Distinctive and soulful, Michael McDonald’s instantly recognizable voice has earned him five Grammy Awards. From ‘70s-era Doobie Brothers classics such as “What A Fool Believes” and solo hits like “I Keep Forgettin’” and “Sweet Freedom” through his Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling Motown and Motown Two covers albums and recent guest spots with alternative bands Grizzly Bear and Holy Ghost, McDonald is that rare thing in contemporary pop – an artist whose work is both timeless and ever-evolving.
Three-time Grammy winner and visionary roots-music storyteller Keb’ Mo’ embarks on a new chapter in his career with the April 22 release of BLUESAmericana on Kind of Blue Music. His twelfth full-length album marks the 20th anniversary of his debut Keb’ Mo’, but, more important, the disc is a signpost of artistic and personal growth. * * * At its core, the album is about love and understanding.
Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as an artist at ease with both country tradition and free-ranging innovation. In 1990, the West Virginia native won the first of her two Grammy Awards, earning the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for her moving “Where’ve You Been,” co-written by husband Jon Vezner.
Ed Sheeran is a six-time Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum singer-songwriter. At only 24 years old, the British artist has already become a global phenomenon. His latest album “x” (pronounced multiply) has gone to #1 in 14 countries around the world, including the United States and his native United Kingdom, where it was both the biggest and fastest selling album of 2014. “x” was nominated for Album of the Year at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards, and features a trio of platinum hits -- “Sing,” “Don’t," and his chart topping smash “Thinking Out Loud" -- as well as his latest single "Photograph."
Every once in a while, an album arrives just in time to give the people a voice. The Vietnam-era got Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On in 1971, Gulf War-stricken Generation X had Pearl Jam’s Ten and Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut, and Ice Cube held a mirror up to the Los Angeles riots on The Predator in 1992. Amidst a groundswell of tensions and upheavals, D’Angelo and The Vanguard delivered Black Messiah upon unsuspecting, yet receptive masses on December 15, 2014. It not only broke a 14-year studio silence from the Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum singer, songwriter, and producer, but it also reaffirmed the need for raw, righteous, and real soul.
The legendary Dr. John is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans’ musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture. His colorful musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford. Dr. John headed west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' “Exile On Main St.”
Grammy Nominated Aloe Blacc released his major-label debut album Lift Your Spirit March 11th on XIX Recordings/Interscope Records where it debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The set follows up Blacc’s collaboration as vocalist and co-writer on well-known DJ/producer Avicii’s track “Wake Me Up,” a song that hit the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on its Hot Dance Club Songs and Dance/Electronic Songs charts, as well as topping charts in more than 100 countries. Blacc’s single “The Man” topped the charts and with more than 2.4 million singles sold.
Ever-dapper in his Kangol Summer Spitfire hat, suit jacket and wooden-wristband Nixon watch, Gregory Porter is discussing his new single. A rolling piano, organ and brass-powered soul-jazz number, it’s called Musical Genocide. It’s a provocative title – was that intentional? “Well…” begins this Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/entertainer with a chuckle. “It’s a provocative title in the sense that unfortunately the word carries significance in our history – and still does. So I meant it to be provocative in that way. But as the first lines say: ‘I do not agree, this is not for me…’”
Verve Recording artist Ledisi is a nine-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist who has wowed fans ever since she came onto the scene. In 2008, she received a Grammy nod for "Best New Artist,” as well as performed eight times at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama, and earned a place in the pantheon of the best soul singers of her generation. Her fans include legends and icons like Prince, Pattie LaBelle, Smoky Robinson, Stevie Wonder and more. In 2014, Ledisi released her fifth studio album The Truth, which spawned singles “I Blame You,” “Rock With You,” and “Like This” among others. She headlines two national sold out tours, appeared on stage alongside Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Jill Scott and on nationally recognized shows like Good Morning America, The David Letterman Show, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and VH-1’s Diva’s Live.
