Stew had a passion for music from a young age. Between singing gospel at church and joining an R&B band at 14, his influences span every genre, from Gospel to Pink Floyd. Stew said in an interview with Wilma Dramaturg Walter Bilderback, “I mean what would people say if I told them that the Partridge Family was probably the single biggest influence on me becoming a professional musician? That doesn’t fit the standard narrative but I’d like to mention it.”
While abroad in Berlin in the 1980s, he played with a mixed-media art group The Wonderful Guise. Stew categorizes his work with The Negro Problem as “Afro-Baroque Cabaret,” a term all his own. This diversity of taste clearly influenced the music in Passing Strange.
CHECK OUT OUR PASSING STRANGE PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY, WITH MUSIC FROM THE SHOW AND STEW’S INFLUENCES. SEARCH “’TWAS PASSING STRANGE”
Content courtesy of The Wilma Theater’s Passing Strange Education Guide.