Saturday, April 4 / 1:00 p.m.
WHUR 96.3 FM Day
CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF STEVIE WONDER AT 70!
hosted by BILL JOLLY
featuring RICK BRAUN, MAYSA, KIMBERLY BREWER, ERIC DARIUS, NICK COLIONNE, ART SHERROD JR., RAGAN WHITESIDE, GLENN JONES, RAY FULLER, DOXA GOSPEL ENSEMBLE
DoubleTree by Hilton Reading / Grand Ballroom
Tickets: $56 (Reserved Seating)
Stevie Wonder is without question one of the great personalities in music history. His powerfully expressive vocal presence and musical elegance form part of the broad, personal spectrum of irresistible music and compelling emotion that is his personal hallmark.
Celebrating Wonder’s wondrous music as he nears his 70th birthday are award-winning writer and producer Bill Jolly, Rick Braun, Maysa, Kimberly Brewer, Eric Darius, Nick Colionne, Ragan Whiteside, Glenn Jones and the DOXA Gospel Ensemble.
Wonder is an American musician and a former child prodigy who became one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. His multi-generational hit songs include “My Cherie Amour,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Superstition,” “Living in the City,” “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” “Sir Duke,” “That Girl” and “Part-Time Lover.”
Born May 13th in 1950, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Wonder made his recording debut at age 11, becoming a 1960’s force to be reckoned with via chart hits like “Fingertips, Pt. 2,” “I Was Made to Love Her” and “My Cherie Amour.”
Over the next decade, Wonder had an array of No. 1 songs on the pop and R&B charts, including “Superstition,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Higher Ground,” “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” “Sir Duke” and “I Wish” from the albums Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life.
Wonder continued to churn out hits into the 1980’s, including “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” the Paul McCartney duet “Ebony and Ivory” and “Part-Time Lover.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and has continued to record and tour.
Rick Braun, an Allentown native who moved to the West Coast years ago, is known for his high-energy enthusiasm on stage. With bebop roots and a fusion background, he is a veteran purveyor of the smooth jazz sound.
Notable for his impeccable technical chops, melodic wizardry and keen compositional prowess, the acclaimed chart-topping trumpeter, singer, composer and producer has been thrilling audiences for decades and is a perennial crowd favorite at the Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest.
Maysa first gained fame as the featured voice on Incognito’s defining 1990’s hits such as “Don’t You Worry About A Thing,” “Still A Friend of Mine” and “Deep Waters.” She then launched a concurrent solo career with the hits “Am I Wrong (For Lovin’ You),” “Friendly Pressure” and “Hypnotic Love.” She is the kind of singer who takes hold of a song and enraptures her audience in the palm of her hands, as she delivers lyrics, phrases, melodies and harmonies in a way that only she can.
Vocalist Kimberly Brewer is best known for her longtime collaboration with Stevie Wonder. In 1989 she was featured as a background singer on the hit single “We Didn’t Know,” a duet by Wonder and Whitney Houston. In 1991 she contributed to the song “If She Breaks Your Heart” in the motion picture Jungle Fever. She also was featured on Elton John’s studio album Duets
With the release of 2004’s “Night on the Town” single, saxophonist Eric Darius was prophetically hailed — named Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News, alerting the world that an exciting and vibrant new artist officially was embarking upon his destined mission to take the idiom to scintillating new heights. Noted for his searing and unrelenting passion and energy, Darius’ albums and live performances earn him new fans at every turn, as well as industry and critical acclaim.
With a jazz style that is both urban and contemporary, guitarist Nick Colionne has blazed a trail to the top of the ranks of today’s stars. Combining jazz, R&B, blues and funk, he has an unmistakable sound and vibe that is instantly recognizable. Colionne takes the guitar to unexpected places during his performances and his rich baritone vocals delight his audiences.
Soul jazz flutist, vocalist and songwriter Ragan Whiteside has had four consecutive Billboard Top 10 singles with “Early Arrival,” “See You at the Get Down,” No. 1 single and Smooth Jazz Network’s song of the year “Corey’s Bop” and “Jam It.” With a touring portfolio populated with major events, Whiteside has firmly established herself and her sound.
Vocalist Glenn Jones is one of the most sought-after live performers in the music industry with many chart-topping hits, including his signature songs “Here I Go Again,” “We’ve Only Just Begun (The Romance Is Not Over),” “Baby Come Home,” “I’ve Been Searching,” “Show Me,” “I Wonder Why” and “Love By Design.”
Saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. is an artist in love with Motown and soul. His 14-piece ASJ Orchestra performed a memorable tribute concert to Aretha Franklin during the 2019 Berks Jazz Fest.
During Sherrod’s four-year tenure as a midshipman attending the Naval Academy, few people knew he was a musician. But shortly after his time at the academy, Sherrod felt a strong desire to be creative again and step away from the more analytical side of life. So he started playing the saxophone again and quickly gained a great appreciation and respect for strong melodies, grooves, tone and soulful expressiveness.
Reading’s own DOXA Gospel Ensemble, whose name means “praise,” has been featured many times as guests with other artists in the Berks Jazz Fest. The vocal ensemble also has presented its own concerts, including one with special guest Gerald Veasley, the renowned bass player. DOXA Gospel Ensemble performed at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall as a prelude to the “Christmas Spectacular” show in December 2018.