Welcome to the first in a series of special articles for Black Music Month. One of the greatest and favorite contemporary music groups can’t readily be classified. They are alternately somewhere in the areas of rock, soul, r&b, funk, disco, and jazz — thus they are known as the elements — Earth, Wind & Fire.
The three actual remaining original members of the band Earth, Wind & Fire will be appearing in Music City on August 17 at Bridgestone Arena, along with CHIC, featuring Nile Rodgers, for 2054 – The Tour, which will travel to 22 North American cities this summer beginning July 12 in Oakland, CA. Amping up the summer fun, 2054 The Tour features a guest DJ and a specialized seating configuration toward the front of the stage where seats will have additional space between them to encourage audiences to dance the night away. Those tickets will run you from $35 – $520.
However, you do have more options. Get in the mood and prepare yourself to experience the sounds of those three original EWF members Verdine White, Phillip Bailey and Ralph Johnson along with their current players; and/or experience a “tribute” band that carries the energy and feel of the band in a more intimate environment for only $15 (at ) at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley venue.
“Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire” is bringing the “Do You Remember?” tour to Music City on Thursday, June 8. As part of their “Do You Remember?” tour, “Kalimba The Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire” is bringing all the excitement and joy that this music embodies in such a way that if you closed your eyes, it would be like the first time you heard this great music. This 11-piece band features full horn, rhythm sections, and spot-on vocal treatments of the lush vocal harmonies that are the hallmark of Earth Wind & Fire’s music.
The band is the concept and dream of lead vocalist Thomas “Chazz” Smith, who has a vision to carry on Maurice White’s positive, fun-loving, musical messages of love and unity during this time of social, racial, and political unrest.
“The music of Earth Wind & Fire does not talk (negatively) about women,” says Smith. “It does not talk about the rims on our cars; it’s not talking about our bling. It is feel-good music that is uplifting and is all about sharing the LOVE.”
The current Kalimba band lineup includes Thomas “Chazz” Smith, lead vocals; Tyriq Johnson, lead vocals (Philip Bailey parts); Michael Cole, guitar/vocals; Walter Finch, guitar; Dereke James, bass guitar; Jeff Lund, keyboards/vocals; and Ivan Payne on drums.
“Kalimba The Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire” is endorsed by former Earth Wind and Fire guitarist Sheldon Reynolds.
“Out of the thousand other groups I’ve heard play this material, ‘Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth Wind and Fire’ is the first show that gets it like it’s supposed to be played,” says Reynolds.