The Apollo 2015 Spring Gala Was Everything!

I declare the Apollo Spring Gala the best damn dance party in New York City! Dare to challenge me? See my feet.

My black and white razor-cut Alice & Olivia pumps were put to the ultimate test Monday night under the hottest tent in Manhattan! The storied Harlem music institution known around the world held its annual fundraising fête and the who’s who of the city turned out in their hottest sartorial looks!

If the Met Gala is New York’s most fashionable party, the Apollo Spring Gala is undoubtedly the most exciting!

President and CEO Jonelle Procope and Richard “Dick” Parsons welcomed lucky guests to the one-night only concert headlined by Nile Rogers, Ne-Yo and Luke James!

James’ vocal chords rang like a thousand bells as the soul man sang his hit “I Want You” proceeded by a slow-tempo version of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”!

Former “106 & Park” host AJ Calloway, the evening’s emcee, introduced Ne-Yo, who serenaded the packed house, flanked by dancers to chart topper “Sexy Love” and summer banger “Time of Our Lives.”

Trio The Soil traveled all the way from South Africa to give the evening’s patrons a taste of Mother Africa. The group’s stunning female vocalist Buhlebendalo Mda later changed into Converse Chuck Taylor’s and led everyone on the dance floor in a hustle I thought people in Detroit only knew. She had the entire floor in sync!

But it was legendary songwriter Nile Rogers joined by CHIC who got everyone on their feet at the night’s concert! Rogers, who got his start at the the Apollo, transported the audience to ’70s-era disco, rocking out to tunes like “Freak Out” and “Good Times.” Rogers didn’t stop there, though. He reminded us all just how big of a deal he is, giving the room a melody of classics he penned including Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”!


The concert rounded out with more performances by ‘The Voice’ contestant Kimberly Nichole and Rosanne Cash, daughter of legend Johnny Cash, who gave a moving tribute to the late B.B. King.

And then there was dance!

In true Apollo fashion, ushers gracefully escorted guests to a big tent transformed into an ultra sultry lounge setting, complete with plush velvet tufted sofas, luxe drapery and chandeliers, two mirrored-glass open bars, sparkling disco balls in the place of floor ottomans—which were featured in just about everyone’s Instagram snaps—and a delish buffet-style spread filled with nom nom designed for a global palate!

The famed DJ Clark Kent was the night’s chief music officer and spinned nothing but the best of the ’90s from Total, Faith Evans to Montell Jordan and even EU’s “Doin Da Butt”! And you can bet your ass I did my best School Daze-esque move!

This year’s gala brought out stars including Deborah Cox, Malik Yoba, Gayle King, artist Kehinde Wiley and Anna Chapman (formerly DeVeare Smith) who was the event’s co-chair.

Find out how you can support the Apollo Theater here!

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva is the founder of Jawbreaker, which she plans on turning into an intergalactic all-girl army that will someday storm the streets of the world in studded bras and Tom Ford boots. She recently took up archery and collects more books than shoes.

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