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Damien Sneed Joins City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage Production of ‘The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music’


Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient joins Tony Award-winner, George Faison as the musical director and conductor for City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage production of “The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music” on Wednesday, August 12 at Rumsey Playfield, located on East 72nd Street, off Fifth Avenue in Central Park.

“The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music” will feature co-host Tony Award-winner (and Munchkin from the original Broadway production Phylicia Rashad; André De Shields (reprising his role as The Wiz); Tony Award- winner Dee Dee Bridgewater for her role of Glinda; Ebony Jo-Ann in the role of Addaperle; singer/songwriter Wallace Gary as The Scarecrow; Inaya Day as Dorothy; and more cast announcements to made soon. The event is free, doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show time is 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

In celebration of the 40 Anniversary of The Wiz, George Faison became the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Wiz. In honor of the 40th anniversary, Faison will present performances of original songs and dances from the show. “I am honored to be a part of the historic production and to have the opportunity to work with some of the key players from the original cast,” says Sneed. “George has developed an amazing concept to expand the legacy of this iconic musical. It’s a great production for the family.”

In between rehearsals for The Wiz, Sneed has joined the Queen of Soul as an organist with the Aretha Franklin band. Last week, Sneed played with Franklin at the Syracuse Jazz Festival. “To have the opportunity to play for Aretha Franklin is a major career highlight and milestone,” says Sneed. “I am humbled and grateful for this blessing.”

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