Howard Hewett & Friends: Soulful R&B Live
Howard Hewett & Friends: Soulful R&B Live
Enjoy an incredible night of music with Soulful R&B Live. The evening will feature Howard Hewett, Ladies of SKYY, Jeff Redd, Meli'sa Morgan, and The Bells 2.0.
Howard Hewett is one of the most gifted vocalists in the post Marvin Gaye era of pop R&B. He started singing as a child, fronting his older sisters in the Hewett Singers. The group toured the gospel circuit. As a teen, Hewett sharpened his crooner skills in a funk band called Lyfe. In 1976, Hewett moved to Los Angeles and formed a group put together by the owners of the historic Maverick’s Flat, called Beverly Hills.
Hewett got his mainstream break as the male vocal lead in Shalamar a centerpiece of Dick Griffey’s SOLAR (Sounds of Los Angeles Records) label. His tenor voice mixed beautifully with the bright vocals of Jody Watley, the dancing skills of Jeffery Daniels and the writing and production of Leon Sylvers III. The group gave the world feel-good dance favorites "The Second Time Around" and "A Night to Remember," the baby-making classic "For the Lover in You," as well as a number of beautiful B-side ballads like "You Can Count On Me" and "Somewhere There’s a Love." When Watley and Daniels left the group in 1983, Hewett continued to lead Mickey Free and Delisa Davis in the reconstituted Shalamar.
In the mid-eighties, Howard set out on his solo career, releasing I Commit to Love in 1986 on Elektra and from the first single Hewett made magic, giving his amorous voice and whimsical lyrics to "Stay," "I’m For Real" and the title track. Most beloved track on this freshman release would be his spiritually grounded "Say Amen." This single soared on the Inspirational charts and has enjoyed the status of a modern gospel classic.
Subsequent projects have solidified Hewett’s place in the high ranks of R&B balladeers by writing and collaborating and lending his voice within an intimate group of crooners, including George Duke, Quincy Jones, James Ingram, Anita Baker, Prince and Stanley Clarke. With Elektra, he released Forever and Ever (1988- Once, Twice, Three Times), Howard Hewett (1990- Show Me) and Allegiance (1992- Can We Try Again).
Later work shows increasing authenticity as Hewett rips song lyrics straight from his soul. It’s Time (1994- This Love is Forever), written and produced almost exclusively with longtime friend and collaborator Monte Seward, displays all the vulnerability involved in falling and staying in love. In 2001, Hewett released the all-inspirational album The Journey, where he shows us that his faith can’t be separated from his heart and soul.
Hewett continues to seduce audiences and eardrums as he is constantly touring and intermittently releasing new music.
“Of all the fine vocalists working today, Howard Hewett is one of the finest.” – Babyface
The Ladies of SKYY
The Ladies of SKYY, Denise, Dolores and Bonnie’ Dunning, are the original female vocalists of the hit R&B/Funk bank SKYY. With a musical career that spans more than 40 years, the sisters are more vibrant than ever. Continuing the legacy of SKYY’s music with their dynamic and engaging live performances to national and international audiences alike.
Born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, the three sisters’ interest in singing flourished while attending FDR High School. Their vocal training was crafted as members of various choral groups at the school. As “The Sounds of Soul,” the sisters performed in numerous talent and variety shows. Their unique stage presence and tight harmonies combined the influences from the male and female groups they listened to in the 60’s and 70’s. Their fashion style was influenced by the Supremes and the Shirelles, but they patterned their smooth routines after their love for the Temptations and the Four Tops.
In 1974, the sisters opened for Patti Labelle and the Blue Bells at the Miss Black America New York State Pageant. It was there that they met Randy Muller, producer and writer for Brooklyn-based band Brass Construction. Quickly recognizing their amazing vocal talents, the sisters became the opening act for Brass Construction, performing under the name “DiLaRae.” During their association with Muller, they sang background vocals on the albums of Brass Construction, Rafael Cameron, Mark Radice and Charles Earland.
In 1976, the sisters joined Solomon Roberts, Jr., Anibal Boochie Sierra and Gerald LeBon and officially formed the band SKYY. The band achieved top-20 position on the Billboard R&B charts with several of their albums and singles. SKYY’s fourth album “SKYY Line” and the single from that album, “Call Me” both achieved number one and certified gold status. Two more singles, “Start of a Romance” and “Real Love” released from their “Start of a Romance” LP, also achieved number one chart positions on Billboard’s R&B charts.
The continued popularity of SKYY’s music moved the Dunning Sisters to reemerge as “Ladies of SKYY” in 1996. They have consistently performed nationally and internationally since then.
