ENTERTAINMENT | KC and the Sunshine Band in town for New Year’s Eve

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Their R&B, funk and disco fusion sound has compelled many to dance… be it under spinning mirror balls, or listening to the radio. Over the past 40 years, KC and the Sunshine Band accumulated hits such as “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Shake Your Booty” or “Get Down Tonight.” While producing unforgettable hits, they’ve managed to change the sound of modern pop music.
KC and the Sunshine Band is bringing all these hits to the Venetian Macao’s New Year’s Eve Gala this year, said Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, the man behind the group.
“When we perform at The Venetian Macao on New Year’s Eve, we’ll be performing all of the hits. We hope the audience will have as much fun listening and dancing to our music as we will have playing it,” he added in an interview with The Times via email.
The New Year’s Eve Gala starts on December 31 and welcomes hitmakers KC and the Sunshine Band, as well as singers from the show Voice of China and blues rock band Andy Frasco & the U.N.
KC and the Sunshine Band formed in 1973, in Florida. The group’s name was taken from the vocalist’s name Harry Wayne Casey (“KC” for short) and the name of his home state of Florida, “The Sunshine State.”
Four decades on, and with new members, the band is still on the road, playing hits and awaiting the revival of old school R&B. “I hear influences in acts like Daft Punk, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and many others. It’s wonderful to hear,” KC said.
The lead vocalist acknowledges that there has been “a huge resurgence of the ‘old school’ R&B from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s,” which makes him “very happy.”
KC and the Sunshine Band is all about having fun. They like to entertain while having a blast themselves. Although they’re always playing their hits, every show is a different performance tailored to meet a specific audience’s expectations. But at the end of the day the KC and the Sunshine Band know that the crowds are mainly hoping to have a good time while listening and dancing to some of their greatest hits.
The band has sold over 100 million records, has been nominated for nine Grammies, and has won three Grammy Awards. KC started working for the music industry when he was just seventeen years old. Employed part-time at TK Records in Hialeah, Florida, he soon started his own band by collaborating with musicians from TK Records, who together formed the KC & the Sunshine Junkanoo Band. He would later team up with music engineer Richard Finch and other TK studio musicians to become KC and the Sunshine Band.
The band’s first albums released in the 1970s helped garner many fans, with their singles making it to No. 1 hits. The group also earned triple platinum with both their self-titled album and “Part 3.”
Today, some of the band’s members might have changed, but their ability to make audiences dance remains.
“Every performer brings something new to the band’s energy. The challenge new members face is filling the shoes of the band members before them. But we’ve been blessed to have some of the best musicians out there,” said KC.
The New Year’s Eve Gala features a night of music, dancing, entertainment and gourmet food at the Venetian Macao’s ballroom. The menu includes four courses, different entertainment acts headlined by the KC and the Sunshine Band, as well as a countdown to 2015 with a fireworks display outside the Venetian Macao.
Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Gala are limited and cost MOP1,000 per person or MOP10,000 per table.

Andy Frasco joins the party | ‘Expect a lot of smiles, dancing and happiness’

Among all the events planned for the New Year’s Eve (NYE) gala at The Venetian Macao, one of the highlights is the performance by the 2013 Cotai Jazz & Blues Festival finalists Andy Frasco and the U.N.
People might still remember how outstanding Andy Frasco and the U.N. were on stage at the jazz festival at the Venetian a year ago and in October of this year. The 26-year old Los Angeles native singer/songwriter/band maestro/entrepreneur/party starter/everyday hustler, and his band of gypsies “The U.N.” have been dubbed “Party Blues with a touch of Barefoot Boogie”.
Touring independently across the U.S. and Europe since he was 18 years old, Frasco first got his taste of the music industry managing and promoting bands when he was 16 years old. Since his start, Frasco has embraced a DIY attitude and work ethic, making the road his home, and averaging 200 plus days on tour a year over the past seven years.
Mr Frasco says that the audience can expect smiles and happiness during his performance at the NYE gala. “I still can’t believe we are sharing the stage with KC and the Sunshine Band,” he said. “All I can say is expect a lot of smiles, dancing and happiness to ring in the New Year. 2015 is going to be great year and we might as well start it right with some good old fashioned celebrating”.
The singer said that his favorite way to ring in the New Year is by celebrating with his friends and band mates, and joked that “Champagne is always nice too”.
Frasco has shared with the media his fondest memories in the past New Year’s countdowns. “I’ve been on the road promoting my music for eight years now. It’s hard to see family when you are so far away all the time. But last New Year, I finally got to spend it with my mom and dad. To see the look on their face when I surprised them was priceless. They are proud of me and all the hard work I’ve accomplished. I love them for always believing in me,” he said.

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