Will Downing at Times Square
Type: Music & Concerts
August 24, 2012
Showtime @ 8:00PM
Doors Open @ 6:00PM
Tickets $49.50 in advance, $53.00 day of show
Women love Will Downing. And men love the women who love Will Downing. In his over two-decade recording career, the Brooklyn native has carved for himself a solid career as one of the leading purveyors of unapologetic, unabashed romantic music. And while this path has not translated to crossover success - or even to broad urban radio success - it has gained him a solid musical legacy and a rabidly loyal following of, well ... women. Downing had his first national exposure as a popular backing vocalist in the '80s before signing with Island Records. He recorded two modestly successful albums and had a minor hit with a cover of "A Love Supreme" before releasing his breakout 1991 album A Dream Fulfilled, which featured his superb baritone deftly handling such diverse songs as War's "The World is a Ghetto," Paul Davis's "I Go Crazy," and Angela Bofill's "I Try." Both "I Try" and the album hit the Urban Top 25, and critical acclaim for the disc abounded.
A Dream Fulfilled began a period where Downing found his musical identity, and it was the first of a string of successful albums that focused on smooth, romantic music. In the '90s and early '00s, he 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 1998 duets record with saxophonist Gerald Albright, Pleasures of the Night. In early 2007, however, Downing contracted a rare muscular disease, polymyositis, which sidelined him for most of the year. Despite the setback, he was determined to complete his debut album for Peak Records, After Tonight, for which he had recorded four songs prior to his illness. After a considerable struggle, he completed another five wonderful songs, including the album's gem, "God is So Amazing." The disc became another fine addition to Downing's growing discography in 2007.
In 2009, fully recovered, Downing began work on Classique, a new album of originals and three cover songs. The disc was released in June 2009 to positive reviews. In 2010, he issued one of his most ambitious projects, an audio novel called Lust, Love, and Lies, that detailed a relationship going through various stages, with spoken interludes between a very strong batch of songs. Looking back over an impressive catalog of two decades of performances, there is little question that Downing has established himself as one of the most consistent, soulful singers of his era and as today's leading provider of romantic, soulful music.