The Ladies of SKYY have the distinction of being the last sister-trio still performing together in classic entertainment. SKYY’s episode of TVOne’s Unsung highlighted the Ladies of SKYY’s enduring efforts to represent the timeless music created by the band. With a musical career that spans over four decades, the Ladies of SKYY have earned their rightful place next to the founding females of disco, dance, funk, hip hop and R&B music.
Jeff Redd didn't achieve the pop success of contemporaries like Guy or fellow Mount Vernon native Al B Sure!, but he put his mark on the new jack swing era and was a major behind-the-scenes figure afterward. As a teenager, Redd performed in a group called the Sophisticated Gents. In 1988, as a solo artist, he was signed to Andre’ Uptown label, home to Heavy D & the Boyz, another Mount Vernon act. Before the deal went into full effect, Redd remained employed on the General Motors assembly line in nearby Tarrytown, where he was handed a cassette recording of a teenaged singer covering Anita Baker’s "Caught Up in the Rapture." Redd took the tape to Harrell, who subsequently added that singer, Mary J Blige, to the Uptown roster. Blige performed with Redd in support of his A Quiet Storm, an impressive debut that featured a pair of Top 20 R&B hits: a version of Fatback’s boogie classic "I Found Lovin'" and an original ballad, "Love High," written by Timmy Allen. The following year, Uptown released the soundtrack for the romantic comedy Strictly Business, highlighted by Redd's "You Called and Told Me" -- one of the great songs, productions, and performances of its time. With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Jeff Redd is in a class by himself. He has been successful as an artist, writer, producer, executive and as a label head of, "Sol Real Records, LLC. His many years of experience and Roledex makes him not only an asset but a true wealth of knowledge. From discovering the Queen of Hip Hop Soul (Mary J. Blige), to Executive Producing K-Ci & JoJo who went on to sell over 12 million CD's. Working on the soundtracks, The Hurricane, Eve's Bayou and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Jeff has been able to re-invent himself and make non-believers...Believers.
In June of 2020 Jeff Redd turned his attention towards helping young people during tumultuous times and was elected as Mount Vernon School Board Trustee in New York. Jeff who is a Grammy Award winning executive producer and life-long resident, decided it was also time to be a part of the city’s change in his own way. After years of contributing to programs such as Summer Breeze, researching and planning different approaches, he began focusing his attention on the youth of the city. “If there is going to be any real change, our young people are going to help lead the way,” Jeff stated. He sees the nation’s youth organizations as a bridge to not only reaching young people, but also parents and caregivers. He feels this connection can ultimately help stabilize the current and future state of generations to come economically, educationally, and socially.
The Bells 2.0
The Bells 2.0 are a Soul / R&B tribute band unlike any other band that you have heard. The Bells 2.0 are a tribute band that focuses on the golden era of duet-based music. This energetic, dynamic duo of R&B music takes you on a melodic quest of musical harmonic memories of all the fantastic music that you have grown to love. Nneka Bell (NYC Vocal Veteran, The Motown Revue, Ladies of SKYY Background Vocalist) and Lorenzo Bell (Current lead singer of Double Exposure "My Love Is Free", " Ten Percent", The Gentlemen of Soul LSM) have developed a power packed show that brings you back to the era of Romance and Melodic music provided by a couple that matches their voices to recreate a special time of Music and Rhythm. This duo follows in the footsteps of esteemed R&B Icons like Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell and Ashford & Simpson. The Bells 2.0 take you on a Soul & R&B trip to remind you what great R&B music used to be. The Bells 2.0 perform your favorite songs from such storied artists like Shalamar, Loose Ends, Atlantic Starr, Midnight Star, Alexander O'Neal and Cherrelle and so much more. Their repertoire spans all types of music from Classic Motown, Disco, Funk, Smooth Grooves, Hip Hop, etc.
Meli'sa had a string of R&B hits, including her cover of Prince's "Do Me Baby"(1985), "Do You Still Love Me" (1986) and "Still in Love with You" (1992).
Youth Development Foundation, Inc.
A majority of the proceeds from funds collected this evening will go to the Youth Development Foundation, Inc. (YDF) which is a non-profit tax-exempt organization. YDF promotes education and has awarded over $2,500,000 in scholarships and prizes to deserving young women from around the world. It was created by broadcast pioneer, Hal Jackson, in 1971 as the Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International (HJTTI) scholarship competition for young women 13 to 17 years of age with performing talents to encourage diversity and intercultural relations and present innovative training and musical programs with educational opportunities for its participants.
HJTTI was discontinued in 2010, however, the YDF has partnered with Black Women for Black Girls and scholarships are awarded to deserving young women with an emphasis on continuing their education in college. For more information go to www.YouthDevelopmentFoundation.org or www.BW4BG.org.
Additional Ticket Information
No elevator access to the mezzanine and balcony