Michael Dorf PresentsThe highly touted New York City benefit concerts paying tribute to the late David Bowie take place this Thursday and Friday, respectively, at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. The sold-out shows are the latest in a series of star-studded themed tribute events organized annually by New York entrepreneur Michael Dorf.

Dorf tells ABC Radio that when he initially began planning the Bowie tribute, he’d hoped that the rock legend would’ve considered performing himself at the show, something a few previous honorees have done. Sadly, the very day that plans for the March 31 concert at Carnegie Hall were announced to the public, Bowie died at the age of 69.

Michael says that although David now obviously won’t be at the concerts “in the flesh,” he feels that the singer at least will “be there in spirit.”

Not surprisingly, David’s untimely passing led to an increased interest in the tribute by both fans and musicians, prompting Dorf to line up a second show the following night at Radio City Music Hall. Michael says because of the second event being scheduled at a larger venue like Radio City, “we’re going to raise close to three times what we normally do per year in terms of the donation to music-education programs for kids. So, [it’s] a silver lining to some extent.”

Additional funds will be raised for the charities supported by the gigs via a live stream of the Radio City Music Hall show that will be viewable to those who donate at least $5 by visiting MusicofDavidBowie.com.

As previously reported, among the big-name artists who will be performing at one or both of the concerts are Heart‘s Ann Wilson, ex-R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and Patti Smith, all of whom are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Dorf says having Wilson on the bill of both concerts “is very exciting,” noting that she still has a great voice. He points out that Stipe, who also will sing at both gigs, performs live “very, very rarely these days,” while noting that his old group was the previous honoree at one of his tribute shows. As for Smith, who will only appear at the Carnegie Hall show, Dorf explains that she is someone whom “I seriously consider trying to do a tribute to soon,” adding that Patti’s “presence just adds such depth to anything she touches.”

You can check out the full details about this week’s Bowie tribute concerts at MusicOf.org.

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