19-year-old Singer/Songwriter Prodigy Nellie McKay to Perform at UB on Sept. 10

Rolling Stone Magazine calls her an "eclectic New York songstress who sounds like Ella Fitzgerald, but throws down like Eminem"

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: August 20, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Nellie McKay at 8 p.m. on Sept 10 in the Drama Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

A multi-talented "youngster" of 19, McKay is already a seasoned performer/singer/songwriter/raconteur who peppers her live shows with acerbic and witty banter in between self-penned songs -- and a well-placed standard or two -- from her ever-growing repertoire.

Featured on NPR's Morning Edition in February 2004, singer-songwriter-pianist McKay, "has been compared to both Doris Day and Eminem. And throw in a bit of Billie Holiday for good measure." Her debut CD, "Get Away From Me" (whose title is a wry reference to Norah Jones' work), includes jazz, rap, blues, Latin, rock and more.

Born in London, raised in Harlem, McKay (pronounced mi-KAI) lists among her influences: Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Cole Porter, John Lennon, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Dylan, 60's girl groups like the Shirelles and the Chiffons, and "a bit of Eminem, but more of the Mamas and the Papas."

Jay Ruttenberg's prominent article in Time Out, published March 2003, brought McKay her first piece of press. Two record labels called the next day and a bidding war among several of them ensued. She eventually signed with Columbia Records, and recorded her album in late summer 2003 with Geoff Emerick -- legendary engineer of the Beatles' "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The Beatles" (also known as "The White Album") and "Abbey Road" --signed on as producer.

McKay has created her own artwork for the album and is involved in all phases of her burgeoning career, including press promotion. "I'm not a puppet, and I'm not 'just a singer,' and I don't want to be left in my bubble so I can party the night away unencumbered by thoughts of recoupable expenses or radio edits. My career is my party, and it's fun, and everybody's invited."

Tickets are $18. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information call 645-ARTS. The Center for the Arts is a Ticketfast location.