According to Billboard, Prince’s ’90s band the New Power Generation are headed out on tour after they play Celebration 2017 at Paisley Park. André Cymone wasn’t asked to perform with the Revolution (at Celebration or on their own tour), but the NPG’s Morris Hayes invited him to sing at Paisley and on the road after that. So far, the NPG have only announced one show, May 22 in Redondo Beach, Calif., but they say U.S. and Europe dates are soon to follow.
Prince always kept the New Power Generation line-up loose, but keyboardist Tommy Barbarella, drummer Michael Bland, and bassist Sonny Thompson are commonly known as the band’s cornerstones. Neither Bland nor Thompson are on this tour’s official roster, although they’ll “rotate in as needed and as their schedules permit,” as will vocalist Shelby J. (Correction: Thompson is a member of the core band, after all; Billboard corrected their error on Thursday.) Thompson and Barbarella will join Cymone, Morris Hayes (keyboards), Kip Blackshire (vocals), Marva King (vocals), Levi Seacer Jr (guitar), Kirk Johnson (drums), Tony Mosley (guitar, vocals), and Damon Dickson (dancer, vocals) at the upcoming concerts.
Billboard‘s article also includes a quasi-press release Prince handwrote, which features warm praise for members of the NPG (he did insert the word “almost” above the phrase “Rosie Gaines stole the show from Prince”).
During this run of shows, the NPG will play music from all over Prince’s catalog, including material that predated the band, such as Purple Rain. After the tour, they’ll hoping to write a new album together.
For details and backstory, read Keith Harris’s NPG explainer here.