Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald

VAN WERT — The Christmas Season at the Niswonger is easily one of the most popular times of the year for live entertainment. For Ignite 18-19, one of the great names in all of music will add a special spark to the Christmas Season. Michael McDonald: Season of Peace, presented by US Bank, will grace the Niswonger’s Central Mutual Insurance Stage Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets released for sale on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Share Christmas with one of the music world’s most recognizable voices, Michael McDonald. Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and five-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald is set for the Oct. 12 release of Season of Peace: The Christmas Collection on BMG. The album compiles McDonald’s most beloved Christmas recordings including “White Christmas/Winter Wonderland” (feat. Jonny Lang), “Oh Holy Night,” “Christmas on the Bayou” and “Children Go Where I Send Thee” (feat. Twinkie Clark), as well as a new version of “Winter Wonderland” featuring special guest Jake Shimabukuro.

With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes and personal and professional accolades, as well as collaborations with some of the world’s most prominent artists, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music. Hailing from St. Louis, McDonald arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, honing his talents as a studio musician before becoming an integral part of Steely Dan. In the mid-’70s McDonald was invited to join the Doobie Brothers as the band redefined their sound with McDonald serving as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute” and “What A Fool Believes.”

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own”(with Patti LaBelle) and the Grammy-winning James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There,” plus he co-wrote the Van Halen hit “I’ll Wait.” McDonald has performed with a who’s-who of critically acclaimed artists across a number of genres, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill and Grizzly Bear.

McDonald’s forthcoming album, Wide Open (out Sept. 15 via BMG), finds him collaborating with a number of special guests including Warren Haynes, Robben Ford, Marcus Miller and Branford Marsalis. McDonald’s first album of original material in 17 years, Wide Open is comprised largely of material written over a number of years in-between projects and recorded in McDonald’s Nashville studio with drummer Shannon Forrest (Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Toto) and an extensive cast of Nashville session musicians. The record follows a trio of albums of R&B and soul covers McDonald recorded for the fabled Motown label, the most recent being 2008’s Soul Speak.

McDonald’s other recent collaborations include his work on the critically acclaimed track “Show You The Way” with multi-genre bassist, singer and producer Thundercat and Kenny Loggins; McDonald performed the song with Thundercat during a surprise guest appearance at Coachella in April. This past spring, McDonald was joined by Solange Knowles, Allen Stone, Lawrence and members of Snarky Puppy and Vulfpeck at the Okeechobee Music Fest. McDonald continues to tour extensively as a solo artist, with a lengthy run of summer and fall tour dates planned with Loggins and Boz Scaggs.

It will be an epic night of entertainment with one of music’s most accomplished icons.

Along with Presenting Sponsor US Bank, Supporting Sponsor for Michael McDonald: Season of Peace is Eileen Manken. Season Sponsors for Ignite 18-19 include Chuck & Karen Kock, StateWide Ford Lincoln, and Van Wert Federal Savings Bank.

Tickets for Michael McDonald: Season of Peace can be purchased through the box office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 41-238-6722 and online at NPACVW.ORG.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 State Route 118, Van Wert.