2016 marks 10 years since the release of Amy Winehouse’s iconic album, “Back to Black.” From top to bottom, it’s considered to be a modern musical masterpiece — from her voice to the lyrics to the production and the realness of it all. Though Winehouse passed away in 2011, fans around the world have not forgotten the impact she made on music — and tomorrow night, Philadelphia musicians will perform “Back to Black” in its entirety at World Cafe Live.
Spearheaded by vocalists Allison Polans and Imani Roach and trumpet player Vince Tampio, a rotating cast of singers will perform the songs backed by a nine-piece band — complete with hearty horn section.
“It was really inspiring to see someone putting themselves out there so honestly and so completely,” says Polans of Winehouse’s authenticity. “There’s not a lot of that in music.”
Roach adds, “‘Amy would have been 32 if she were alive today and we were all close to her in age [in our early 20s] when she came out. To see someone in my age group doing work that was so brave and so stylistically different was really powerful.”
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Tampio admits he was a bit younger when “Back to Black” came out — in between freshman and sophomore year of college. While he didn’t listen to much current music, he was going through relationship woes and connected with Winehouse’s work. “I went out and bought the album. Got the exclusive version. Thanks, Walmart!”
So what can we expect from the tribute? Will the performers aim to recreate the Amy experience from head-to-toe? “We want to do the songs justice but still be true to who we are and not try to mimic her performance or style,” Polans explains.
In addition to honoring her music, proceeds from the event will benefit the The Amy Winehouse Foundation, which educates young people about drug and alcohol misuse as well as provides support for at-risk youth.
If you go:
“Back to Black”: A 10th Anniversary Tribute to Amy Winehouse
World Cafe Live (downstairs)
Friday, June 24
Update: The event is now sold out.
Follow Jennifer Logue on Twitter @jenniferlogue