STONINGTON — Hailing from Chicago, Stann Champion takes the stage at the Stonington Opera House for a live concert on Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m. This is his first time playing in the State of Maine. His musical style blends reggae, calypso, R&B, and rock. This is a “Live! for $5” event. To purchase tickets, visit operahousearts.org. Proof of vaccination is required. Now serving full concessions, including popcorn!
An American-born guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer, Stann plays guitar and drums. Best known as the leader of the band “Roots, Rock Society” (RRS), Stann has appeared with Blue Oyster Cult, Quiet Riot, Gil Scott-Heron, Steel Pulse, Third World, Culture, and Burning Spear. He has received 12 Chicago Music Awards (CMA), for “Best Calypso,” “Best Soul Calypso,” and “Best Gospel/Spiritual Band,” as well as CMA’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” for his contributions to the Chicago music industry and community involvement.
As a gifted child, he was exposed to a variety of Black Culture music in his home. In 1980 he was approached by a singer/songwriter from the island of St. Kitts to record at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica and Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Studios in Chicago. While in Jamaica, Stann met members of the Wailers, Third World, Roger Lewis of Inner Circle. Stann was presented the “Playing for Peace” award for a performance in Kingston with Third World, I Kong, Chalice and the Fantastic Four, which set the tone for a new musical direction.
In 1986 Stann formed Roots Rock Society to maintain his African-Caribbean-American culture through voice, music and dance with their energetic live performance blending reggae, calypso, soul, zouk and other rhythms of the African Diaspora. With RRS, Stann established performance workshops to teach children and adults about the history of the drum and guitar before they reached the Caribbean and Americas. Critics have labeled RRS, “nation’s best.”
As part of the Opera House Arts Community Engagement and Learning initiatives, during the day on Friday, May 6 Stann will host three concerts at the REACH Performing Arts Center for students of different ages groups, each followed by a question and answer period. These performances are not open to the general public.
Live! for $5 is an annual series of live performances, available to all for a ticket price of only $5. The series features a wide variety of performances for intergenerational audiences and participants. Live for $5 is made possible by the generous support of the W. F. Whitman Family Foundation, in honor of Maia Aprahamian, with additional support from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust.
Opera House Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, to its original role as a performance venue and a community gathering space. We offer a year-round schedule of professional theater, music, film, dance, educational programs, community events, and more. Performances take place in multiple venues, including the Stonington Opera House, the restored Burnt Cove Church Community Center, and at site-specific locations across Deer Isle and Stonington, Maine. Opera House Arts’ programs serve all of Hancock County’s winter and summer residents and visitors, with a special emphasis on the residents of Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula.