MAGIC CITY RADAR ALERT: HOLIDAY MAGIC IN THE MAGIC CITY
Posted by: T. D. Davis
After an absolutely magical year of entertainment and culture in the Magic City, including a phenomenal showing at this year’s Hispanic festival, a bevy of entertainment and cultural offerings in Ensley, Alabama’s historic entertainment district, assorted appearances by some of comedy’s biggest stars including Mike Epps, a soccer match played to a packed house at Legion field featuring the recently minted US Women’s World cup championship team, and this year’s fantastic version of the annual Magic City Classic, entertainment offerings have been slim as of late.
Enter the month of December, and do not fear Birmingham, like Marvel Comics The Avengers, entertainment is here to save the day! The month of December is alive with the buzz of not only the Christmas holiday but performances by legendary Bass Will Downing with openers Kenny Lattimore and Maysa, therapeutic flutist Claudia Smith, and comedic sex symbol Sommore at Birmingham’s Comedy Club Star Dome.
Downing, Lattimore, and Maysa (May-Suh) perform Saturday, December 5 at the Birmingham Jefferson County Civic Center Concert hall at 7:30 pm, hosted by MC Lightfoot and produced by Twilight Productions 2. Born Wilfred Downing on November 29, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, Downing’s musical pedigree was first was discovered at Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School, famous for its performing arts program, and the alma mater of musical industry heavyweights Barbara Streisand, Clive Davis (founder of Arista records and, famously, the man who originally signed Whitney Houston), and Kedar Massenburg, president of Motown Records. He is regarded a centerpiece of smooth R&B and classic soul, and his debut album Will Downing, released in 1988, spawned the John Coltrane remake “A Love Supreme”, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard’s chart. His version of the hit “I Still Go Crazy”, released in 1991 and swooned to in 2105, is a staple for lovers of R&B and lovers the world over, and his silky smooth bass and perfect phrasing are sure to thrill concertgoers on this date.
Kenny Lattimore’s self-titled 1996 debut album spawned the R&B hits “Never Too Busy” and the wedding anthem that is still the wedding anthem of choice “For You”. With a gorgeous smile, beautiful bald pate, and lilting, expressive, agile tenor, he is a fan favorite for adoring women, a debonair example for men, and the desire of fans of beautiful music everywhere. His live performance of “For You” should leave fans feeling as if it truly is for the city of Birmingham.
Maysa Leak is American jazz singer best known for her mononym Maysa. She is well known by fans of smooth jazz as both a solo artist and as a member of the British band Incognito. After receiving a degree in music from Morgan State University, she moved to Los Angeles to perform with Stevie Wonder’s all girl backup group Wonderlove, and while there sang on the Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever soundtrack with Wonder. Over a telephone audition she won the role of lead singer of the British neo soul band Incognito, eventually moving to England where they wrote and recorded the hit single “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”. Her ninth solo album, Motions Of Love, released in November of 2011, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts and No. 7 on the R&B chart. We are delighted that these three artists are coming to sing soul to us this holiday season.
Likewise, a performance by flutist, worship leader, and certified music therapist Claudia Smith is sure to add comfort to the attendee’s joy this holiday season. This formal, yet friendly event fuses into three categories into a high energy, interactive show that offers fun for all ages. She appears at the Alabama Theater on Thursday, December 3 at 7pm. See http://www.alabamatheatre.com for more details.
Finally, the sexy comedian Sommore brings us more fun to add to our holiday joy with a performance at the Comedy Club Star Dome Sunday, December 6 at 6:30 pm. Known as the “Diva of Contemporary Comedy”, she tells her stories with great sarcasm, wit, and a general disregard for whatever is politically correct. Stone cold truth is the name of the ingénue’s game. She has appeared in films Soul Plane, Friday After Next, and Dirty Laundry, and was regular performer on Showtime at the Apollo, Def Comedy Jam and BET’S Comic View, and her combination of sultry good looks and outrageous sense of humor assure she will indeed bring “some more” laughter to our joy. For more information see schedules at www.thestardome.com.
Magic City Radar is pleased to bring you information on upcoming entertainment options. We wish you and yours a safe, happy, funny, musical, and blessed holiday season.