Steele In Love - Valentine's With The Steeles - The Dunsmore Room at Crooners6161 Hwy 65 NE Minneapolis,MN
02/14/2018 7:00 PM - 02/14/2018 9:00 PM
The Steeles consist of five siblings; J.D., Fred, Jearlyn, Jevetta, and Billy Steele. They have been singing together since they were children growing up in Gary, Indiana where they began to develop their style and soul. Each came to Minnesota for different reasons; however, it is clear they were meant to be a part of the Minnesota sound. They have recorded and performed with Prince, Donald Fagen, Morgan Freeman, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Johnny Lang, Peabo Bryson, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and others throughout their long and storied career. The family has traveled around the world in the acclaimed musical The Gospel at Colonus' including a Broadway run at the Lunt Fontanne theatre in1988. Their recent accomplishments include projects with corporate clients including Target, Best Buy, AMBEV, and Delta Airlines. They have been featured on local and national commercials and enjoy an international profile that has earned them a worldwide audience.
Their melodic sounds have been heard around the world including Carnegie Hall, Paris, London, Barcelona, Italy, Moscow, Brazil, Scotland and around the US. The Steeles have also contributed to several film soundtracks including the documentary Hoopdreams, Graffiti Bridge, Blank Man, and Corrina, Corrina. The siblings continue to perform in world class productions around the globe both collectively and individually.
Jevetta Steele migrated to the Twin Cities to become a criminal lawyer, but fate had a greater plan for this tour de force. In the 80’s her lead role in the international/national touring show, “The Gospel At Colonus”, took her around the world and finally to Broadway. Jevetta has enjoyed performing on many stages from London to Brazil, Carnegie Hall to the Apollo Theater performing Jazz, Gospel, R&B, the Classics and Opera.
Ms. Steele has recorded the original sound track for the opera, “African Portraits” on Warner Classics Records with the Chicago Symphony (under the direction of Daniel Baremboim) holding the role of Mother slave to standing ovations nightly nationwide. She was also featured in the opera, “God, Mississippi, & A Man Named Evers” with the New Jersey Symphony and most recently “Letters To Rosa, A Tribute To Rosa Parks” with the Detroit Symphony, all of which were written by internationally acclaimed composer and musician, Hannibal Lakumbe. She is the returning guest soloist for Columbus Symphony and The Troy Foundation’s “Gospel Meets Symphony” in Columbus Ohio.
Her local accolades include “Smokey Joe’s Café” at Hey City Theater, “Don’t Bother Me… I Can’t Cope” & “Ain’t Misbehavin’” with Penumbra Theater, 3 “Black Belts”, “Bill Of Rights” & “Point Of Revue” with Mixed Blood Theater, “Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story” at the Ordway Center For Performing Arts, “CROWNS” & “Double Infidelities” at the Gutherie Theater and “Constant Star…The Ida B. Wells Story” at Park Square Theater.
Along with her stage career comes a history of film and sound track experience. Jevetta is feature in and on the Corrina, Corrina film and soundtrack (Somewhere Over The Rainbow & This Little Light Of Mine) as well as her most notable performance on Baghdad Café’s sound track with her Academy Award nominated (certified Gold in Europe) performance of Calling You.
Jevetta has enjoyed recording and touring with legends; Prince, Mavis Staples, George Clinton, Natalie Merchant, Kirk Whalum and The Sounds Of Blackness while lending her voice to national commercials for Tropicana Orange Juice, AT&T, Marshall Fields (‘Jingle, Jingle’ 2002 Christmas Campaign, voiceover for 2005 Christmas Campaign), Hefty Ultra Bags and Rainbow Foods.
And now, adding playwright to her list of achievements with the long awaited autobiographical musical, “Two Queens, One Castle”, which opened to rave reviews at the Mixed Blood Theater in downtown Minneapolis, continued on to Horizon Theater in Atlanta, GA. and recently sold out nightly at Metro Stages in Washington, DC (January of 2006) Ms. Steele has made her international return via Barcelona Spain in May of 2004 and France/Germany in the fall of 2005, holding the staring role (Brenda) in “Baghdad Café, The Musical” She returned to tour France with this hit show in October thru December 2006.
A native of Indiana, Jearlyn relocated to Minnesota and after much encouragement, she ventured out singing in churches, community centers and nightclubs. This eventually led her to theater where she has performed at such venues as Penumbra Theater of St. Paul, the Old Log Theater in Excelsior, The Historical State Theater in downtown Minneapolis, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, and the world renowned Guthrie Theater. Over a decade ago, Jearlyn, along with her siblings, The Steeles, began a successful run of the pop/gospel musical “Gospel At Colonus” which made its way to Carnegie Hall.
After Colonus, Jearlyn could be found in the studio recording national and local commercials for companies such as Kohler, H&R Block, Slumberland, Aveda, Target and many more. Her voice can be heard on various CD’s for national artists like George Clinton, Mavis Staples and Prince, with whom she has toured and recorded a duet, entitled “Race”. She has been a frequent guest on the prestigious A Prairie Home Companion radio show and can be seen in the final Robert Altman film, A Prairie Home Companion starring Meryl Streep as well as the Ray Romano movie, 95 Miles To Go. Among her honors are; Newsmaker of the Year 1998 by the MN Women’s Press, The William (Billy) Griffin Award by the Hallie Q. Brown Center, Beautiful Strong Woman 2002, Honorary Member of the Gustavus Library Association and the CBS Radio General Manager’s Achievement Award 2006.
Currently, as host of the CBS affiliate WCCO Radio 830 AM, Jearlyn’s talk show, Steele Talkin’, can be heard every Sunday night from 7pm to 11pm in approximately thirty states nationwide and Canada. And be sure to catch Jearlyn on Twin Cities Public Television where she has joined forces with the award winning Almanac as entertainment reporter.
