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Earth, Wind & Fire will perform Friday, June 28, at Tanglewood in Lenox.

PREVIEW: Earth, Wind & Fire to play Tanglewood June 28

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By Friday, Mar 22, 2019 Arts & Entertainment

Lenox — When Earth, Wind & Fire take the stage at Tanglewood on the evening of June 28, they will already have played over two dozen dates in a concert tour that began on March 8, which means they’ll be about as tight as a band can get. This is only to be expected, as most bands improve with every show they play. EWF, however, is like no other band, at least not in terms of the sidemen they engage. The musicians who tour (and record) with EWF are some of the world’s most celebrated rock and jazz players and, in this respect, the group can be thought of as the Steely Dan of black pop.

Earth, Wind & Fire in concert. Photo: Craig O’Neal

Here is the group’s present lineup:

  • Philip Bailey: Vocals, kalimba, conga, percussion
  • Verdine White: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Ralph Johnson: Vocals, drums, percussion
  • Myron McKinley: Keyboards
  • Philip Bailey Jr.: Background vocals
  • B. David Whitworth: Vocals, percussion
  • Morris O’Connor: Guitar
  • Serg Dimitrijevic: Guitar
  • John Paris: Drums, Vocals

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire. Photo: Tom Beetz

But that’s not all. Horns have always been an essential ingredient in the band’s sound, so they have always boasted a killer horn section, and they still do. Today, the EWF horn section consists of:

  • Gary Bias: Saxophone
  • Bobby Burns Jr.: Trumpet
  • Reggie Young: Trombone

EWF has been staging high-energy musical extravaganzas (“pageants,” as some have called them) since the group broke nationally in 1975 with their first hit single “Shining Star.” They still love to produce lavish stage shows, and they haven’t lost their fondness for dressing up in the most outlandish costumes imaginable. (No wonder they’re booked for a six-night Las Vegas residency in May.)

Earth, Wind & Fire essentials:

  • Founded by the late Maurice White
  • Eight No. 1 hits
  • Eight gold singles
  • Debut album reached No. 24 on Billboard’s Top Soul Albums chart
  • Six Grammy wins from 17 nominations

    Earth, Wind & Fire’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

  • Five gold albums
  • Three platinum albums
  • Six multi-platinum albums
  • Four American Music Awards from 12 nominations
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame
  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Sold over 90 million records

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