The legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire brings it’s signature sound of soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz and rock to the Academy of Music as part of the 2012 Guiding Lights Tour on Friday, June 15, 2012 at 8 PM. Led by founding members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson, the global music pioneers will be performing with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Following a string of international sold-out engagements in five countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, Earth, Wind & Fire embarks on their U.S. tour, visiting over 30 cities from June through August. Tickets for the Philadelphia show go on sale to the public Friday, April 20 at 10 a.m.
The tour takes its name from Earth, Wind & Fire’s new single, “Guiding Lights” (Sony/Legacy), which is currently Top 30 on the Billboard Urban Adult Chart. The group’s forthcoming album, Now, Then & Forever, will be released May 22. More than simply a new career-spanning best-of compilation, Now, Then & Forever features the favorite EWF tracks of A-list celebrities, friends and fans of the band, including Andre 3000, Lenny Kravitz, Pharrell, Raphael Saadiq, will.i.am and David Foster, among others.
Tickets for Earth, Wind & Fire are available at $36 to $130, and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, later on performance evenings).
With a celebrated legacy of over four decades, Earth, Wind & Fire has 20 Grammy Awards nominations with eight wins to it’s name. The band’s signature sound is not easily categorized, and since the group’s inception they have been profoundly influential to a powerhouse of music artists ranging from Prince to Beyoncé and generations of millions of fans around the world. Having performed live to sold-out audiences on every continent, Earth, Wind & Fire’s music continues to be among the most played songs in the world.
Earth, Wind & Fire was founded in Chicago in 1969 by Maurice White, who named the band after the three elements in his astrological chart. The group’s title also captured a transcendental, genre-defying approach to musicianship and performance that would revolutionize the pop world. White’s new brand of pop music combined a foundation of funk with elements of jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and disco to create an evolving form of fusion, bridging the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America.
Their performances blasted a cosmic wave of peace, love and other happy vibrations to audiences using a combination of eye-popping costumes, lights, pyrotechnics and plain old good music. Earth, Wind & Fire’s message is one of universal harmony, in both musical and cultural senses.
After a self-titled debut album in 1970, “I Think About Lovin’ You,” a single from 1971’s The Need of Love, gave the band their first Top 40 R&B smash. Many more hits would follow, including “Wade in the Water,” “Sun Goddess,” “Shining Star,” “Singasong,” “Celebrate,” “Can’t Hide Love,” “Getaway,” “Saturday Nite,” “Serpentine Fire,” “September,” “After The Love Has Gone,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Let’s Groove,” “Fall in Love With Me,” “Sunday Morning,” “Spend the Night,” and “Show Me The Way.” EWF earned their first of eight Grammy Awards for the 1975 multi-platinum album That’s The Way of the World. Most recently they were Grammy-nominated for their 2005 album Illumination.
Currently the heart and soul of the band, Philip Bailey (vocals), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Verdine White (bass), Maurice’s younger brother, are all founding members of Earth, Wind & Fire. In 2000, the nine-piece ’70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Although Maurice is no longer a part of the touring group, he remains the band’s heartbeat from behind the scenes as composer and producer.