Breaking news: Kathy Taylor and Anthony Brown have been added to the “Evolution of Gospel 2014” concert and Donald Lawrence is scheduled to make an appearance when the concert takes place Monday, Sept 15, 2014 @ 7 p.m. at The Kennedy Center.
The Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation released the following press release today, Monday, Sept. 8:
Nationally acclaimed gospel music artists, musicians, and supporters will launch the national festivities for the Sixth Annual Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration.
U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), sponsor of the initial historic “Gospel Music Heritage Month” Congressional Resolution explained, “From the African American spirituals to Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, the Hawkins family, and the ‘King of Gospel,’ Rev. James Cleveland, this unique American music has united generations, classes, and cultures. It is only fitting that we honor gospel music’s place in both the history of the United States and in our daily lives.”
Since September 2008, Congresswoman Jackson Lee has led the efforts to ensure that the historic contribution and sound of gospel music is recognized and honored throughout our nation. She has successfully passed resolutions for the past six years designating the month of September nationally as Gospel Music Heritage Month in our nation.
This year’s tribute will feature confirmed honorees: Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, Gospel artist Yolanda Adams, and U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, who originally was the Senate co-sponsor of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Congressional Resolution with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Confirmed gospel artists include Edwin Hawkins, Dottie Peoples, Tamela Mann, Kim Burrell, Stephen Hurd, Y’Anna Crawley and Tasha Page Lockhart, among others.
The celebration’s format tells the story of Gospel through narration and song, beginning with the Middle Passage, and it winds its path through Gospel voices like Thomas Dorsey, Rev. James Cleveland, and the Hawkins Family.
Highlights of the evening will be aired nationally this fall on UPtv through a partnership with Stellar Awards Creator and Executive Producer Don Jackson, and Charley Humbard, CEO of UPtv, formerly GMC.
Carl Davis, Chairman of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation, commented, “We are excited to return to our Nation’s Capital for this sixth year celebrating Gospel Music Heritage Month. It is an honor to be supported by gifted gospel artists who are lending their gifts. The Kennedy Center is the perfect venue for this year’s celebration.”
Ron Magnus, Chair of the DC Gospel Music Heritage Month Host Committee, noted “This year, the Foundation also celebrates the partnership of Dr. Mary Gentry, head of the Thomas A. Dorsey Convention of Choirs and Choruses; Bishop Albert Jamison, Chair of GMWA, Inc.; Dr. Edwin Hawkins, head of the Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar, and Dr. Teresa Hairston, Chair of the Gospel Heritage Conference, as we link arms to represent the best in gospel music around the world.”
Gospel music’s historic roots were originated in the humble and soulful melodies of African American spirituals. The distinctive sound contains diverse elements from African music, and other uniquely American musical styles including ragtime, jazz, and blues. Gospel Music Heritage Month celebrates the vital role that gospel music has played in shaping American music history.
“Evolution of Gospel 2014” is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For further details, please visit the website at www.gospelmusicheritage.org.