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Jill Scott American singer-songwriter wearing a white dress.

Jill Scott announced as first Vivid LIVE act for 2020

Event Details

Who: Jill Scott
When: Friday 22 May, Saturday 23 May, Monday 25 May and Tuesday 26 May 2020, 8pm AEDT
Where: Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Tickets: 119 + booking fee

Tickets on sale to the general public Monday 24 February 9am AEDT

Sydney – Tuesday 18 February 2020. The Sydney Opera House today revealed that Grammy award-winning US neo-soul powerhouse Jill Scott will perform her influential debut album Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol. 1, celebrating its 20th anniversary in an Australian exclusive at Vivid LIVE as part of Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2020, Vivid LIVE will continue to invite uncompromising voices to the nation’s most famous stages in a contemporary music takeover that celebrates iconic and ambitious artists, emerging voices, and performances by diverse and local communities.

In Scott’s second ever Australian appearance, the acclaimed Philadelphian poet, actor and singer-songwriter will take over the Joan Sutherland Theatre with a vibrant live band for four nights in May, bringing new energy to the original songs when she performs the album in full alongside some of her biggest hits. These exclusive Vivid LIVE performances will be a joyous experience full of play and attitude and according to Scott, audiences should “expect theatre. Expect incredible musicianship. Expect love.”

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall, says: “In the era of Lizzo, SZA, Rihanna and Solange, Jill Scott’s significance and influence as an artist continues to grow and inspire audiences across generations. Having hosted Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott is the last of the original neo-soul titans to grace the Sydney Opera House and celebrating the 20th anniversary of her milestone debut exclusively at Vivid LIVE during Vivid Sydney makes her appearance here all the more special. Vivid LIVE plays a wonderful role in giving seismic artists the resources and context they need to revisit classic work in interesting ways and this is especially appropriate here, as Who Is Jill Scott?: Words And Sounds, Vol. 1 ushered in new perspectives on the heart, mind, soul and body still resonating through R&B today. Her warmth, integrity, sensuality, humour and fierce musical talent make her a formidable force I’ve been trying to program for many years, so it is an immense honour to finally present on the glorious stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the inimitable Jill Scott at Vivid LIVE.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, says: “Vivid Sydney is globally recognised as a leader in creative industries and has a proud history of starting topical conversations, celebrating innovators and showcasing cultural experiences so it is fitting to have Jill Scott perform as part of Vivid LIVE at the festival in 2020. It’s fantastic that Vivid LIVE will offer music fans another Australian exclusive during Vivid Sydney, drawing visitors from around the country and even further afield to the iconic Harbour City.”

Scott’s Grammy nominated debut release, Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol. 1 in 2000 is considered one of the most refreshing takes on the R&B genre to this day, combining poetic storytelling, cosmic jazz sounds and soul-affecting ballads with tracks including “A Long Walk” and “Gettin’ In The Way”. Her ability to be fierce yet sweet and sexual yet relatable through her honest lyrics and powerful voice made her a pioneer in the representation of the multi-dimensional woman, paving the way for today’s female R&B and rap artists.

Affectionately dubbed ‘Jilly from Philly’, the spoken-word poet, who was deeply influenced by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Gil Scott-Heron, began her career writing and performing in the 90s with hometown locals The Roots, as well as Will Smith and Common. In 1999, Scott co-wrote her first Grammy award-winning song “You Got Me" with The Roots before releasing her 2000 debut album. Since then, Scott has recorded four more albums, garnered three Grammy awards, written a New York Times bestselling book, starred in multiple films and TV series including Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? and Get On Up: A James Brown Biopic, and performed at The White House during Barack Obama’s US presidency.

The announcement of Jill Scott’s exclusive Vivid LIVE residency follows sold-out exclusive performances by world-class artists including The Cure – Disintegration 30th Anniversary (2019), Solange (2018), An Evening with Morrissey (2015), the Pixies (2014) and Kraftwerk’s The Catalogue in 3D (2013). The full program for Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will be announced soon.

For media information, please contact:

Ying-Di Yin
Communications Specialist
(02) 9250 7501 / 0432 159 645