A screening of the 2014 Academy Award-winning film 20 Feet from Stardom will be followed by a discussion and performance by four of the film's stars on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in Rose Hills Theatre (Pomona College, Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). The film, directed by Morgan Neville, captures the behind-the-scenes lives of back-up singers who have been working literally 20 feet behind the biggest names of the music industry, from Stevie Wonder to Mick Jagger.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, 20 Feet from Stardom grew out of producer and music industry executive Gil Friesen's desire to learn more about the lives of backup singers. The movie boasts a large cast, ranging from rather unknown background singers to the biggest names on stage.
After the film, four of the singers featured in the film will come together in a panel to discuss further the movie and their personal experiences as backup vocal singers. The first singer is Claudia Lennear, who, during her career, has worked with Tina Turner, Humble Pie, Mick Jagger and others. Mick Jagger and David Bowie once said that she had been the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' song "Brown Sugar" and Bowie's song "Lady Grinning Soul."
Joining Lennear will be the Waters Family trio members Orin, Maxine and Julia. They have been a part of over 260 gold and over 100 platinum albums and have worked with high-profile figures such as Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson. Most notably, the trio sang background for Jackson's "Thriller" and the soundtrack of the Disney movie The Lion King.
This panel of four highly-regarded backup vocal singers will also delight the audience with a few songs, accompanied by Caleb Quaye, a rock guitarist and a studio musician who has played with the greatest artists of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Elton John and Paul McCartney.
This event is sponsored by the Offices of International Initiatives and Communications and the Departments of Africana Studies, English, and Media Studies.