benefit Black Academy of Arts and Letters gospel performances releases Texas United States

“Medicine – Live at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Star-Studded Project” hits stores July 26, 2011, and will benefit The Black Academy

Black Academy of Arts and Letters

Dallas, TX – In October 2010, several renowned stars came to celebrate and help raise operating revenue for the Black Academy of Arts and Letters that was founded by Curtis King 34 years ago.
In a bad economy the first thing that gets cut is arts funding,” says King, whose 250,000 square foot complex is adjacent to the Dallas City Hall, in a news release. “However, it’s the plays, concerts, poetry readings and other inspiring programming we offer that helps people get through rough times like these. So, we’re thrilled that these artists came together to make a CD that will raise money to help keep these programs going.”
The majority of the songs on the 13-track, Medicine – Live At The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (MCG Records/ $13.99 SRLP), were written or co-written by Sam “Shake” Anderson, a veteran bassist who has toured with the likes of Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield and Bruce Hornsby. It was recorded live at The Black Academy.  Backed by the 80-voice Black Academy Choir, American Idol champion Ruben Studdard performed two of the album’s highlights. “Medicine For Someone Else” has a bluesy feel and shows off a raspier tone for Studdard, while the ballad “Teach Me to Love” boasts an unplugged groove.
The album is not a typical gospel set. On it, the songs range from a brash critique of parasite preachers on “PTYHOMP (Please Take Your Hands Out My Pocket)” to the bloody waters of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Jasmine Guy’s spoken-word recitation of Curtis King’s “My Language” poem.  Ann Nesby (former lead singer for The Sounds of Blackness) wraps her big voice around the poignant anthem, “What Would You Have Me Do?” Yarbrough & Peoples, best known for their 1981 #1 R&B smash “Don’t Stop the Music,” deliver the funk on the percolating street jam, “Jump Til’ You Feel Something.” Tommie Young West, who recorded classic R&B sides for Louisiana’s Soul Power label in the early ’70s, rocks the house on the pulsating “Won’t Have to Worry” while Brenda Ellis’ full alto pulverizes the paean, “Bask (In the Presence of the Lord).”
“I look back on my days of the handling of such mega superstars as Phillip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, Leon Patillo of Santana, Helen Baylor, Shirley Caesar, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Denise Williams, and the incredible Al Green,” says James Bullard, president and CEO of Majestic Communications Group (MCG). “This project, in my opinion, is comparable to those superstars. My blood is pumping like never before. This is going to be a big project and is destine to go all the way to the top.  I am excited beyond words about this project.”
Although, The Black Academy has been a fixture on Dallas’ local arts scene for over three decades, the organization also has a national standing. Its 1987 fundraising CD by Eartha Kitt entitled, My Way: Musical Tribute to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Caravan of Dreams) sold over 250,000 copies. The Academy later funded national touring productions of “Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement,” “Symphony with the Divas,” and the musical, “Blues Bar.” For more information, go to

benefit jazz Kirk Whalum music United States

Grammy Award nominee Kirk Whalum, others to perform at “It Started With a Dream Benefit” on Feb. 13, 2011

According to a recent news release, the Dream Center, twelve-time Grammy Award Nominee Kirk Whalum and Victory University are hosting “It Started With a Dream” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time (It will be noon Central Time) on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at Angelus Temple1100 Glendale Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA. In celebration of this year’s Gospel GRAMMY® Nominees, the event is a pre-awards ceremony, concert and service honoring the nominees and benefiting The Dream Center’s Project Hope. “It Started With a Dream” will feature live performances by Grammy nominees Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Forever Jones, Gungor, Israel Houghton Lecrae, VaShawn Mitchell, Karen Peck and New River, Lalah Hathaway and Kirk Whalum with special guest George Duke. 
The event is free and open to all that can attend. The concert’s stellar performances will be streamed live on the web at inviting the entire world to view for $4.99 for a limited time after airing with proceeds benefiting Project Hope.
The vision of Project Hope is to provide a restoration home for immediate care to those rescued from human trafficking; rebuild one’s physical, mental and spiritual wholeness; and prepare individuals toward returning to society. Project Hope exists for the purpose of helping the lives of individuals who have fallen victim to human trafficking. This home offers a safe place to rebuild lives based on biblical principles. The home will focus on the specific needs for each individual.

benefit gospel Haiti music United States

Celebs, politicians, clergy join forces with others for “Chicago’s Hope for Haiti”

Some of Chicago most renowned music artists, politicians and clergy will join forces to raise funds for three nonprofit organizations in Haiti.
“Chicago’s Hope for Haiti” will feature Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn  Illinois State Sen. the Rev. James T. Meeks and representatives from the hip-hop, poetry, gospel, jazz and R&B music communities. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at The House of Hope, 752 E. 114th Street in Chicago.  Charles Jenkins, pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, is spearheading this effort and has enlisted Grammy-winning recording artist/producer Donald Lawrence to organize the music for the “Chicago’s Hope for Haiti” benefit concert.
“I woke up early Tuesday morning and said to myself, I’ve heard what the NFL, the NBA and what the government is doing for Haiti but I haven’t heard anything about what the church community is doing.” Jenkins said in a news release. “I saw the need to have every part of the Chicago community come together for this tragedy.”
“Chicago’s Hope for Haiti” will be aired live on WJYS. The confirmed talent includes actor/rapper Common on behalf of the Common Ground Foundation, Grammy winner Donald Lawrence and Co., the legendary Shirley Caesar, platinum recording artist Marvin Sapp, Urban AC artist Lalah Hathaway, Comedian George Wilborn, Karen Clark Sheard, poet J. Ivy, Tarrey Torae, jazz saxophonist Steve Cole, gospel artist John P. Kee, and BET TV personality Dr. Bobby Jones.
The proceeds will benefit Yele Haiti (, Samaritan’s Purse ( and Hospitals for Humanity ( All organizations are currently on the ground in Haiti, providing immediate relief (ranging from food and water to medical care) to earthquake survivors.

arts Bartlesville benefit concert contemporary jazz jazz music Oklahoma United States Westside Community Center

Westside Community Center presents “All That Jazz” on Feb. 20 in Bartlesville

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols will perform at the Westside Community Center’s annual fundraiser “All That Jazz” at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Hillcrest County Club, 1901 Price Road in Bartlesville, OK. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for dinner.
Nichols, best known for several CD releases including “Sophistication” and “Take Me with You,” presents a kaleidoscope of  smooth jazz, pop, adult contemporary and even a dance mix. “My influences are so varied and I try to reflect that in my music,” Nichols said. “As I’ve matured as a songwriter, that growth has allowed me to infuse more of myself into each record. Using this mixture of flavors has helped me to create a sound with widespread audience appeal. As a result, you’ll see people of all ages at my shows.”  
Nichols has collaborated with notable artists such as Grammy nominated producer and keyboardist Jeff Lorber, trumpeter Chris Botti, guitarist Paul Pesco, the late  bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale, producer Zac Maloy and Grammy nominated songwriter Toni Estes.
“All That Jazz” features Cajun-style cuisine and opening entertainment by the Bartlesville High School Jazz Band. A cash-bar is available, and door prizes (1 ticket per admission) will be given away.
Tickets are $100 and must be purchased in advance by calling the Westside Community Center at (918) 336-6760. Proceeds from “All That Jazz” benefit local community programs at the Westside Community Center, a United Way agency since 1951.