By Dawn Scotland
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
The Toledo Museum of Art held a private concert featuring award winning singer- songwriter John Legend Friday evening October 22 in the Museum’s Art Gallery. The event, entitled “Art Meets Legend,” featured the artist pairing his famous songs and covers alongside notable artwork to an audience of sponsors, community members and local children.
Adam Levine, director of the Toledo Museum of Art, opened the event and introduced the night. “I see Toledo tonight at Toledo’s Museum of Art,” Levine said. The event was the first of its kind. It featured the artist singing with spotlighted artwork throughout the gallery and was co-presented with TAPA (Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts).
“So excited to be with you in here in this beautiful place… and just enjoying your company.” Legend opened the night with “Made to Love” followed by a cover in Legend’s signature style to the Beatles’ 1969 hit “Here Comes the Sun.”
The non-stop 11-song serenade featured songs “Save Room,” a new single “Never Break” from his recent album “Bigger Love,” the song “Love Me Now,” and a surprising cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” (1984).
His breakout 2004 hit “Ordinary People” was met with a singalong from the audience.
“Green Light” and “Conversations in the Dark” were also followed by hearty applause.
The night offered an intimate concert in the museum’s Art Gallery that sat about 400 attendees including about 40 local school aged children from the community as a part of the museum’s outreach effort. The children were from Junction Coalition, Englewood neighborhood, Art Tatum Zone, the Frederick Douglass Community Association, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Ebid Institute and YWCA. Tickets were also given to first responders.
While the first half of the concert featured a man and a piano, the last two songs featured special local guests.
Legend was accompanied by the Bowling Green State University String Quartet during “All of Me” and the concert ended with Bowling Green State University’s choir singing “Glory,” the Grammy award winning song from the 2014 civil rights film “Selma,” to a standing ovation.
The event was sponsored by ProMedica, the Dana Corporation, Rita B. Kern Foundation, Craig and Amy Findlay, Brent and Pam Cousino, Cynthia and Ron Thompson, Bowling Green State University and the Greater Toledo Community Foundation. While the event is the first of its kind, the museum plans to have more events like it in the near future.