For the third year in a row, Fred Hammond has assembled a roster of artists, musicians and comedians to hit the road on his inspirational tour Festival of Praise. This year’s line up is nothing short of star power. Fred enlisted R&B turned Gospel artist Regina Bell, legendary Clark Sister Karen Clark Sheard, Israel Houghton known for his high-octane praise and worship, choir-master Hezekiah Walker, modern worshipper and newcomer Casey J and funny man Comedian Earthquake. The tour is rolling through the Midwest October 20 to 26 bringing a fresh wind of inspiration.
Chicago Mass Choir is a staple in Gospel music across the nation and around the world. This year, Chicago Mass Choir hit the road on their Summer of Praise Tour creating a joyful noise wherever they stopped. The Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards announced, September 1, nominations for 2016 and the Chicago Mass Choir has been nominated for two awards. Whether a television appearance or festival performance, Chicago Mass Choir ultimate goal is point their audience to the One, who made it possible for them to reach the masses, God.
Miami-based ensemble Sensere recognizes a pivotal time in African American lives past and present. In retrospect, Martin Luther King peacefully fought for many liberties that are relevant to everyday existence. What has transpired over the recent past few years could be considered a “slap in the face”. The lives of those who have been violently snatched away because of police brutality are hanging in the balance because of injustices.
As we commemorate Martin Luther King’s Day, let us not forget the struggles endured, sacrifices made and advancements taken by those whose shoulders we stand on today. Remember that we all share in the responsibility in keeping his dream alive everyday, whether our contribution is great or small.
Listen to a snippet below.
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!
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 Instagram, Twitter 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]
On top of her game, Dana Divine was the Gospel House Music Diva in the early 2000s. Her hot dance track “Gospel Slide” hit the airwaves and Dana was the “it girl” for getting crowds out of their seats in Jesus’ name. As in anything, there were critics and naysayers, however she stayed true to who she was musically. In a recent interview, Dana Divine talked about her music and being a cancer survivor.
Oxygen Media’s new reality series “Fix My Choir” aired the first episode of season one Wednesday, Nov. 5. Famed multi-award winner Gospel music singer and Preachers of L.A. cast member, Deitrick Haddon, tackles keeping harmony within choirs with multi-award winning R&B group Destiny’s Child former member turned Gospel music singer, Michelle Williams. With one episode under their belt, will viewers see more attitude fixing or choirs actually being made better?