Inspired by the work of the playwright, novelist and essayist James Baldwin, Tony Award (Passing Strange) and Obie Award-winning playwright/singer-songwriter Stew creates a collage of songs, text and video inspired by Baldwin’s brave and visionary proclivity for airing uncomfortable truths as celebratory events of poetry and beauty. Co-composing with his Obie-Award-winning, Tony-nominated, longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald, Stew has created a "concert novel" exploring the darker and more complicated aspects of Baldwin's life and work even as it celebrates his lasting influence. Notes of a Native Song premiered earlier this year at Harlem Stage as one of the culminating events in the Year of James Baldwin, a 14-month cultural festival marking the 90th anniversary of Baldwin’s birth.
"…a celebration of Baldwin’s legacy as an inspiration for artists to create their own work that, like his, defies genres and expectations." -Charles Isherwood, New York Times
"...pitch-perfect musicianship and irresistible personality that make every song its own showstopper." - SF Chronicle