Corporations such as Wells Fargo Bank, Carlson Wagonlit, Ameriprise, and LifeTouch have incorporated her sound into their winning message. Recently, she has moved into another genre, public speaking, where she refers to herself as the singing speaker! G&K Companies, Executive Women’s International St. Paul Chapter, Health Partners Professional & Support Staff Conference, Northwest Agra Dealers, Luther Seminary and the University of Indianapolis are just a few organizations who have heard her stories called Songs In The Key of Life. From the former Soviet Union to parts of Asia, Jearlyn has shared her voice with elated audiences around the world.
J.D. Steele exploded onto the Minnesota music scene in the mid 1980’s along with Prince, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Soul Asylum and The Steeles, putting Minnesota on the National music map forever. Mr. Steele began his career singing and arranging jingles for local and national spots including Kodak, Target, and other national brands. He developed his abilities as a vocal arranger as a young teen while directing a 100-voice choir at age 16. At Purdue University, where he majored in marketing, he also organized and directed the African American Cultural Center ensemble and began writing and arranging his original compositions.
Since arriving on the Minnesota music scene, Mr. Steele and his dynamic vocal siblings, “The Steeles”, have garnered every major music award and accolade the state has had to offer. J.D. and the family began touring the international hit show “Gospel at Colonus” with Morgan Freeman around the world before finally landing on Broadway in 1988 for a successful nine-month run. After that The Steeles signed their first record deal with Elektra records and released “Heaven Help Us All” in 1993. Mr. Steele produced and cowrote 12 of the 14 songs released on that record. Since then J.D. has produced, performed and recorded six additional Steeles albums and has gone on to write, produce, perform and record with Prince, Donald Fagen, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, Kim Carnes, Fine Young Cannibals, The Sounds of Blackness and many other artists. He has performed on stages all over America, in Spain, Italy, London, Moscow, South America and many other cities and countries.
J.D. Steele has been commissioned on ten original musicals and collaborated on a sixth. His most recent commissions were by the History Theatre in St. Paul MN. and by Mixed Blood theatre in Minneapolis MN in 2006. In 2003 his collaboration with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company opened in April of 2003 at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis.It was a collaboration with Flamenco dancer Susana DiPalma. This musical allowed Mr. Steele to create a cross pollination of Gospel and Flamenco music. His previous collaboration “Two Queens One Castle” which performed to sold out houses in the fall of 2002 and was extended into early 2003 was commissioned by the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. It is being presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theater at their fifteenth annual festival in New York City in the fall of 2003. Other previous commissions were by The Great American History Theatre in St. Paul, MN where he wrote the highly successful “Inner City Opera” which enjoyed a 47 show run and was hailed by the Pioneer Press as “an opera for the 90’s and beyond”. Mr. Steele was also commissioned by The Center For Cultural Exchange in Portland, ME to create “Africa America/Children of the Dance” which premiered in 2001 to sold out audiences throughout New England. He was also commissioned by the same organization in 2000 to co-create along with world-renowned jazz bassist Christain McBride “The Movement Revisited” which also enjoyed a highly successful east coast run. His earliest commission was by Music Theatre Group in New York City where he created “Gospel Sinclair” with famous Cotton Club singer Ann Sinclair which premiered in the Berkshires. Mr. Steele has also been honored with a 2003 Bush Artists Composer Fellowship.
J.D. has also developed a choral group of 200 kids at an orphanage in Nairobi Kenya. The group, Shangilia, made its debut in Nairobi in January of 2005. Mr. Steele has made numerous trips to east Africa. where he has also performed with the choir at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. The choir is scheduled to perform in Greece and east Africa again in July of 2006. In the summer of 2004, he performed in the opening of the stage musical “Bagdad Café’ along with his sister Jevetta Steele in Barcelona Spain. After 37 performances, the shows success led to a 2005 fall tour of France and Germany. The show will tour Europe again in 2006 with hopes of a US tour in 2007. He also recently co-wrote and produced Jevetta’s new jazz cd “My Heart” set for release in Jan/Feb of 2006.
J.D. has also taught and developed music workshop curricula across the country with K – 12 students as well as university music programs including students for Berkeley School of Music in Boston, MA, and San Francisco.
J.D.’s publishing company and music catalog is administered by Rondor/Universal music in Los Angeles, CA. The catalog, Just Divine Music, is registered with ASCAP. Mr. Steele is also a member of the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, Screen Actors Guild, and Actors Equity. His many credits also include a cameo in the Prince produced movie “Graffiti Bridge”, and songwriting and arranging credits for the movies “Corrina, Corrina” (Whoopi Goldberg), “Blankman” (Damon Wayans”, and the award-winning documentary “Hoop Dreams”. He was also nominated for an Emmy for the P.B.S. version of “Gospel at Colonus”.
Fred is in constant demand for corporate shows throughout the United States. His voice can be heard on countless voiceovers and vocal advertisements for companies including Levi’s and Wilson and Leather. His Inspirational Gospel CDs for Compass and Lifescapes are still a top selling series in the United States. He is a noted composer, arranger and producer. His acting and singing in the musical production, Mahalia, has taken him on tour around the United States. That soundtrack is available from Promised Land Productions.
The youngest of the siblings, Billy, performs, writes, and produces for the Grammy Award winning ensemble, the Sounds of Blackness, for who he is currently serving as Assistant Director. He is the co-recipient of three Grammies via this talented ensemble. He continues to write and produce for various artists, including the Steeles. His voice has been heard on soundtracks with artists such as Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross and many more. Recently, he collaborated on the Disney soundtrack Legends, The John Henry Story, narrated by James Earl Jones.