Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Mark Plati and Gail Ann Dorsey are among the musicians on tap for the event, titled "A Very Special David Bowie Concert With Bowie People Playing Bowie Music Bowie Style." Tickets for the concert, which will benefit Arts in Education, are $65, $85 (includes early entry & poster) and $125 (early entry & gift bag) and can be purchased here.
The rock icon died on Jan. 10 of this year, two days after releasing his final album, Blackstar, which was just nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song ("Blackstar"), Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Additional shows are slated to take place in London (Jan. 8, O2 Academy Brixton), Los Angeles (Jan. 25, The Wiltern), Sydney, Australia (Jan. 29, Sydney Opera House) and Tokyo (Feb. 2, Tokyo Dome City Hall).
The show announcement features an essay explaining the inspiration behind the events:
To honour David Bowie’s 70th birthday, Bowie band members, friends, and a massive ensemble of top recording & touring musicians from around the world are getting together for a one-time only series of global goodwill concerts, in aid of local charities, called Celebrating David Bowie.
The concerts, announced sporadically, all take place in cities that have a strong connection with David Bowie and his work. All feature a core two dozen musicians traveling plus many local, regional, and national musicians to create a sound like no other.
The concept grew out of two informal large ensemble shows with 70+ musicians in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the spring of 2016 including Gary Oldman, Seal, Ewan McGregor, Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, and Bowie band alumni from Space Oddity to the latest Blackstar album. Both generated a great deal of press and fan praise from around the world
Bowie’s close friend Gary Oldman, who delivered an emotional speech about David at The BRIT Awards, and this giant ensemble from Los Angeles and New York City are opening the tour in London with former Bowie band members Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Mark Plati, Gerry Leonard, Gail Ann Dorsey, Sterling Campbell, Zachary Alford, Holly Palmer and Catherine Russell, along with many other special guests to be announced. This show at 02 Academy Brixton (capacity 5000) sold out in just two hours.
The core ensemble includes former star Bowie band members Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Earl Slick, members of David’s last two touring bands, Angelo Moore from Fishbone, Latin Grammy Award Winner Gaby Moreno, Bernard Fowler from The Rolling Stones, Joe Sumner, Scrote, and a vast extended musical family who play with or have played with Tom Waits, Sting, Seal, Herbie Hancock, De La Soul, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Smashing Pumpkins, B52s, Dr. Dre, Burt Bacharach, David Byrne, Todd Rundgren, Prince, Neil Young, and Lenny Kravitz make up the core ensemble.
Individually these former Bowie band members performed, wrote and recorded together with David through several decades including the 1973’s Ziggy Stardust tour, the Diamond Dogs tour, Isolar II (Heroes) tour, to the hugely successful Serious Moonlight tour, the Sound And Vision greatest hits tour to Glastonbury 2000, Heathen, his final A Reality Tour and many of them appeared on Bowie’s triumphant comeback album, The Next Day.
After their BRIT Awards performance, Bowie’s last touring band refrained from further opportunities to honor him as it was still too emotional. But as word reached them about the sincerity of this particular group they slowly decided too come onboard to say goodbye to David properly in a grand show keeping in line with his tremendous legacy. Far from a tribute and never referred to as one this ensemble includes David Bowie people playing David Bowie music David Bowie style. This is the first and last time this inner circle will do anything like this and these shows are likely to be the last time that they perform his music together; sadly, this may be the closest anyone will come to a David Bowie live experience ever again.