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First JudahJam fundraiser a huge success

The first of two JudahJam concerts planned for this year was held Sunday, March 28 at Executive Surf Club on Water St in Corpus Christi. Proceeds from this fundraiser are going to help finance the third annual JudahFest concert, which will be held at Cole Park Ampitheter September 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm.

There were over 300 in and out throughout the event, and though it seemed as if most of those who paid the $7 cover to get in the door knew at least someone in one of the bands, there was a handful of guests who made their way in simply because they heard the live music and wanted to enjoy a cool drink on a warm South Texas afternoon. A good mix of people were in attendance and nearly every age group was represented. As people gathered at the long wooden picnic tables or sat in the bleachers rising against two of the walls, conversations flowed and laughter transpired.

All of the five musicians who preformed at the JudahJam were christian bands and their message came through in the lyrics sang from the covered stage in the open patio area of Executive Surf Club. The faith-filled themes of the songs made it easy to enjoy the time with family and friends and parents did not have to be concerned that their children would be exposed to negative influences.

The master of ceremonies was Eddie Guzman, afternoon DJ for local christian radio station KBNJ 91.7 FM. Eddie even brought his six year old son, Noah with him to enjoy the show.

The opening band on the ticket was Whitewash and Ash, which is one-man-band Sam Hoehne. Sam is JudahFest's founder and namesake, Judah Hoehne's younger brother. He played a list of original songs with his acoustic guitar and sang passionately about Lazarus and the rich man, among other biblical themes.

The second band was Raya, a new group formed six short weeks ago. They had an amazing chemistry and stage presence and an interesting mix of instruments. Raya is RJ Ramon with vocals, guitar and harmonica, Cody Garza on bass, Eric Garcia doing drums and Danny Salazar playing lead guitar. Cody also used a xylophone to add that extra touch to a song and the band centered around a huge kettle drum, which RJ or Eric pounded away on. These elements of creative flair pointed to the band's indie roots and innovative style. Raya unquestionably had a lot of fun with their first show, and the fans showed their appreciation and enjoyment. This is a band we will certainly be hearing more of in the near future.

Up next was The Joey Davila Band, a group who carries a heavy influence of Texas blues and comes across almost as a modern alternative band. Their lyrics were clear and their music was well thought-out and nicely arranged, bringing the show into a more mainstream feel. Joey Davila Band is Jonathan Cardenas on drums, Carlos Salinas playing bass, Charles Longoria with guitar and Joey Davila on guitar and vocals.

The JDB lead into Debra Scott & Prophecy. When this popular local band takes the stage, their fans know they are in for a great show. Debra has a quality voice and sings from the very center of who she is. Her sound is authentic and loud, bringing songs commonly sung in churches during Sunday morning worship services into the arena of rock-star. The songs included her original "Here I Am " and a nice mix of familiar numbers that were easy to sing along with. Her band obviously has fun together and fills the stage. Prophecy started as the worship band for St John's UMC on Alemeda in Corpus Christi and is made up of Doug Brown on bass, acoustic and vocals, Donald Aguirre on lead guitar, Frank Olevitch playing acoustic guitar, Anthony Perez on drums, Dorthy Pallatti doing keyboards and Debra Scott on lead vocals. The last few songs were done acoustically with Debra and her husband Doug which brought a comfortable close to their solid set.

Headlining the event was Corpus Christi's own The Glory Estate. This high energy band brought the atmosphere to another level as they did their first five or so songs back-to-back with no break between the songs, just an end to the lyrics and a guitar strum and chord change leading them from one to the next. Thier appreciation of modern worship leaders like Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, and Paul Baloche was noted in their music, but this band has a sound all their own. They rank with the big named musicians and play with their whole hearts, which allows the listener an easy transport from standing in the midst of a crowd to being in the very presence of God. The Glory Estate is Dave Mooreon vocals and guitar, Charles Longoria on electric guitar, Ryan Schumann playing bass and Dustin Ramirez slamming away on the drums. One final member, Lauren Rader who usually supplies additional vocals and keyboard was unable to attend this show.

This JudahJam was obviously a huge success, bringing in $1400 to help offset the costs associated with the huge free concert JudahFest will be presenting this fall. Anyone wanting more information on JudahFest, JudahJam or the other fund raising events that will be held over these next few months can contact the organization at 361-813-0997 or send an email, visit their website or log onto thier facebook, myspace or twitter page. If you would like to donate, please make all donations to Judahfest, P.O. Box 271058, Corpus Christi, TX 78427.

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