The event that will kick off Newark's 350th Anniversary on Oct. 17 in Military Park just got a little more soulful: Rhythm and Blues singer Kenny Lattimore will make a special appearance, Newark Celebration 350 announced today.

The free event, run in conjunction with the Military Park Partnership, will feature a series of live family friendly concerts and performances, arts and crafts, various demonstrations and global cuisine representing all the communities of Newark.

Known as the king of love ballads, Lattimore has been touring the country promoting his recently released album, Anatomy of a Love Song, his first in more than eight years. Hailed by the New York Times as a “modern soul man,” the Grammy Award-nominated singer is climbing the R&B charts with his latest hit, “Love Me Back.”

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R&B singer Kenny Lattimore will make a special appearance at Newark Celebration 350's kick off event on Oct. 17.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Lattimore was raised on gospel music and such R&B/pop icons as Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. During his freshman year at Howard University, Lattimore became the lead singer for R&B group Maniquin. The group released the single “I Wanna Ride,” in 1989. Lattimore relocated to New York City as a solo act and was signed to Columbia in 1995.

Ushering in an R&B resurgence that counted D’Angelo and Maxwell in its ranks, Lattimore released his debut solo album a year later, which produced two top 20 hits: “Never Too Busy” and the romance classic “For You,” which peaked at No. 6.

“We are thrilled to have Kenny Lattimore will make a special appearance at our kickoff celebration,” said Junius Williams, the chair of Newark Celebration 350, the organization coordinating the year-long celebration of Newark’s 350th Anniversary. “I hope families throughout Newark and neighboring communities throughout New Jersey descend on Military Park on October 17 to help us celebrate.”

Music will be an integral part of the celebration on Oct. 17. WBGO’s Felix Hernandez will spin classic soul in Military Park from 1-2 p.m. with a Family Fun Rhythm Revue Dance Party that will also be broadcast live on WBGO 88.3 FM. World Famous DJ Tony Touch will host a family dance party while the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) will present the NJSO Brass Quartet, performing popular musical selections from around the world.

Newark Celebration 350 is working to add additional live concerts and attractions that will be announced in the days leading up to the event. More details about the attractions can be found at To stay up to date on all the events and activities surrounding Newark Celebration 350, like Newark350 on Facebookand follow on Twitter and Instagram. All social media posts will be hashtagged #Newark350.