Nationally acclaimed Gospel music artists, advocates, musicians, organizers, and supporters will launch the national festivities for the Fifth Annual Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration with an outstanding lineup of Gospel artists. “Evolution of Gospel 2013” takes place Monday, September 16, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
In a statement released today, 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 and 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 four years designating the month of September nationally as Gospel Music Heritage Month.
Grammy-award winner Donnie McClurkin headlines the event. The concert also features Earnest Pugh, Tye Tribbett, Jason Nelson, DC’s own Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy and many more. There will be a special guest appearance by the Washington Society for the Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir.
As a part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington, the Gospel Music Heritage Foundation will honor living legend and civil rights advocate, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA).
The Foundation will also honor the "Maestro" of Gospel music, Richard Smallwood and Bill Hearn, President & CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group during the evening’s festivities. The commemorative event will be produced by Ernest Walker of Walker Entertainment Group.
Carl Davis, Chairman of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation commented, “We are excited to return to our Nation’s Capital for this fifth 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.”
"This year will be the biggest celebration ever, as we continue to spread the Gospel, 'the good news,' about this great American music art-form celebrated annually,” noted Ron Magnus, Chair of the DC Gospel Music Heritage Month Committee.
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, melodic influences from Irish folk songs and hymns, 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 music history.
Evolution of Gospel 2013 is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2700 F Street, NW,Washington, D.C. 20566. For further details, visit www.facebook.com/GMHMCelebrationDC
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