Valentine’s Day done right: See Will Downing’s Sophisticated Soul Explosion on Feb. 14

UAB’s Alys Stephens Center has your Valentine’s Day plans covered with Will Downing’s Sophisticated Soul Explosion featuring special guests Maysa and poet Hank Stewart.

Will Maysa Web Art 1190x680Will Downing and Maysa Make it romantic this Valentine’s Day with a live performance by Will Downing’s Sophisticated Soul Explosion featuring special guests Maysa and poet Hank Stewart.

The 7 p.m. performance on that special date, Tuesday, Feb. 14, is presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $39, $49 and $59. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit

Known as “The Prince of Sophisticated Soul,” Downing has a distinctive baritone voice that has resonated in the hearts of women worldwide and carved a unique niche in music. With a career that spans 35 years and 25 albums, his is one of the most versatile and loved voices, according to his bio. His repertoire includes signature interpretations of R&B classics like “I Go Crazy,” “Wishing on a Star” and “I Try,” with original hits “A Million Ways,” “Sorry I” and the show-stopping duet with Rachelle Ferrell, “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This.” His latest, “Sophisticated Soul” was released in late 2021. With fresh melodies and lush arrangements that satisfy all musical palates, Downing serves his fan base through his own Sophisticated Soul record label and sold-out tour dates across the country.

1203796112298378.2Kf3qZqnupOgA3bVAxw4 height640Hank StewartBlessed with a honey-toned voice and magnetic stage presence, Maysa takes hold of a song and wraps the audience in her hands as she delivers lyrics, phrases, melodies and harmonies in a way that only she can, according to her artist’s statement. She has collaborated with artists from Stevie Wonder to Incognito, Angela Bofill, Jonathan Butler, Phil Perry and more. 

Emmy Award-winner, bestselling author and poet laureate Hank Stewart is a poet, author, activist, philanthropist, humanitarian and motivational speaker. Stewart is celebrating more than 25 years as an artist, and his talent has afforded him unique opportunities to recite his work to luminaries including Rosa Parks and former First Lady Michelle Obama.