Chuck Berry, often described as the poet laureate of rock and roll, will be feted with a repertoire of his famous musical riffs and lyrical hits performed by guitarist Billy Peek at the 2013 St. Louis Arts Awards ceremony on Monday, January 21 at the Chase Park Plaza.
Berry, 86, will receive the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award as part of A&E's kick-off to its 50th anniversary celebration. Peek, who toured with Berry for years, will perform such classics as "Johnny B. Good," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Sweet Little Sixteen," among others. This past October the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presented Berry with the American Music Masters Award, its highest honor. Berry, the Museum's first inductee (1986), still performs monthly at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill in University City.
In addition to the tribute to Berry, the entertainment line-up for the St. Louis Arts Awards includes soprano Kelly Kaduce singing popular selections from operas and operettas, and New Dance Horizons performances by MADCO and Common Thread Dance Company. Kaduce, a favorite of St. Louis audiences in recent seasons through sell-out performances at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, will pay tribute to the opera company along with pianist Gail Hintz. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis will receive the Excellence in the Arts Award. Kaduce has sung the title roles in Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre and Madame Butterfly for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
In tribute to PNC Bank, to be honored for Corporate Support of the Arts, and Michael Uthoff, artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis, who will receive an Excellence in the Arts award, dancers from MADCO and Common Thread Dance Company will perform excerpts from their recent world premieres that were commissioned by Dance St. Louis under the title, "New Dance Horizons." The companies were two of four St. Louis groups selected by Dance St. Louis to collaborate with nationally renowned choreographers. Common Thread's solo, "Anonymous," was created by Jessica Lang. Stacy West's MADCO dancers will perform an excerpt of the dance choreographed by Gina Patterson titled "Second Line," which features music by former members of the Soulard Blues Band.
Presented since 1992, the St. Louis Arts Awards is the preeminent award ceremony honoring individuals who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and organizations and businesses that enrich St. Louis' arts and cultural community. In addition to Chuck Berry, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, PNC Bank and Michael Uthoff, the 2013 honorees include Duane Martin Foster (Art Educator of the Year); Judy and Jerry Kent (Excellence in Philanthropy); and St. Louis Pubic Radio | 90.7 KWMU (Champion of the Arts). The event is chaired by Ken and Nancy Kranzberg and sponsored by Emerson.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Arts and Education Council's annual campaign which funds nearly 70 arts and arts education organizations throughout the 16-county bi-state region. For ticket information, please contact Susan Rowe Jennings at 314/289-4004, or email susan-r@KeepArtHappening.org.