The Saenger Theatre is proud to welcome Maze featuring Frankie Beverly back to the stage where they recorded their iconic live album, Live in New Orleans, in 1980.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly has roots in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay area, but they have always considered New Orleans a home base. Beverly has credited New Orleans for the Gold status of their first album, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, released in 1977. He has said that the majority of copies were sold in Louisiana and the greater New Orleans area.
With the relationship with New Orleans firmly established, Maze decided to record their first live album at the Saenger Theatre in 1980. Live in New Orleans went Gold and reached #3 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart and #34 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album's popularity crossed over into critical acclaim; Ron Wynn of the All Music Guide calls the record, "a superb live album, one of the finest soul/funk concert dates ever released."
Live in New Orleans cemented Maze and Frankie Beverly's already-rock solid love affair with New Orleans, and shared it for the entire world to see.
As a teenager, Frankie Beverly formed a group called The Butlers. They were so young they had to get notes from their parents to perform in local nightclubs. As he grew older he changed the group's name to Frankie Beverly's Raw Soul. Two members of that group are with him today: McKinley Williams, who plays percussions and sings background, and Roame who plays congas and sings background.
When Frankie relocated from his hometown of Philadelphia to the San Francisco-Oakland area their popularity took off. The group caught the attention of Marvin Gaye, who recognized talent immediately and took the group on the road as his opening act. With the encouragement of Marvin Gaye to change the name of the band, one of the original members, Roame, came up with the name Maze.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly arrived on the scene in 1977 with hit singles Happy Feelings, Lady of Magic, While I'm Alone and Workin Together. A string of hits followed, best-selling albums, Golden Time of Day (1981), Joy and Pain (1980), Live in New Orleans (1981), We Are One (1983), Can't Stop the Love (1985) and Live in Los Angeles (1986), all recorded for Capitol Records.
After a string of gold and platinum albums, the group signed with Warner Brothers in 1989, and a new era was launched for Frankie Beverly and Maze. What followed were two more chart making gold albums - Silly Soul and Back to Basics. In 1995, Anthology was born, a rebirth with fifteen of the groups' twenty two chart hits, plus five prime albums cuts. In 2004 a collaboration of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly greatest hits was born.
While many other groups have come and gone, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly has emerged as the era's most consistently popular R&B band. The group still performs all of its soul classics in concerts today. The band continues touring both in North America and Europe.
The original members are: Frankie Beverly (leader and lead vocalist), McKinley "Bug" Williams (Percussions & Background vocals) and Roame (Congas & background vocals). The others members are: Larry Kimpel (Bass guitar), John "Jubu" Smith (Lead guitar & background vocals), Carl Wheeler (Keyboards & background vocals), Vance Taylor (Keyboards), Calvin Napper (Drummer).