David Bowie Convention 2023 announces Emm Gryner, Erin Tonkon, Keanan Duffty, and Jeff Slate

The countdown starts! With less than two months left before the 2023 David Bowie World Fan Convention on June 17-18th, 2023 at New York City’s Racket (431 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011), more exciting speakers have been added to the already brimming marquee. Award-winning singer/songwriter/actor/author Emm Gryner, producer/engineer/mixer Erin Tonkon and award-winning fashion designer/musician/educator/author Keanan Duffty will each be counted among the aforementioned world-class collection of producers (Tony Visconti, Mark Plati, Tim Palmer), guitarists (Carlos Alomar, Kevin Armstrong), bass guitarists (George Murray, Carmine Rojas), and vocalists (Robin Clark, Joey Arias) as hosted by compere and author and Bowie expert extraordinaire Nicholas Pegg.

Sponsored by Polaroid, the crowned jewel of the weekend, Deryck Todd’s BowieBall on Saturday evening (June 17th), announces that award-winning musician Jeff Slate will join special guest vocalist Ava Cherry and renowned Bowie DJs TheMenWhoFell2Earth for a spectacular selection of performances as hosted by iconic Bowie performer Michael T. Deryck Todd’s BowieBall also sees the return of the “Best Dressed Bowie” competition where all attendees are invited to showcase their brightest, boldest, and most daring Bowie outfits in celebration of his innovative impact on the world of fashion. 

Marking the anniversaries of ‘Let’s Dance’ (40th) and ‘Aladdin Sane’ (50th), The 2023 David Bowie World Fan Convention is an unmissable celebration of the music, style, and legacy of David Bowie, jam-packed with stardust-spangled grandeur, performances, presentations, art installments, and panel discussions.

Emm Gryner
Playing keyboard in Bowie’s band and appearing on numerous recordings, including his landmark 1999 SNL appearance and Bowie at The Beeb (2000) and Toy (2021), Emm Gryner’s performance at Glastonbury 2000 documents her performance in front of more than 100,000 fans at Worthy Farm.

Erin Tonkon
Starting her career working alongside producer Tony Visconti as an engineer and production assistant, Erin Tonkon’s studio relationship with Bowie culminated in engineering, mixing, and performing backing vocals on Bowie’s Grammy award-winning final album, ‘Blackstar’ (2016). Her other credits include master jazz instrumentalist and vocalist, Esperanza Spalding, legendary punk icons, The Damned, and indie rock darlings Lady Lamb.

Keanan Duffty
The multi-hyphenate Keanan Duffty collaborated with Bowie to create a fashion collection for US retailer Target and was invited to be the stylist for the prestigious 2016 CFDA Board of Directors Tribute Award to Bowie featuring Tilda Swinton and Michael C. Hall, which featured original costumes by Kansai Yamamoto and Donatella Versace. Currently the Dean of Fashion at Istituto Marangoni Miami, he is also a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the co-author of ‘Rebel Rebel: Anti-Style’ (with Paul Gorman, Adelita UK, Rizzoli US, 2009).

Jeff Slate
As a featured performer at Deryck Todd’s BowieBall, Jeff Slate is a fixture in the rock world, having worked with music legends such as Pete Townsend, Roger McGuinn, Jeff Tweedy, and Sheryl Crow. His 2010 single ‘Dreamtime’ assembled a handful of Bowie’s collaborators including Carlos Alomar, and Earl Slick, among others. 

Bringing together a cornucopia of collaborators from every period of Bowie’s multi-faceted career, The David Bowie World Fan Convention will be sponsored by VEVO and Waterloo Sparkling Water. Hard Rock Hotel New York will be hosting the June 16 VIP events at their Venue on Music Row, alongside providing a special Bowie Memorabilia archive that will be on display at Racket NYC June 17-18. In addition, Modern Rocks Gallery, in collaboration with Iconic Images, will host an exhibit of rare Bowie photographs by Masayoshi Sukita, Terry O’Neill, and others.

A special evening of exclusive panels, conversations, and music only for VIP ticket holders, will take place Friday, June 16th at VIP event partners Hard Rock Hotel New York City. It will welcome a host of luminaries including acclaimed producer Tony Visconti, whose partnership with Bowie across five decades spawned fourteen classic albums from 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’ to 2016’s ‘Blackstar.’ Joining Tony are other long-time collaborators including guitarist and bandleader Carlos Alomar, a veteran of eleven albums and the co-writer of Bowie’s first US number 1 single, ‘Fame.’ Fans will be thrilled to learn that Carlos is to be reunited with his bandmate George Murray, the bass guitarist who played with Carlos on two world tours and six albums including the legendary Berlin trilogy – this will be George’s first-ever appearance at a Bowie event. Other guest speakers include guitarist Kevin Armstrong, who played on ‘Absolute Beginners’ and led Bowie’s band at Live Aid; Carmine Rojas, who played bass on the classic ‘Let’s Dance’ album and the Serious Moonlight Tour; multi-instrumentalist and ‘Earthling’ co-producer Mark Plati; ‘Tin Machine’ producer Tim Palmer; and performance artist Joey Arias, who appeared alongside Klaus Nomi during Bowie’s groundbreaking Saturday Night Live performance in 1979.

A rousing and exciting sold-out success, the first ever David Bowie World Fan Convention in June 2022 gathered 1,500 fans in Liverpool, England from as far afield as Japan and the US to meet each other and celebrate David Bowie. Moderated by author and Bowie expert extraordinaire Nicholas Pegg (The Complete David Bowie) who returns for the second convention, The David Bowie World Fan Convention immersed attendees into his hidden, hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking world. Fans were able to come face-to-face with many of his friends and colleagues including Carlos AlomarRobin ClarkGail Ann DorseyDonny McCaslinWoody WoodmanseyJonathan BarnbrookKevin CannChris Duffy, and John Cambridge.

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