Newport Folk Festival announced this morning that they are pleased to present three celebratory shows commemorating the 80th birthday of Mavis Staples.

The shows will take place this May at New York City’s Apollo Theater, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Los Angeles’ Theatre at The Ace Hotel. Called ‘Mavis & Friends: Celebrating 80 Years of Mavis Staples’, the trio of shows will feature Mavis and special guests each night.

“I must be the happiest girl in the world,” said Staples, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Kennedy Center Honoree in a prepared statement. “After all this time, I still do what I love … I never thought I would still be singing at my age, and people seem to really want to hear me, they know me, they give me love—I’m just overwhelmed, really. I thank God every night before I go to bed and then again every morning for waking up.”

Proceeds from the Mavis & Friends shows will go directly towards extending the Newport Festivals Foundation’s support of music education programs in New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles.

In the last year, Newport Festivals Foundation has teamed up with festival artists to provide funding to the following programs in NY, Nashville, and LA:

New York

Little Kids Rock In honor of Sharon Jones To train public school teachers and donates resources needed to run pop/rock-based music education classes in Brooklyn.

Beacon Advocates for Music In honor of Pete Seeger To create folk guitar and choral workshops in which local folk artists come to Beacon High School to work with students in guitar and Chorus classes.


W.O. Smith Music School On behalf of Margo Price Underwriting 100% of the expenses for W.O. Smith’s Camp BackBeat – a weeklong experience for students interested in forming bands and performing live.

The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music On behalf of Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle.To underwrite a brand new class offering in 2019 to focus on bluegrass flat picking guitar styles, a la BillyStrings and MollyTuttle.

The Quest Center On behalf of Todd Snider Funding for music education programs for children living in rural, lower-income communities.

Guitars for Vets On behalf of the War and Treaty To purchase 15 guitars and accessories for the Nashville chapter of Guitars for Vets which provides instructions and guitars for Veterans.

Los Angeles

The Harmony Project on behalf of Lucius To underwrite expenses for Harmony Project’s Leimert Park vocal/choir program – specifically the teacher’s salary and music supplies.

Education Through Music LA on behalf of I’m With HerProviding financial support to music programs for public schools in South Central, Los Angeles.

Visit here for tickets and information.