Inexhaustible Roots drummer and Prince superfan Questlove has come up with a special authorized tribute to the Purple One: a 36-city tour of “4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince” with a 27-piece orchestra.
Curiously, the fall tour will not visit Minneapolis, Prince’s hometown.
Questlove, who is curating the performance, was not available for comment.
The bandleader on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Questlove, aka Ahmir Thompson, is helping to select the material in collaboration with arranger Brent Fischer. Fischer’s late father, Claire, worked on string and orchestral arrangements with Prince for three decades. Brent assisted his father and specifically worked on the Prince medley for the Purple One’s 2004 appearance with Beyonce on the Grammys.
“Questlove is one of the most innovative artists of today. Between his encyclopedic knowledge of and my history with Prince, we see eye-to-eye on so many creative levels and have a deep respect for preserving Prince’s amazing output,” Fischer said in a statement.
Fischer has also worked with Michael Jackson, Usher, D’Angelo and Elvis Costello with the Roots.
Also involved will be Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, a session musician/conductor/DJ whose credits include projects with everyone from Dr. Dre to Ray Charles.
Questlove, the self-proclaimed second biggest Prince fan in the world, never worked on any specific projects with Prince. But he has come to Minneapolis a few times to DJ Prince-only sets at First Avenue and the Dakota.
The symphonic presentation is expected to include some of Prince’s big hits as well as deep tracks. The project is approved by Prince’s estate.
The orchestral tour starts Sept. 6 in New Brunswick, N.J. and ends Oct. 21 in Kansas City. The closest performances to the Twin Cities are Milwaukee on Oct. 11 at the Riverside Theatre and Chicago on Sept. 30 at the Chicago Theatre.