March 3, 2017

Brookfield, WI (February 21, 2017) From blues to soul, gospel, and folk, audiences at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) will experience the expert intermingling of the American music experience in a one-night-only performance on Friday, Mar. 10, 2017, at 8:00 PM, featuring the award-winning Ruthie Foster & The Heritage Blues Orchestra Quintet.

Performing separate sets and for the first time on stage together as part of their “Rise Up and Sing!” tour, these celebrated artists promise a concert of unforgettable depth and power. Tickets are $49-$71 and are on sale now by calling 262-781-9520, purchasing online at, or visiting the Wilson Center Box Office in person at 19805 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park. Discounts are available to groups of 10 or more.

Those who have followed Foster’s eclectic musical history know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk, and gospel. Coming from humble church-choir beginnings in rural Texas, followed by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band, Foster’s list of achievements include Best Female Vocalist in 2007, 2008, and 2013 from the Austin Music Awards; a 2009 and 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album; the 2010 Living Blues Music Award Critic’s Poll for Female Blues Artist of the Year; the 2013 Living Blue Music Award Critic’s Poll for Bluest Artist of the Year [female]; and recent Blues Music Award wins for Best Contemporary and Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. Her latest release, Promise of a Brand New Day, was called “… some of Foster’s best work to date” by the Austin Chronicle and was produced by Meshell Ndegeocello, featuring special guests Doyle Bramhall II and singer Toshi Reagon.

Audiences who listen to their Grammy-nominated debut album And Still I Rise or witness one of their celebrated live performances experience the Heritage Blues Orchestra as something breathtakingly new—even as they honor deep African-American musical traditions. This contemporary group is digging into innovative and timeless musical territory and making a distinct contribution to the African-American musical canvas. From a stark a capella performance by Bill Sims, Jr., to a bold New Orleans’ stomp featuring a vocal solo by Deva Mahal, to Junior Mack’s searing slide guitar leading the gospel-blues charge, HBO performs “up to the minute music that draws upon the glorious past of African American genres” (NPR) and has been called “one of the new and exciting faces of the Blues” by Maestro Taj Mahal.

Rise Up and Sing! Ruthie Foster & the Heritage Blues Orchestra Quintet is presented as part of the Wilson Center’s 2016/2017 Performing Arts Series, which is made possible through the support of Series Sponsors Krause Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Enterforce, and Godfrey & Kahn S.C., as well as Show Media Partner Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR).

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is one of the finest multi-disciplinary cultural arts centers in the United States, with a mission to be the catalyst for lifelong discovery and exploration of the Arts. Founded in 2002, the Wilson Center presents performances by world-renowned artists and ensembles; offers arts education opportunities; curates the Ploch Art Gallery, which features both national and Wisconsin-based fine artists; and is committed to extending the arts beyond the walls of the Center through Lynn Chappy ArtsPark—a vibrant, outdoor sculpture landscape that will engage and inspire the broader Southeast Wisconsin Community. In August, the annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival celebrates the world’s leading classical, rock/blues, jazz, and finger-style guitarists. The Wilson Center nurtures lifelong learning through innovative programs and classes for all interests, ages, and abilities in state-of-the-art studios and classrooms. Some of Southeast Wisconsin’s finest arts organizations offer professional instruction at the Wilson Center, including First Stage Theater Academy, Trinity Irish Dancers, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. From performances and recitals to meetings and special events, the Wilson Center’s beautiful spaces are available for rental to individuals, schools, organizations, and corporations throughout the community. To learn more, visit