Marsha McWilson's Triumphant Batavia Downs Performance October 2021 

The Coronavirus Pandemic pretty much shut down public performances for a year or so. During that time, Marsha lost several friends and family members to the virus, including her sister Vanessa, who was always so supportive of her sister's musical performances. During 2020-2021, Marsha has been seen on TV interviews and on 3 billboards in Buffalo and Niagara Falls advocating for vaccines. 

Has she missed performing in front of live audiences? You bet! So she made her triumphant return to the stage on Oct. 14, 2021 at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel in Batavia, NY, strategically halfway between Buffalo and Rochester.

Drawing a crowd on a Thursday night, event organizers were very happy with how everything turned out-- Marsha's fans ate at the complex's bar-restaurant before the show, were entertained for 90+ minutes with Marsha's energetic, casino-style show, then gambled on the slot machines (if they chose to), and many even stayed overnight in the adjoining hotel for a night away from "the real world." By the way, fans came from as far away as Connecticut to see Marsha perform! 



Mark Weber emceed the show, introducing the band to start the night off-- Brandon Sherman-Josey on keys and vocals, Tone Cummings on bass, Delvin Payton on drums and vocals, and Reggie Dumas, musical director and lead guitar... with background singers Lekeisha Whitman, Love Harmony, and Kelly Dumas pictured here:

The three background singers took the spotlight, opening the show with a medley of Motown hits including "Heatwave," "Come See About Me," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Stop In The Name Of Love," and "Dancin' In The Street." Then the band played Stevie Wonder's classic, "Superstition," as Marsha made her way to the stage singing "I'll Take You There," followed by "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and "Let's Stay Together." 

Marsha's son, Cameron, impressed the crowd with his on-point Michael Jackson-like vocals on "I'll Be There" and "I Want You Back." He joined his mom on her self-penned "Rona Mae Blues" song, an ode to all those we lost to Coronavirus (and to all those missing those we've lost). 

Marsha sang her most popular original, "Balance," which really touched the hearts of many in the audience who agreed they too need a "balance" in their lives.

For "Midnight Train To Georgia," Marsha did a costume change to look like Gladys Knight, and then joked around with three Pips from the audience who did their best to keep up with her on backing vocals. The crowd enjoyed that! 

While Marsha retreated backstage to change into her Aretha Franklin look, the tight band got the crowd dancing with Rick James' "Super Freak." 

Marsha owned the stage as she portrayed Aretha, the Queen of Soul, singing "Freeway of Love," "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "Rock Steady," and, of course, "Respect."

Marsha was changing into her Etta James look backstage when Love Harmony and her fellow singers got the crowd dancing the "electric slide" with A Taste of Honey's 1970s jam, "Boogie Oogie Oogie." 

Marsha, known for her similarity to the late-great Etta James, returned to the spotlight to sing Etta's "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "At Last." Tons of couples danced in the aisles to the beautifully romantic rendition of "At Last," which was and is always a crowd favorite! 

The band played Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" to allow Marsha one more transformation. For the finale, she took on the persona of the legendary Tina Turner, and together with her backing singers, they did "Proud Mary" justice. 


After the show was over, many people lingered in the venue to chat with one another as well as to meet Marsha and take pictures with her. They scooped up her latest CD, "Rona Mae Blues," for $15. 

Want to stay up-to-date on Marsha McWilson? "Like" her official Facebook page, here: 
https://www.facebook.com/thedynamicmarshamcwilson

 

Marsha McWilson in the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame! 

2020 has been an odd year for the world, let alone entertainers who are used to getting out there among fans and singing their hearts out. Though Coronavirus has messed up so many people's event schedules, Marsha McWilson does have some good news to share...

October 2020 news: Western New York entertainer Marsha McWilson has been inducted into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Additionally, she is in the new “Who’s Who In America” book and was recently honored as a prominent woman in her community at a banquet given by God’s Woman Vanessa Scott Outreach Ministries, Inc. 

Nice! 

 

Female Artist of the Year award 

Marsha recently won "Female Artist of the Year" from Power 96.5FM and the Black Music Month Conference Awards! "This is such a blessing," she said. "I did not think I was going to win. I'm so shocked." 

Marsha celebrates turning 50 

Marsha had a Cotton Club/1920s/Juke Joint birthday party in Niagara Falls to celebrate her 50th birthday and it was standing room only! There was food, song, dancin', and, of course, a good time had by all. It was also the first time Marsha did her stand-up comedy act. Here are some pics from the big party! 

Fantastic Voyage Cruise  

Marsha McWilson is currently on the Fantastic Voyage Caribbean cruise, singing Etta James songs for people on board the big boat. This cruise also features music concerts by The O'Jays, The Isley Brothers, SWV, En Vogue, and Anita Baker, among plenty others! Marsha is super excited because Jacque Reid interviewed her for the "Inside Her Story" segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, airing 5/1/18 between 8am and 8:30am! 

Our Lady of Peace Lewiston 

Marsha has been entertaining seniors at Our Lady of Peace, an assisted living facility in Lewiston, New York. Most performers sing at an audience, but Marsha finds ways to sing with her audiences. For instance, she takes the classic Gladys Knight song, "Midnight Train To Georgia" and involves the crowd. Imagine little old ladies making the moves "The Pips" would make... Marsha gets them to "toot toot" the train horn, raising their one arm in the air, as well as rolling their arms like wheels to the left and to the right, and, of course, clapping along as best they can. She even "auditions" her back-up singers, making them copy her going up and down the scale: "mi mi mi mi mi..." Now, you had to be there to fully appreciate this, but let me tell you: the seniors had a blast. They were singing along, making their dance moves, and smiling. Isn't that the point? Even the staffers and visitors were like, "Who is this Marsha McWilson? She brings the joy!" True story: one person told Marsha that her performance got a woman singing, a woman whom she has never even heard speak in years! That's the power of music, folks, especially when it's delivered by fun-loving, caring Marsha McWilson.  

Marsha sings for Johnny Gill; meets him and Chaka Khan 

Well, this was unexpected! Marsha went to see Johnny Gill perform, and sure enough, she ended up singing for him! Johnny passed Marsha the microphone and was blown away by her dynamic vocals. You can see for yourself-- the picture quality isn't the best, but you get the idea.

Marsha also got to meet Johnny Gill in person.

She's always meeting famous singers, you know? A month before Gill, she met up with Chaka Khan! 

Menopause The Musical 

Marsha loved seeing Menopause: The Musical and enjoyed hanging out with the cast! Of course she sang with 'em! If you saw "A League of Their Own," the Madonna baseball movie, you'll recognize Megan Cavanagh who played Marla Hooch in that popular film!