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September 15, 2014

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Q+A: Multitalented Brian McKnight wraps his world tour this weekend at Eastside Cannery

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Steve Marcus

Brian McKnight arrives for Reggie Jackson’s 8th All-Star Celebrity Classic at the Cosmopolitan on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. The event raised funds for the Mr. October Foundation for Kids, a charity that supports minority students pursuing education in science and technology.

Brian McKnight

R&B singer-songwriter and musician Brian McKnight looks forward to his concert this weekend at Eastside Cannery because, for the first time in three months, he’s going to take a break and get a little rest and relaxation.

The multitalented music arranger and producer also plays eight instruments (piano, guitar, bass, percussion, trombone, tuba, trumpet and flugelhorn). In the past 90 days, he’s performed 25 concerts from San Francisco to Europe to Australia and wraps the grueling tour schedule in Las Vegas.

It seems as if he’s always touring somewhere in the world, but I chatted with him briefly in between shows as he packed up yet again for the next stop.

How long has this particular tour leg been?

I started in San Francisco early January, then made my way to Europe, then Australia, now here. I’m never really off tour. I’m not in the music business, per se; I’m in the touring business. So far this year, I’ve been home maybe 2 1/2 weeks out of three months. But I’m not complaining!

What is the life of a world-wandering minstrel?

The travel, the performing, meeting fans from all over the world, I love it all. It’s what I was put here to do. I’m not really a tourist, but I do find the time to explore a bit when I’m out and about.

Is all the travel a tiring grind? How will it feel to finally get back to your own bed?

Travel is a grind when you make it a grind. It’s what I’ve always done. I really don’t know any other way, so I make the best of it. I have to make myself work out when I’m on the road. Plus, it makes you feel good when you look in the mirror when you get out of the shower and you still look good.

Are you looking forward to Las Vegas?

I like how everything you want or need is easily accessible like the things to do, the nightlife, the gambling. I always look forward to my Las Vegas shows! There’s always a different energy there than anywhere else. When I’m not working, I’m going to play some golf.

I’ve got one night of work onstage for the show and three days and two nights of fun! I would love a Las Vegas residency! Who wouldn’t?!

Who are your favorite singers?

My favorite singers list is long, but here are a few: Stevie Wonder, James Ingram, Donny Hathaway, Kenny Loggins, Donald Fagen and Celine Dion. They have been the musical influences in my life and for my career. And if you ask me for my favorite Brian McKnight songs, I have to tell you I don’t have favorites. That’s something I let the fans decide for me.

Brian McKnight is at Eastside Cannery on Saturday night.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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