Niki Haris and Donna De Lory will bring “Niki + Donna: Songs and Stories” to New York’s the Green Room 42 for two performances on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28, both at 7:00 PM. Ever since they met more than 30 years ago, the singers have shared a deep kinship, both musically and spiritually. Fans felt it, too, as they heard the pair’s extraordinary harmonies wrap around each other to form one singular voice for nearly 20 years as they collaborated with Madonna on several tours and videos. Follow Niki on Instagram @NikiHarisOfficial and online NikiHarisOfficial.com. Find Donna on Instagram at @DonnaDeLory at online at DonnaDeLory.com. Their joint Instagram is @NikiandDonna. Concert tickets are at TheGreenRoom42.com
What can audiences expect from your shows at The Green Room 42 this month?
Niki – We’re so grateful that people are still coming to see us and hear our vocals. I am going to lean into our mission statement…We are in a divisive world, and when Donna and I stand in front of an audience to sing, we want to express the honor, the gratitude that we have for the many years of celebrating our journey. We live different lives, but music unifies us. And the audience is going to experience that. Even when people seem so polarized, music can bring us together. There is something about forgiveness and staying grateful every moment. We just choose to celebrate through song.
Donna – For me, every time Niki and I come together onstage, it’s an incredible blessing. I am so grateful that we’re still singing together. We have so much to share about our perspectives on life and sharing our joy for music and friendship. People really feel that in a deep way.
You two released a wonderful EP together, Two Friends. What inspired this recording?
Donna – There was a video of us performing “Rain” in Madonna’s “Girlie Show” tour. Someone sent me the link, I read all the comments and I re-experienced us singing together. I was so moved by hearing our voices together and the simplicity of it. From the comments, I saw that there was so much love and support from people wanting us to keep singing together. I had just asked Niki to record with me on an a capella song called “Kinder,” from my album The Unchanging. Then we went into the studio to record “Rain” with acoustic instrumentation. The guitar, string quartet, and percussion were arranged around our voices. When the fans loved it, we decided to start a pledge campaign, and everyone was there to really lend their support. We gave things like written-out lyrics and Zoom calls, to inspire people to help us. So the fans contributed to the EP and that’s how it was made! The first song I thought we should record was a number I first heard back in the ‘90s, when we were still singing with Madonna, “Two Friends” by Brian O’Dougherty. That song really represents who we are.
After 20 years collaborating with Madonna on various concerts and videos, are there any particular special memories you want to share?
Donna – Wow, so many… I love when we were all together on stage and having so much fun. There was a lot of comedy and playfulness. That’s something the three of us shared together. There was a magic when we were being playful, singing “Material Girl” in curlers. We had so much fun with “I’m Going Bananas,” just cracking ourselves up on stage.
Niki – There is a great photo of the three of just laughing, with our mouths just completely open. I think it was from Life Magazine. We were just laughing so loud. We had fun, there was room to improvise, to just be in the moment!
What other projects are you both working on that you’re excited to share with your fans?
Donna – Niki and I are working on remixes or brainstorming about a new album. Right now, we’re touring with our live shows, so there’s a lot of energy going into that. It’s how we’re telling stories of our life together in music. Plus, we both have our individual projects. I am currently mixing a record with guitarist James Harrah, who played on the first two Madonna tours. It’s an ambient, healing record that’s meant to help people get through difficult transitions in their lives. I’ve also been releasing singles in world electronica and other genres.
Niki – I am about to leave for a tour of international jazz festivals, and I have a new jazz record coming out next year. Right now I am completely overwhelmed with learning to sing through the changes of some of these American songbook standards. I am trying my best to honor the music! Plus, I am working on a new inspirational record.
And then, at this moment, we’re talking about performing the Niki and Donna show in theaters all around America. We want this show to inspire people to do what Facebook and Instagram were supposed to do… to actually talk to each other and feel connected again. It’s important to honor those who you have poured into you, and vice versa. Just honor the connection. Always say thank you to the people who share the journey of your life. Because the next breath is not promised.