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commUNITY spotlight: Take 6

Take 6 is an a cappella group. They are Grammy winners, and the group has ties to Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Did you know that the Grammy Award-winning group Take 6 has ties to Buffalo? 

This summer Take 6 headlined the Queen City Jazz Fest in Buffalo. The event was hosted by the Colored Musicians Club.

Claude McKnight of Take 6 returned to the 716, his hometown over the summer. McKnight sat down for a one-on-one interview with Channel 2's Claudine Ewing for commUNITY.

"Everywhere I go, all over the world, I tell people what an amazing time I had at Sweet Home High School and in Buffalo in general. My formative years were here," he said.

"My family moved away from here in 1978, and I've been back here with Take 6 quite a few times, but this is the first time since then that I've been able to hang out, go to the old neighborhood."

It was McKnight who started the group as The Gentleman’s Estates Quartet in 1980 in Alabama.

"That quartet became a sextet, six people, and after high school we decided to see if we could do this professionally, and we got a record deal with Warner Brothers Records," McKnight said.

McKnight, brother of singer Brian McKnight, said the music Take 6 performs is "a message of hope, a message of love, and some people think that's corny."

He added: "We don't have enough love, and we will never will, so the more we can impart that into people and share it, even if it's just one person at a time."

McKnight started a program called Building Blocks of the Song Stylist. It is a new online masterclass.

"It is essentially a song singing styling program, where you can learn how to tap into yourself to be a more authentic believable singer. Anyone, absolutely anyone can do this," he told Ewing.

In wake of the horrendous mass shooting at Tops supermarket in May, the Buffalo native said "it is a city that needs more healing on a daily basis."

WATCH commUNITY, episode 43:

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