Will Downing Tickets
|Latest Will Downing Tickets|
Jul 10 2015
Will Downing, Najee & Gerald Albright
Red Hat Amphitheater (Formerly Raleigh Amphitheater and Festival Site)
Jul 24 2015
Details of Will Downing and the Ticket Luck value
Will Downing is recognized as the leading male vocalist for singular, sensuous blend of R&B, jazz and pop. The man is the definition of smooth, both for the way he can jump from a sensual baritone to an airy falsetto and for the easygoing nature of his songs.
Wowing sophisticated soul fans with his soothing, sensual baritone voice for two decades now, the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter made his solo debut in 1988 with the self-titled album, Will Downing. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard Charts.
His debut came after a lot of behind the scenes work ranging from `80s club production king Arthur Baker to vocal diva Jennifer Holiday. The album was highlighted by a dance cover of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme and Deniece Williams' Free.
After that covers became a staple of his CDs and eclectically include Paul Davis' I Go Crazy, Angela Bofill's I Try, Thom Bell & Linda Creed's Stop, Look, Listen (To You Heart), Janet Jackson's Anything, Ephraim Lewis' Drowning In Your Eyes and Luther Vandross' arrangement of Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett's Superstar.
Downing stayed with 4th & Broadway for just one album and switched to Island Records for his second release, Come Together As One, in 1989. it was a pop- and dance-oriented collection of R&B songs also reflecting Downing's love of jazz. As a graduate of Brooklyn's famed performing arts high school, Erasmus Hall High, he shares a common heritage with the school's other famous musical alumni such as Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Stephanie Mills, James D-Train Williams and J Records founder, Clive Davis.
From there Will took it to college at Virginia Union University, and then to the studio. In the 90s and early 00s, Downing recorded frequently on multiple record labels. He became a regular at the top of the contemporary jazz charts and released a number of solid albums (perhaps the best of which was his album of duets with saxophonist Gerald Albright, Pleasures of the Night).
Switching labels to Mercury Records for his fourth outing, 1993's Love's the Place to Be, Downing scored his best-selling album to date with about 235,000 copies sold in the United States and over 300,000 copies in Great Britain. Then came Moods in 1995 and Invitation Only in 1997, both of which sold well to Downing's core fan base.
The CD All the Man You Need received a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Traditional R&B Album in 2000. Following that he signed with Verve Records, and released an album in early 2002. That same year Will also received the International Association of African-American Music Diamond Award.
Downing has built up a dedicated following over the course of the past two decades, and while his may be smaller than the average teen idols, its constant and unwavering, as evidenced by the fact that Downings 2007 album, After Tonight, became his first to hit #1 on Billboards R&B Album chart. His music is also in heavy rotation on radio stations across the R&B, smooth jazz and adult contemporary dial.
His latest release on the Concord label is called After Tonight recorded from a hospital bed where Will was admitted last year after being diagnosed with a rare and severely debilitating condition known as Polymyositis - an inflammation of the muscle fibers. It results in weakness that can be severe with equally maddening, random and inexplicable periods of flares and remissions.
After Tonight is more than just another album for Downing. It became a monumental reason for him to wake up on many a morning - a purpose that only his attention could bring to life. It is his 13th album and has all of the elements of Traditional R&B from the music to the lyric/stories sung within.
Downing croons and swoons his way through a gorgeous selection of songs with guest shots from some of contemporary jazz and souls finest musicians, including saxophonist Kirk Whalum on All I need Is You and You Just Can't Smile It Away and legendary vibraphonist Roy Ayers on Lover's Melody. He bumps it up a bit on this one.
This is MY track! Jazz-'A'!!! Just in time, too. And a great set up for the rest of the tracks. Will Downing, while having carved out within his own right credibility, reminds the seasoned listeners of the sensuous strains of Marvin with a Lucian type range. He goes into a little Eddie from time to time.
Spend A Little Time bares this out. With the help of Gerald Albright, No One Can Love You More is absolutely Classic! One might even hear a few Luther riffs. Always known as a master interpreter-hes covered everything from The Average White Band and Michael Jackson to Paul Daviss lite-radio standard I Go Crazy, Downing only tackles one non-original song on this album, and its a winner. His take on Bill Withers melancholy You Just Cant Smile It Away is stunning.
Besides being the prince of sophisticated soul, Will Downing is also a great photographer. The 2004 calendar featuring portraits of singer/musician friends showcased his lens work.
A coffee table book titled Unveiled, filled with his work as well as that of several other African American graphic artists from Philadelphia's ArtJaz Gallery scene was also published in 2006 (through Will Downing Productions).
For 2008 Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway, and Will Downing have teamed up for a special tour to celebrate the holidays. The Soulful Christmas tour will kick off November 28th in Detroit.
The three artists will also appear at a bowling event called Strike Against Stroke in Washington, D.C., to raise money for the American Heart Association. This would not be the first time for Downing as he has hosted several Strike Against Stroke events in the past.