Saturday, June 28, 2008

Peachtree Wind Ensemble to Sing July 4th

JULY 4 - The public is invited to celebrate the 4th with the Peachtree Wind Ensemble at an ice cream social at 3:00 on the grounds of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School on Ardenlee Parkway in Peachtree City. St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School is hosting the event and the Peachtree Wind Ensemble will be on hand to perform patriotic tunes to celebrate our nation's birthday. The group will perform again at 7:30 in the evening at Partner's Pizza in Peachtree City prior to the fireworks. Bring the family to enjoy marches, ice cream, pizza and fireworks! For more information about the Peachtree Wind Ensemble, go to Interested adult musicians (or former musicians) are always welcome to attend Monday evening rehearsals at St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Saints Music Camp!

6/27/08 (4:42 p.m.) Join us this summer for All Saints Music Camp! July 14th-18th; 9:00am-12:00pm; Ages 5-12; Call today to register for a fun, free & enriching week for your child! We’re going to sing, dance, play instruments and musical games and put on a mini-musical! Play an instrument or like to sing? Have fun on our “show and play” day! Get ready for special musical guests, yummy snacks and Karaoke day too! No singing or performance experience necessary. All Saints Anglican Church, 303 Kelly Drive, Peachtree City, Georgia (Suite 10), 770-486-5374

Virgin America Sponsors First Annual Sunset Strip Music Festival

Virgin America, the entertainment junkie's airline of choice, is partnering with the Sunset Strip Music Festival and The Standard to celebrate the musical revolution that was launched on the fabled Sunset Strip and continues to influence musicians today. The three-day music festival (June 26-June 28, 2008) is dedicated to promoting and preserving the Sunset Strip's rich musical tradition.

"As a brand with its roots in the music industry, we are thrilled to partner in the first-ever Sunset Strip Music Festival and help promote the past and the future of the industry through the support of Lou Adler's The Painted Turtle music education charity," said Virgin America's Vice President of Marketing Porter Gale. "With over 3,000 MP3s, the ability to create your own play-list in-flight, a music video library and even a soundtrack in our lavatories, we are passionate about music and promoting emerging musicians."

As part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival, Virgin America will host an evening event at The Standard West Hollywood on June 27 from 6:00pm-9:00pm in support of Lou Adler's The Painted Turtle musical education camp. The red carpet for the event kicks off at 6:00pm with media check in starting at 5:30pm, with celeb guests like Bob Guiney from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" fame, Kelly Monaco from "Dancing with The Stars", Laura Margolis from "Dirty Sexy Money", Sunset Strip Music Festival performers Louis XIV, LA Guns, Jani Lane of Warrant and The Deadly Syndrome amongst others, as well as music luminary Lou Adler.
"The Painted Turtle is thankful for and excited to have the support of Virgin America," said legendary music producer and founder of The Painted Turtle, Lou Adler.

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is the only U.S. airline that offers guests the option of creating their own in-flight play-list from the most extensive and eclectic musical library in the skies. With over 3,000 MP3s available, every musical genre is offered from bluegrass to hip-hop and everything in between.

About the Sunset Strip Music Festival: The Sunset Strip's renowned establishments have helped sustain the most storied music neighborhood in existence, a notion chronicled over the years on releases like Bob Marley & The Wailer's 1976 recording Live at the Roxy; X's Live at the Whiskey (1988); Tupac Shakur's last recorded live performance from 1996, Tupac: Live at the House of Blues; Social Distortion's Live at the Roxy (1998); Pennywise's Live at the Key Club (2001); and Brothers of a Feather, the 2007 CD and DVD release from Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes at the Roxy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Montreux Jazz Festival Announces Alexandria Jackkson as Atlanta Representative for Competition


Since 1967, the world’s greatest jazz singers have graced the stages of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The opportunity to perform at this premiere jazz event and network with some of the best jazz artists requires hard work and a commitment to the genre that so few are afforded. This prompted Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival founder and director, to create an international voice competition for emerging professional jazz vocalists. Competition organizers receive entries from over fifty different countries. In the spring, around fifteen vocalists are selected to take part in the semi-finals and finals at the Montreux Jazz Festival held in Switzerland. On July 6 - 10, artists representing over fifty countries will perform in front of a jury of professionals and a discerning international audience. The representative for the City of Atlanta for the Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2008 will be Alexandra Jackson.

