Mavis Staples’ 80th birthday celebration to be broadcast as benefit concert

Last year’s concert celebrating the 80th birthday of legendary singer Mavis Staples will be broadcast online at the end of this month as a benefit for the Newport Festivals Foundation.

The lineup for the Los Angeles concert features performances by the soul and gospel icon and artists with whom she has worked over the years. Those performers include Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Ben Harper, Trombone Shorty, Grace Potter, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucius, M. Ward, Joe Henry and more.

Mavis 80: A Newport Folk Revival will be live-streamed on Friday, July 31, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at fans.com, with proceeds going to support the Newport Festival Foundation’s educational initiatives.

Staples first gained prominence in the late ’50s with her family band, the Staple Singers, one of the most popular and influential gospel groups in music history. She has since further cemented her legacy as a solo artist, actress and civil-rights activist, with inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017. Staples’ latest album We Get By came out in 2019, produced and written by Ben Harper.

The Newport Festival Foundation hosts the annual Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, while also running charitable initiatives including musical instrument donations, student engagement and funding for after-school music programs. The foundation has also set up a COVID-19 relief fund for musicians who have lost their income.

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