With critically acclaimed Supply and Demand (2006) and Last Days at the Lodge (2008). But it was with 2011’s Mission Bell that debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and brought Amos to nationwide mainstream attention. Last year, Lee headlined amphitheaters and delivered main stage performances at top festivals supporting Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song (2013) and is now excited to announce his first-ever live album, Live at Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony.
Anthony Hamilton’s voice just keeps getting better with time. The Grammy Award winner—a favorite staple on the scene since 2003—is currently in the studio working on his 5th official album with RCA Records. The eagerly anticipated album embodies Hamilton’s rejuvenated sense of love and life. “My music is my life. A lot has happened since my last album. This new record reflects the triumphs and trials that I’ve experienced,” says the soul crooner. This summer will be a busy one for Hamilton who, in addition to recording his new album, is in the middle of a 15-city cross country tour and also has show dates slated in Europe and South Africa.
Branford Marsalis has stayed the course. From his early acclaim as a saxophonist bringing new energy and new audiences to the jazz art, he has refined and expanded his talents and his horizons as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator – a 21st Century mainstay of artistic excellence. Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason.
The youngest of 13 children, Butler grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, ruled by Apartheid and segregation. “I was born poor, but richly blessed with talent and the gift to make music,” he says. “I can’t dismiss where I’ve been or where I’ve come from. I’m a proud South African and I came from nothing.” Butler began his singing career at age 7, releasing his first album in 1973 and winning the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year at age 12. He made history by being the first black artist played on white South African radio while earning three gold records (“Please Stay” went double gold and “I Love How You Love Me” went gold) in 1975 as he became a teenager. More than a decade later, Butler moved to London, England after signing with Jive Records and released his first album internationally. The self-titled set went gold in 1987 in the United Kingdom and in the USA. He received Grammy nominations for Best R&B Song for his R&B-pop vocal hit “Lies” and for Best Jazz Song for the instrumental “Going Home.”
Kori Withers is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. She studied piano as a child and began writing her first songs as a teenager. By age 17, she was playing acoustic guitar and composing in the style of her earliest influences, including Stevie Wonder; Nina Simone; her father, Bill Withers; James Taylor; Carly Simon and Cat Stevens. After graduating from Columbia University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she returned to Los Angeles and performed at The Hotel Café and Room 5 Lounge before winning new fans at the Ottawa Blues Festival, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Long Beach and Gardena Jazz Festivals. Appearing in 2009 in Still Bill, the documentary film about Bill Withers, Kori was recognized for her performance of her original song “Blue Blues.” Since then, she has performed with such songwriting legends as Hal David, Charles Fox and Alan Bergman; and contemporary artists Tracy Chapman, Peabo Bryson and Jason Mraz. A co-written song, “Live Like A Warrior,” was recorded by Matisyahu in 2012. She also sings on “Watch You Sleeping,” which appears on Booker T. Jones’s album, Sound the Alarm. In 2014, she performed at Oprah Winfrey’s “Legends Who Paved The Way” Gospel Brunch that was later broadcast on the OWN Network. Kori is the newest member of “Daughters of Soul,” a collective featuring the progeny of Donny Hathaway (Lalah), Chaka Khan (Indira), Sly Johnson (Syleena) and Nina Simone (Lisa). Kori is currently preparing to record her first EP.
Over 70 million people stutter on a daily basis, including 5% of all children. Young people who stutter often face unimaginable fear and cruelty from a world that doesn’t understand them. Over time, they may recoil from the world, silencing themselves to hide their stutter, embarrassment and shame. Young people who stutter may also feel incredibly isolated and alone, and many face daily ridicule, teasing and bullying.
Since 2001, SAY has offered comprehensive, innovative programs that address the physical, social and emotional impacts of stuttering including Confident Voices after-school & weekend programs, Camp SAY & Speech Therapy.
This year alone, SAY expects to award more than $400,000 in financial aid, so children from families-in-need can access SAY programs. To date, SAY has never turned a child away due to a family’s inability to pay and your support of this concert helps SAY continue that legacy.
SAY believes that every young person who stutters has a voice that matters and it is a voice that deserves to be heard.