Although Alexandra Jackson was born in Atlanta into a family of politicians (daughter of former Mayor of Atlanta Maynard Jackson) and civil rights activists, she prefers to do her advocating for social justice-and love-through her music. The 24 year old began appreciating music while just a toddler. At 4, she began what would become ten years of classical training and two years of jazz piano. Throughout high school, she was an outstanding performer in music and drama. After singing with the school’s jazz band, she decided to major in jazz instead of drama. Four years later, she graduated from the prestigious Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program at the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Music Business. After graduation, Jackson performed in the Florida Grand Opera’s production of AIDA. She also sang back up for Gloria Estefan in the opening gala for the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Alexandra was a featured performer for the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival in Atlanta produced by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.

"This is an honor for me… and my family. I am all too aware of the huge responsibility this is as I will be representing Atlanta, my birthplace,” says Alexandra Jackson. “I’ve followed the Montreux Jazz Festival since high school and have always wanted to go as an observer. But to go as a performer is beyond my greatest dream. I’m not thinking of this as a competition, but a phenomenal opportunity to enjoy the other artists and soak up as much as I can.”

The first prize winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Voice Competition receives CHF 5,000.- Swiss francs ($4,755.00) and a week’s recording time at Balik Farm Studio located in the breathtaking scenery of Switzerland’s Toggenburg region, and an invitation to perform at the annual meeting of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in January of the following year and in summer, plays as the opening act for one of the world-class artists performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Musicians, record company representatives and producers seeking new talent will be seated among the general public.

“We are excited and pleased that Alexandra will represent us at Montreux this year. She is a tremendous talent and an appropriate ambassador for the artistic community of Atlanta. She will represent us well.”- Camille Russell Love, Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs

Graceland Announces Plans for Elvis Week, August 9-17, 2008

BUSINESS WIRE--Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) a CKX, Inc. company (NASDAQ: CKXE), is planning for a special Elvis Week, the annual Elvis celebration at Graceland, the late superstars home in Memphis, August 9-17. Elvis Week is an annual nine-day gathering of friends and fans from around the world celebrating Elvis life and career.

The 2008 event will feature several new activities and entertainment including Elvis, From Broadway to Memphis. This first-ever production will include a state-of-the-art, video-projected Elvis performing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Broadway stars Leah Hocking, Austin Miller, 2007 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner Shawn Klush and the rockabilly group The Dempseys. Two shows will be held on August 16th at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.

Following its overwhelming popularity in 2007, two nights of Music and Movies at Graceland, featuring live entertainment and a movie on the front lawn of Graceland, will be held on August 11th and 12th. Featured artists will include The Imperials, Andy Childs and his band and Terry Mike Jeffrey and Band. Films shown will be Jailhouse Rock and Elvis: Thats The Way It Is.

For the second year, EPE is presenting the wildly successful Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. More than 20 competitions are being held around the world, selecting the top Elvis tribute artists that best represent the legacy of Elvis Presley, to compete for a spot in the Memphis semifinals on August 13th and finals on August 14th.

Elvis Week kicks off on August 9th at 8 a.m. with the Annual Elvis Presley International 5K Run to Benefit United Cerebral Palsy, starting with thousands of Elvis fans and runners in front of Graceland. It is one of several charity fundraisers scheduled.

Additional events are planned throughout the city, including the DVD theatrical premiere of Elvis Presley His Home, His Story. Three screenings on each day will be held at Malcos Studio on the Square on August 9th and 13th. The new DVD features photos from the Graceland archives, home movies and more. The day will culminate with a special event at Autozone Park as the Memphis Redbirds baseball team welcomes Elvis fans to town with a special event showcasing Elvis-themed entertainment, fireworks and more.

Sunday, August 10th, begins with a special Elvis Gospel brunch in the Elvis Presley Car Museum and ends with a special Club Elvis dance and party for fans in Graceland Plaza.

Also on August 12th at 11:00 a.m., The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Meet n Greet will be held at the Hard Rock Café, followed by the 2007 winner Shawn Klush performing at the Cannon Center. His opening act will be comedian Sammy Shore, who opened for Elvis in Las Vegas from 1969-1972.

Elvis Expo 2008 will be held on August 13th and 14th at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. It is the worlds largest Elvis trade show, with more than 75 booths and 35,000 square feet that includes all the latest Elvis music, movies, merchandise, celebrity autograph sessions, authors, artists and photographers. Guests appearing in the showroom include: actress Darlene Tompkins (Blue Hawaii and Fun in Acapulco), dancer Tanya Lemani George (68 Special), singer Joanne Cash, The Imperials, DJ Fontana, Celeste Yarnall (co-star in Live A Little, Love a Little), Francine York (co-star in Tickle Me) and more.

