Will Holton is schooled in Buffalo soul, and he knows where to find some of the finest proponents of the form, young and old.
Here are his thoughts on a few of his current favorites, all of whom will be appearing with him during the "Love Cadenza III" show Feb. 18 at the Metropolitan Entertainment Complex (1670 Main St.).
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Satterwhite is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who performs beneath the moniker Maya By Name. She will present "The Next Verse Experience" at 8 p.m. March 4 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwoood Ave.).
Holton: "Maya has such star power and so much charisma, on top of being a great singer. Her future is bright."
The gospel-based singer and pianist is a graduate of the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. Born Mia Gardner, she has some serious gospel chops, but she's just as comfortable tackling a sultry Maxwell track or breathing new life into an old show tune.
Holton: "Mia is an amazing pianist and great songwriter. I have worked with her in studio and seen her live. She owns the stage."
Benning is a seasoned gospel performer who began singing in her Buffalo church choir before she had reached her 10th birthday. She has moved into the world of soulful R&B with a pair of songs under the "MzErinn" moniker. You can listen to them on her Soundcloud page.
Holton: "Erinn, with her church background, has a lot of soul. She's also an awesome entertainer. The way she engages the crowd and works that room is just incredible."
Diggs, who was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2016, was making his presence known as far back as the release of James' 1978 debut "Come Get It," which featured his singing on the mega-hit "Mary Jane." Diggs has been fronting Buffalo's Taylor Made Jazz for several decades.
Holton: "I call him the velvet voice. His years of experience - from Rick James to Taylor Made Jazz - have given him a resume that is unmatched by anyone I have met. The way he works that stage and sings so effortlessly is simply amazing."