Michael McDonald’s soulful sounds return to Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Michael McDonald’s soulful sounds return to Beaver Creek

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Michael McDonald, a five-time Grammy Award winner, last performed in Beaver Creek with the Dukes of September. He returns solo for an evening of his hits and Christmas favorites.
Special to the Weekly |

If you go ...

Who: Michael McDonald performs “This Christmas – An Evening of Holiday and Hits.”

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

Cost: Tickets start at $140.

More information: 970-845-8497 or www.vilarpac.org.

BEAVER CREEK — Five-time Grammy Award winning artist Michael McDonald will present an intimate concert featuring his hits as well as classic holiday tunes at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. His timeless, distinctive and soulful voice is highly recognizable and he’s coming to the Vilar to perform his special holiday show, “This Christmas – An Evening of Holiday and Hits.”

Tickets to Michael McDonald start at $140 and are on sale now at the VPAC Box Office ( call 970-845-8497 or visit http://www.vilarpac.org). The Vilar Center is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village at 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.

“I’m excited about this program because it will feature Michael in a more intimate setting — singing an evening of holiday favorites, and of course his hits. We get so many requests to have Michael back, and we are always looking for opportunities to do so. If you have seen him before, you know how special the show is in our intimate setting. If you haven’t, we hope that you can join us as we kick off the holiday season,” said Kris Sabel, Vilar Center executive director.

Two notes — that’s all it takes to recognize the incomparable voice of Michael McDonald. Add formidable songwriting and keyboard skills, and you have an artist who has been a singular musical presence for four decades. From ’70s-era Doobie Brothers classics such as “What A Fool Believes” and solo hits like “I Keep Forgettin’,” through two highly-acclaimed Motown albums, genre-busting guest spots and innovative concept shows, McDonald is both timeless and ever-evolving.

HONING HIS TALENT

After moving from his hometown of St. Louis to Los Angeles in the early ’70s, McDonald honed his talent as a session musician and singer before being invited to join Steely Dan. Throughout the course of four classic albums, from “Katy Lied” to “Gaucho,” McDonald became an integral part of the group’s sound, singing background vocals on FM staples like “Black Friday” and “Peg.”

In the mid-’70s, McDonald joined The Doobie Brothers, helping the band redefine their funky R&B sound as a singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’” and “Minute By Minute.”

Sought-After Session Singer

His distinct vocal style also made him one of the world’s most sought-after session singers. Beyond his hits with The Doobies, McDonald has lent his voice to records by an A-Z of artists, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill and Grizzly Bear.

In 2008, McDonald released the acclaimed crossover album “Soul Speak” (which hit three different charts simultaneously), and in 2011 received an honorary doctorate from Berkley College of Music. Recently, he and cohorts Donald Fagen and Boz Scaggs and an 11-piece soul super-group, who tour as the Dukes Of September, released their first live DVD. (Local Vail Valley fans will remember this show from their summer 2013 stop in Beaver Creek.) McDonald continues to tour extensively as a solo artist, with symphonies, altruistic events and also plans to tour with Toto.

Beyond his music, McDonald has long been an active humanitarian. He has lent his talents and energies to many causes and benefits, including MusiCares, the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the 7UP Grammy Signature Schools Program, and he was part of a star-studded lineup at Kokua For Japan, a concert that raised $1.6 million for tsunami relief.