Singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples is coming to The Criterion Theatre in January. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CRITERION THEATRE

Mavis Staples MDI show set

BAR HARBOR — Rhythm and blues and gospel singer Mavis Staples will perform at The Criterion Theatre on Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. as part of the tour for her new album “If All I Was Was Black.”

Staple’s first paying gig was at the Holy Trinity Baptist Church in 1948 with her family’s band The Staples Singers. Over time, she moved from the gospel circuit to radio to stadium shows, performing with Bob Dylan, Booker T. and Ray Charles, among many others.

All the while, Staples has been singing truth to rapt audiences. “If All I Was Was Black” contains elements of the many styles that Staples has performed in her lifetime. It seeks to heal the divisions in America by knitting that music together with her and collaborator Jeff Tweedy’s heartfelt lyrics.

“Bring us together as a people, that’s what I hope to do,” said Staples. “You can’t stop me. You can’t break me. I’m too loving.”

Tickets cost $75.50 for the balcony and front center orchestra sections, $65.50 for premium orchestra seats and $40.50 for general orchestra seats. Tickets will go on sale to members on Nov. 16 and to the general public on Nov. 17 at

The 1932 Criterion Theatre is Bar Harbor’s nonprofit historic performing arts and movie house. Visit




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