McKnight And Nieves, Light Up Lehman
McKnight: â€œAs a performer and father, I realize that I am a role model. Thus, I try to be the best example to my children.â€?
Two romantic masters of song are scheduled to appear at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, on Saturday, February 16th at 8:00 p.m., just two days post-Valentine’s Day.
Brian McKnight known for his honeyed tunes and soul sensations will be joining the “Pavarotti” of salsa music Puerto Rican born Humberto “Tito” Nieves. These two musical giants will combine their forces for what is sure to be nothing short of explosive.
“It will be my first appearance at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, but I am very much looking forward to it,” stated Brian McKnight. “Tito and I have been discussing collaboration for a while and now it presents itself at Lehman. I love performing and always have fun no matter what audience I appear before but I am especially looking forward to my concert in the Bronx. There are a few surprises planned,” continued the multi-Grammy nominated performer who produced a pop album which won a Grammy for Pop Album of the Year.
Born in Buffalo, New York, McKnight turns 39 this year. “I was born in Buffalo but when I was about 8 years old, the family moved to Florida. I was always musically inclined. So were my brothers Claude, Freddie and Michael but it was Claude who eventually formed the gospel group, TAKE 6,” recalled Brian who at 19 years of age, signed a deal with Mercury Records, and then later recorded with their Motown Division.
“I am looking forward to working with Tito,” stated Brian who presently resides in California. “We are presently discussing doing a few songs together during our appearance on the Lehman stage. We both appreciate different types of music. Tito is known for singing salsa but he is a diverse artist,” said Brian of Nieves, who has shared the stage with both Celia Cruz and Tito Puente.
In fact, it is said that Tito Nieves once opinioned music was his calling and that he felt fortunate to live in an era wherein he could contribute, along with other salsa greats, to the evolution of tropical music. It was the song “Sonámbulo,” that earned Nieves a Gold record as a solo artist. Shortly afterwards came Yo quiero cantar, featuring the song “I’ll Always Love You.” This earned him additional Gold. Tito became known for and was catapulted to international fame, via his own special version of the 1960’s Stevie Wonder song, “I Like It Like That.” Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Salsa Album in 2002, Nieves has over 14 solo albums, his most current being Hoy, Manana y Siempre (2006) and Cancines Clasicas de Marco Antonio Solis (2007).
Brian McKnight has sold over 16 million albums and includes among his hits “One Last Cry,” “Anytime,” “Everytime You Go Away,” and “Love Is,” his collaboration with Vanessa Williams. Recently, he recorded “Noel,” a #1 Christmas album with Josh Groban that sold 4 million albums to date. Brian’s most recent releases are “10” and “Life Has Changed.”
Some of the artists McKnight has worked with throughout his careers are Quincy Jones, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, Justin Timberlake, For Real, Boyz II Men, Christina Aguilera and a host of others.
“For the last two years, I have been performing with my two sons Niko and Brian Jr (BJ). They will be with me at Lehman. First I perform, than I perform with my sons. They then kick me off the stage and they perform alone. Although, they do invite me back, so I can continue the show” said Brian.
McKnight is multi-talented. He is a singer, instrumentalist, producer, actor, and radio host. “The acting thing is just getting started. I did “Chicago” on Broadway in October 2007 and really enjoyed it. I’ve appeared in a few sitcoms. I was on “Martin,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Sister/Sister” and “The Young & The Restless” but I mostly appeared as myself. I did co-writing for a touring production entitled “Cheaters.” That was the beginning of my real acting experience where I actually played a character and got the opportunity to find out what it was like to be before a real live audience,” said the burgeoning actor who is presently waiting for a call back to see whether he has won a role for which he auditioned.
A master of nine instruments, Mr. McKnight also hosts a radio show, The Brian McKnight Morning Show on KTWV. The Wave in Los Angeles, CA. The show is simulcasted on KHJZ-FM, Smooth Jazz 95.7 The Wave in Houston, TX from 6am-9am CST.
“As a performer and father, I realize that I am a role model. Thus, I try to be the best example to my children. I look forward to my upcoming performance on February 16th because I have some surprises in store. I promise the show will be something that people have never seen before,” stated the eclectic artist.
Tickets are $65, $60, $50 and $45.00 at the Lehman Center Box Office or call 718-960-8833 Mon.-Fri. from 10AM-5PM or purchase online at www.LehmanCenter.org.
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