a member of the iconic Williams Brothers, MELVIN WILLIAMS garnered six GRAMMY nominations as lead singer, songwriter and producer of the group’s albums. He received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Male Vocalist in the gospel category for this first solo album, Back to the Cross. His hit song “Cooling Water” remained on the Billboard gospel charts for more than 100 weeks and garnered more than 12 million views on YouTube.


Admission to FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS is FREE. However, First-Access Passes are required. First-Access Passes for the February 11 performance featuring MELVIN WILLIAMS will be available beginning January 24 at noon. First-Access Passes can be reserved by calling the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722 or online at (limit four per person). 

George BensonFebruary 16 at 8 p.m.


John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

Tickets: $45, $55, $65, $85, $125*

Part of the 2017-2018 Jazz Roots Series

Simply one of the greatest artists in jazz history, 10-time GRAMMY winner and NEA Jazz Master George Benson is an amazingly versatile musician, whose adept skills find him crossing easily between straight-ahead jazz, smooth jazz, and contemporary R&B. At various points along the five-decade continuum of his storied career, he has been heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled chops, a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication or a combination of both. However, he regards himself as an entertainer in the broadest sense of the word – a singer of songs, a spinner of tales.

The evening will begin with Jake Shimabukuro who has become one of the most exceptional and innovative uke players in the history of the instrument—an artist who has drawn comparisons to musical titans such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.  He has collaborated with artists from Yo-Yo Ma, Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson and Cyndi Lauper to Ziggy Marley, Dave Koz, Lyle Lovett and Bette Midler, and wowed audiences at SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Playboy Jazz Festival, and the cutting-edge TED conference.

February 22 – 25

Thursday, February 22 and Friday, February 23 at 8 pm; Saturday, February 24 at 2 and 8 pm; and Sunday, February 25 at 2 pm


Ziff Ballet Opera House

Tickets: $29, $59, $79, $99, $119*

Part of the 2017-2018 Knight Masterworks Dance Series

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER, renowned for celebrating the human spirit through the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition, returns by popular demand to Miami for the 10th year. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle and featuring Company star Jamar Roberts, both Miami natives, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will move audiences with exciting premieres including Roberts’ first work for the Company – Members Don’t Get Weary – an abstract look at what it means to have the blues, set to music by John Coltrane. Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations – an American classic acclaimed as a must-see – will provide the inspiring finale at each of the five performances. Ailey’s 2018 Miami visit is the only South Florida engagement on a 21-city coast-to-coast North American Tour.

February 27 – March 4


Adrianna KicksTuesday, February 27 – Friday, March 2 at 8 pm; Saturday, March 3 at 2 and 8 pm; Sunday, March 4 at 1 and 7 pm

Ziff Ballet Opera House

Tickets: $29, $57, $85, $105

Part of the 2017-2018 Broadway in Miami Series co-presented with Broadway Across America

THE COLOR PURPLE is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic has conquered Broadway in an all-new "ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times) directed by Tony winner John Doyle.

With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

Don’t miss this stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South in the musical sensation that New York Magazine calls “one of the greatest revivals ever.” Experience the exhilarating power of this Tony-winning triumph!