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  • Writer's pictureJAM

God Has Blessed Lonnie McFadden


In a recent press release, The Brownville Concert Series says, “There is nothing he can’t do! His infectious personality is only matched by his obvious passion for jazz. Lonnie McFadden, the self-proclaimed Mr. Bojangles, goes into each performance with the intent of creating a personal connection and a good dose of fun.”

On Friday & Saturday, August 13th & 14th at 7:30pm, and Sunday, August 15th at 2:00pm, the Brownville Fine Arts Association along with several benevolent patrons, will present Lonnie McFadden in the town’s well-appointed Concert Hall.

Brownville, Nebraska is a picturesque town of 127 located 2 hours north of Kansas City, on the Missouri River, and just off 1-29. The town is small, but thecitizens of Brownville love the arts, and they love artists. The accommodations are first rate, and there arenot one, but several wonderful pianos around town. In addition, Brownville’s diversions include an operating riverboard with live music and dinner, a theater company, bookstore, and several storefronts reserved for working artists.


Lonnie McFadden was born and raised in Kansas City. He is a unique multi-talented performer who sings, tap dances, and plays the trumpet. Lonnie has traveled the globe performing and representing Kansas City at major jazz festivals and shows. His performances internationally have included such prestigious engagements as the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and the Nice Jazz Festival in France.

In May of 2016, the McFadden Brothers, Lonnie, and his multi-talented brother Ronnie, received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Jazz Museum. In October of 2017, they received Living Legends Awards from Tapology, and Lonnie was named Best Entertainer by Ingram’s Magazine that same year.

Lonnie’s Adds Six Thursdays Summer of Soul

When an entertainer has his own nightclub, as Lonnie McFadden does, there are certain times of the year that special guests will be invited to perform in their place. The second weekend in August, brings bassist and vocalist Shaun Munday to Lonnie’s Reno Club, the club that he headlines in the Ambassador Hotel. “I’ve had a few dates on the books from 2019,” said Lonnie, “and with the pandemic and all of the rescheduling, some of these dates are showing up now.”


The entertainer went on the assure us that he has thought long and hard about these replacements. “Darcus Gates is a natural,” said Lonnie, “she mostly performs in Vegas and California, she’s a real talent and the audiences love her.” Vocalist Darcus Gates appeared at Lonnie’s this summer. “And this guy, Shaun Munday, have you seen him?” said Lonnie, “Man, you got to see him, he’s like Stanley Clarke, but he sings!”

More than 40 years ago people were saying similar things about a younger Lonnie McFadden. A horn band, think Earth, Wind, and Fire was the talk of the town. They were called, Lonnie and the Band and they didn’t just play the music, “they threw it down”.

Trumpeter Mark Pender, who played with the band Mass Transit in the 1970s, and who has over the years recorded with Bruce Springsteen and others, recalls a party, in Swope Park, where the 2 bands faced off. “Lonnie and the band were the baddest, tightest R&B band I had ever watched, bar none, said Mark, “We played a show opposite them, and I didn't want to play after. Too funky. Too tight. We did go on and people loved it. But I knew the deal!!"

Now, Mr. McFadden is going to give Lonnie and the Band new life. On Thursday evenings at Lonnie’s club in the lower level of the Ambassador hotel, Summer of Soul will feature an augmented band, plus Lonnie’s daughter, Chloe, on the vocals. “This is another thing that I like to do,” said Lonnie, “and I believe people are really gonna dig it.”

Summer of Soul runs August 5th through September 9th—reservations www.lonniesrenoclub.com

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