Internationally-acclaimed, pianist/keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Yukihiro Kanesaka will headline this Valentine’s Day event, celebrating love in tributes to two of the most soulful, artistic voices of our time, by two of the Boston area’s greatest vocal talents:
Donny Hathaway, featuring Leon Beal Jr. on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7pm
Roberta Flack, featuring Athene Wilson on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2pm
Born in Japan, Yukihiro Kanesaka moved to Boston in 2000 to attend Berklee College of Music, where he is now an assistant professor. A master of jazz and soul genres, as a composer, performer and engineer, he has topped multiple international musical rankings, including as #1 of the 2017 UK Soul Chart. He has performed and toured with De La Soul, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), CeeLo Green, George Duke, and Mark O’Connor. He founded his own recording studio, “KOMUGIKO.” Joining Kanesaka for both shows will be Michael Christman (guitar), Domenic Davis (bass), and Osi Brathwaite (drums).
Both Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack began singing in their church choirs, as did Leon Beal Jr. and Athene Wilson. Golden-voiced Leon Beal Jr. has opened for many legendary vocal groups including the Temptations, Blue Magic, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Whispers, The Stylistics and others. Athene Wilson, a performer of Jazz, Gospel and R&B, is a three-time Boston Urban Music Award winner. Both artists are known not only for their soulful, powerhouse, vocal styles, but their ability to convey the story behind the music.
Love Weekend will also feature The Love Sampler on Saturday afternoon, at 2pm and 4pm, in the Black Box Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts. The hour-long Love Sampler will celebrate love from different cultures and perspectives, showcasing theater and music from a variety of remarkable local talent, and previewing excerpts from upcoming 2023 season productions, including a world premiere that originated in New Rep’s Pipeline Project.
Tickets are $20 for the Saturday afternoon shows, and $25 for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon shows.
Yukihiro Kanesaka Carmichael holds three aliases: producer (Yuki Kanesaka), multi-instrumentalist (monolog), and remixer/DJ (U-KEY). He works on a wide range of musical activities including film and TV scoring, advertising, dance remixes, and choreography. He has been running his own music production studio in Boston for 14 years. He is an Assistant Professor in the Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) department at Berklee College of Music.
-Performing and touring experience with De La Soul, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), CeeLo Green, George Duke, and Mark O’Connor
-Vocal direction, recording, and mixing for Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix, 2020)
-Soundtrack production/composing for Dr. Stone (Adult Swim, Netflix, 2019) and On the Block (Netflix original series, 2018)
-Advertisement music production for Tiffany & Co. Paloma Picasso campaign (2018)
-Recording and mixing for Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix, 2016)
-Produced the compilation album Sparkling POP Disney (2013) and remixed “Deep into Sunshine” featuring N’Dea Davenport of the Brand New Heavies (2012)
-Produced and performed “Remind Me” by monolog featuring Patrice Rushen (2013)
Remix production for Bootsy Collins, Lisa Ono, Chaka Khan, T-Connection, and KRS-One
-Additional credits include Nickelodeon, NEC (computer/electronics company), Mercedes Benz, Kosé, Nestle, Reveur & DAIKIN
-Recording engineer for Tavares and Keisuke Wakao and Emanuel Ax of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
-International DJ experience in L.A., New York, Berlin, London, Paris, Johannesburg, and Tokyo
-U.K. Soul Chart no. 1: “Tribal” by Golden Bridge (2017)
-Bandcamp bestseller: “Boy Toy” by Honey Sauce Band (2017)
-iTunes jazz album chart no. 1 (Japan): “One Day” by monolog (2015)
-iTunes jazz album chart no. 1 (Japan): Sweet Swing for Hershey’s compilation (2011)
-Dance Track Digital Chart no. 1 (Germany): Darrius Rashaud “It’s Going Down,” U-Key Remix (2006)
-The Source Youth Music Foundation national rap music competition winner (2003)
Athene Wilson, a familiar voice around Boston’s music scene, has performed Jazz, Gospel, and R&B in different venues in and around Boston. She has accompanied several local artists, as well as done background work for national and internationally renowned artists. Ms.Wilson’s multi-faceted vocals have resonated across stages in Germany, France, Japan, and the Caribbean.
Her singing career began at the tender age of seven in a small Pentecostal church in Jamaica. She sang in several church choirs until her transition to Boston where she started her professional singing career. Ms. Wilson received her first break with local artist Larry Watson when she sang, ‘Since I fell for you.’ For years, Boston has enjoyed the melodic sounds of Ms. Wilson in jazz clubs, churches, and city-wide events.
Learn more about Athene at: Athene Wilson
A native of Jasper, Florida, Leon Beal, Jr. started singing in his church’s choir. At a young age he toured with the Ronald Ingram Concert Choir and performed on the same bills with James Cleveland, The Caravans, Edwin Hawkins and many more! After relocating to Boston, Leon co-founded the R&B inspirational music band called Joy-Ful. Leon / Joy-Ful opened for many legendary vocal groups including the Temptations, Blue Magic, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Whispers, The Stylistics and others. Blessed with a golden voice, Leon sings classic soul music around New England and the United States. He has even performed for President Obama and guests on Martha’s Vineyard on more than one occasion!
Leon Beal, Jr. released his first CD titled “Romantic Groove” in 2006. The set included the tracks “Doo Wah Diddy,” “Dance With Me,” “In the Mood” and “Little Brother.” He followed that up in 2010 with the CD titled “Keep On Pushing.” The sophomore set included the tracks “Body and Soul,” “Helping Hand” and “Why Do You Have To Leave.” Leon’s genuine, classic soul voice is in demand by international remix producers. He has recorded “Music Makes Me Feel Good” with Nassau and “Ready for the Night Life” with Dolls and Combers. He was also the principal writer on Athene Wilson’s critically acclaimed “It’s About Time” CD. Leon also appeared on both Indie Soul United CDs. The Indie Soul United CD titled “I Remember When” included the track “Never Let You Go” and the duet with U.K. soul artist Chidi called “My Angel.” the Indie Soul United “II” CD he was featured on the multi-artist remake of the Stevie Wonder classic “Black Man.”
In 2016, Leon Beal’s 3rd CD titled “Reflections of a Man” was released. The first single titled “Forgot to be Your Lover” is on the airwaves and on sale now along with another single titled “We Need Love”!
Learn more about Leon at: Leon Beal – Quality Entertainment (leonbealjr.com)
◊ member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
º member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829