California Bible College to bestow Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams and Hezekiah Walker with Honorary Doctorate of Theology

As of today Fred Hammond, Judy Jacobs, Omarosa Manigault, Randall Cunningham, Yolanda Adams, and Hezekiah Walker are now Doctors. The Next Dimension University in Ontario, CA (The San Diego Voice & View Point) will bestow upon these worthy candidates  Honorary Doctorate of Theology degrees. Their vast knowledge and experience in their respective ministries have garnered them one of the highest forms of appreciation and acknowledgment. According to Fred Hammond’s live broadcast on Periscope earlier today, he could not contain the good news of such an honor. Therefore, he let his loyal supporters in on his wonderful accomplishment. Congratulations!

Totally 4 Him keeps it hip, fresh and ‘quartemporary’

New groups, such as Totally 4 Him, are putting a new face on what was known to be our grandparent’s Gospel music. These guys have coined their music as “Quartemporary” (Quartet + Contemporary) for the now generation of Quartet music enthusiasts. Totally 4 Him speaks about their sound and vision for their group in a recent interview.

Two sets of brothers joined forces bringing together a sound that is sweeping the radio airwaves and captivating a multi-generational audience. After a record deal fell threw earlier in their music career, the guys regrouped and are now working with one of the most sought after award winning producers in the Gospel/Quartet music game, Stan Jones. It was “God ordained favor” that they were able to catch the attention of Jones. “If anybody knows Stan, he just don’t work with anybody…any artists,” group member Dante said amusingly. They knew of Jones playing drums with The Williams Brothers and had been admiring him for awhile. Jones listened to their first project sparking his interest; from there his “vision and [their] vision collided and we put [them] together and this is what you have today,” recalled lead singer Carlos.

Totally 4 Him’s sound closes the music divide between the older and younger generations mixing Quartet and Contemporary Gospel music with their new single “All We Need Is Love.” “We’re not boxed in. That’s what we mean by ‘Quartemporary.’ We’re traditional from our hearts, but we’re not stuck in that traditional box. We call it ‘Quartemporary,’ because we can appeal to all generations. A lot of young people have started listening to Quartet because of us,” explained Dante.

The group’s influences range from Rafael Saddiq to the Canton Spirituals. These guys are multi-faceted. While they each have their specific part to play within the group at any given time one of them could jump on the drum kit or sing another harmony part. They are a well-oiled machine in that sense.

Carlos, Dante, Michael and Jesse have their minds focused on taking the brand to the next level. They’re looking forward to working more with producer Stan Jones on the rest of their project and are eager to get on the road with their new music. “I believe the next phase for Totally 4 Him is basically breaking larger barriers in our Gospel community. That’s our mission. That’s our goal is to break a lot of traditional barriers, bridge a lot of gaps, [and] bring more souls to the body of Christ,” Dante shared.

Totally 4 Him are definitely on the right track to accomplish their goals and bring their vision to fruition. To stay abreast the of their latest happenings, follow them on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. Download their single “All We Need Is Love” on iTunes. Keep your ears open for their full project soon.

[Original article on Examiner.com by Latrea Morrow]

John West’s Bomboard, a modular and ultra portable jet ski

For those who live in the midwest and upper east coast areas the thought of sunny skies, sandy beaches and refreshing blue water is like a mirage in the midst of inches of snow, three layers of clothing and snow boots. Inventor John West has made hitting the beach so much easier for water lovers with his portable jet-skis Bomboard. West talks about his passion for water sports and what inspired him to create Bomboard in a recent interview.

Having a successful 30 year career in high technology, John still longed to create something that would satisfy his passion for water sports and appeal to the younger generation. In his quest to bring his vision to fruition, his experience in technology and as an Officer in the Marines during the Vietnam War gave him the extra determination to keep moving forward. “…One of the things that define an entrepreneur is [what] I call ‘grit’. You gotta have that ‘stick-tuitiveness’ that says ‘I’m going to keep doing this until I get it right.’ I learned that in doing products in the technology industry that sometimes if you do something that’s a true innovation that it takes a lot of tries… There will be plenty of road blocks along the way and there will be a lot of naysayers…if you let that get you down you’ll never do anything,” explained West.

Bomboard is a luxury portable jet-ski that rivals the heavier. and less user-friendly ones. If you take it on vacation or to your local beach, Bomboard will be the envy and rave. What makes this product high-end is that you will not be able to buy it in any specialty store, such as Dicks Sporting Goods, as it will be directly sold to the customer. Body parts are manufactured in the United States while the motor parts will be outsourced abroad. West’s Bomboard couples high-quality with portability, resulting in a successful product. One of the craft’s claims to fame is that it is the first modular jet ski, allowing users to disassemble it and take it on the go without requiring a large vehicle or truck.

He looks to the future of Bomboard in competitive water sports and by creating customized luxury jet-skis to suit riding in white water, the ocean, the river, etc. West envisions people wearing statement gear proudly boasting “I’m a Bomboarder.” The possibilities are limitless and Bomboard is the wave of the future of jet-skis.

[Original article on AXS.com by Latrea Morrow]

Billie Holiday: Chicago Jazz Festival to commemorate 100 years

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) along with the Jazz Institute of Chicago recently released the four day Jazz Fest line up, which includes a tribute to the great Billie Holiday, affectionately “Lady Day.” Celebrating 100 years of the birth of a vocal virtuoso, April 7, 1915 Eleanora Fagan made her debut into the world. Chicago prepares to honor Ms. Holiday, recognize other legends and showcase upcoming artists. Labor Day weekend Jazz music will fill downtown’s Millennium Park with thousand of enthusiasts.

The life of such of a revered presence ended abruptly at the age of 44. Despite her tumultuous battle with substance abuse and domestic abuse, Billie Holiday left crowds swooning and entranced with her vocals. Billie worked with some of the most influential musicians and singers in the business. Traveling the country with the Count Basie Band, performing with her mentor Louis Armstrong, writing, arranging and acting in films. Her life of musical triumphs lives on in her songs Strange Fruit, Summertime, God Bless the Child, and others.

Jazz heads from around the country will enjoy the reflective renditions of NPR radio host Dee Dee Bridgewater with newcomer Jose James paying homage to the late legend Billie Holiday. Among the Jazz Fest line up, the Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band will reunite giving honor and celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The Chicago Jazz Orchestra will pay homage to the legacy of William Thomas “Billy” Strayhorn with fresh rearrangements of his repertoire. For more information visit DCASE’s website for the complete line up.

[Original article on AXS.com by Latrea Morrow]

[photo courtesy of the Chicago Jazz Festival; used with permission]
[photo courtesy of the Chicago Jazz Festival; used with permission]