Mother’s Day Performance Featuring Kori Withers and Valerie Simpson to Honor Bill Withers and ‘Grandma’s Hands’

Mother’s Day Performance Featuring Kori Withers and Valerie Simpson to Honor Bill Withers and ‘Grandma’s Hands’

The special Mother’s Day event will take place in New York City.

Bill Withers’ iconic song “Grandma’s Hands” has been released as an illustrated book and an animated music video to celebrate the iconic artist’s song.

His daughter, Kori Withers, and his wife, Marcia Withers, have been promoting the children’s book with special readings across California. Now, Kori, a singer and songwriter, is set to do a special musical performance in New York City, during which she will be joined by music legend Valerie Simpson, according to the official Bill Withers website.

The “Mother’s Day Brunch With the Music of Bill Withers” will take place at Manhattan’s City Vineyard (233 West St. at Pier 26) on May 12 at 12 p.m. Withers and Simpson will be joined by Marcus Machado and Everett Bradley. The book Grandma’s Hands will be available at the event for a special price.

The 32-page illustrated book brings Withers’ song to life on the page with vivid and colorful pictures. The illustrations were painted by multiple award-winning artist R. Gregory Christie, and published by Joel Harper’s Freedom Three Publishing in collaboration with the Withers Family’s Mattie Music Group in July 2023.

The book centers on a young Bill Withers being uplifted and comforted by his grandma and her unconditional love. It features themes of love, family, and relationships while discussing the resonating impact our elders have on shaping who we become.

In addition to the illustrated books, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings enlisted Martian Blueberry to create a music video. Blueberry, an award-winning creative agency that specializes in vivid animation and art rendition, was co-founded by Carl Jones, who has produced popular shows like Adult Swim’s The Boondocks and Black Dynamite.

The animated video features Kori singing with Bill Withers in a new version of of “Grandma’s Hands.”

Bill Withers died on March 30, 2020, at the age of 81.

Withers, a former Navy aircraft mechanic, who taught himself to play guitar and went on to write iconic songs of the 1970s like “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Use Me.” Withers, with his evocative and gritty R&B voice, released his debut album, Just as I Am, in 1971 when he was in his 30s. The multiple Grammy Award winner became disillusioned with the music industry after his 1985 album Watching You Watching Me and ceased recording and performing.

Withers was known for his conversational singing style, allowing his songs to speak for themselves. Leo Sacks, who oversaw the re-release of Withers’s catalog, described him as “a mystical man, like a Greek oracle,” according to The New York Times.


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