As an Elvis Week exclusive, for the first time ever Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKX Inc., parent company of Elvis Presley Enterprises, will be a special guest at The Official Elvis Insiders Conference. The event on August 13 and 14 features two full days of special guests and programming produced by Elvis Presley Enterprises, including on-stage interviews with people who were part of Elvis life and career. Special guests include Dixie Locke Emmons, who dated Elvis early in his career; Mike Stoller, songwriter for numerous Elvis hits including Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Hound Dog, Treat Me Nice, and Love Me; Sammy Shore; Celeste Yarnall; Jerry Schilling; Francine York; Edward Faulkner; Susan Henning, who appeared in Live A Little, Love A Little and the 68 Special; Joe Guercio, Elvis musical director and conductor for concerts from the summer of 1970 to the summer of 1977; Steve Binder, producer of Elvis 68 Special; and progressive Italian DJ, Spankox who remixed Elvis classic Baby Lets Play House. Additional guests to be announced.

The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinals will be held at 7:00 p.m. on August 13th at the Cannon Center. Finalists chosen from this round will return on August 14th to compete for the title of Elvis Tribute Artist of the Year.

The largest Elvis Week event is the annual Candlelight Vigil on August 15th starting at 8:30 p.m. Thousands of fans walk up the driveway to Elvis gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. Gates remain open until all who wish to participate in the procession have done so, which typically takes until the early morning hours of August 16, the anniversary date of Elvis passing.

Throughout the week, live ongoing presentations of Elvis music will be performed by various singers and bands in the area across the street from Graceland. Other activities will include the Elvis Week Art Contest & Exhibit, Kids Karaoke, Childrens Elvis Week Art Activities and more.

Special ticket packages as well as tickets for individual events are now available. Visit for detailed ticket and event information.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blown Away!

Blown Away!

My husband Greg and I went to three concerts this weekend. Yep, three. The great thing about these concerts is they were all in Fayette County and all were fantastic! Two showcased local talent, the third was a Kenny Rogers concert at the Fred in Peachtree City.

What an eclectic musical weekend we had!

First we heard the Southern Nights Chorale perform at the First Baptist Church in Peachtree City Friday night. Southern Nights is a precision a cappella men’s select chorus. It was formed in 2004 by J. D. Holmes. The group has performed at the Governor’s mansion, sung the National Anthem to kick off a Braves game at the Atlanta stadium, and sung at numerous church and civic events.

We were treated to favorite tunes to include Danny Boy, Ave Maria, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Georgia On My Mind and When the Saints Go Marchin’ In. Darlene Simpson Ware impressed the crowd when she sang Summertime and Don’t Rain on My Parade. Simpson Ware has sung in an assortment of productions with the Atlanta Opera Company’s Chorus and sung with Robert Goulet in South Pacific at the Fox.

Two fun songs brought laughter. Steve Morris took the Song “Little Ol’ Lady” and re-wrote the lyrics. The “new” song, Little Ol’ Lady from Peachtree City included a “little ol’ lady” in a “golf cart” zipping back and forth across the front of the pews! The Manly Men Extravaganza also had the audience laughing as the guys cut up with each other, showing off their “manliness”.

On Saturday we say two concerts that couldn’t have been more different! We went from one end of the musical spectrum to the other.

At 5 p.m. we were sitting in the pews of the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church. Titled “An Evening of Vocal Artistry Concert Directed by Rick Massengale” we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We had both heard Rick playing piano and singing in “Those Two Guys” duo and the “Rick Massengale Quintet” so we were expecting something along those lines. Were we ever wrong! Mr. Massengale is an extremely talented tenor AND baritone.

We were awed by the phenomenal talents of the six artists who shared the stage. If we closed our eyes it would be easy to think we were on Broadway! The repertoire ranged from well-known popular tunes to those that possibly only opera buffs would recognize. Kim Bowers-Rheay, Brent Davis, Joan Aycock, Frank Green, Bill Killmeier and Rick Massengale chose their favorite songs for the event.

After shaking hands and talking with the artists for a few minutes, we zipped down to Peachtree City to see Kenny Rogers. We’ve both seen Rogers a number of times and he always has a good concert. However, I’d have to say that this may have been one of his best. His two twin four-year old sons and wife joined him on stage at one point. The two boys were obviously used to being on stage as they sang a song for the ooohing audience. Later Rogers called two fans up on stage and presented them with a framed arrangement of his platinum records. The pair had been to well over a thousand of his concerts!

If I’m ever treated to a Rogers concert again, I’m going to make sure my husband and I sit front and center stage. Rogers picked one lucky gentleman from the front and tossed money at him for every hit song he recognized. Of course, the guy recognized a lot of tunes!

The weekend of music was fantastic. It also highlighted how much hidden talent we have in Fayette County. I can’t help but wonder how many people I talk to each day have talents unknown to me.

- Janet McGregor Dunn
Fayette Front Page

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Four-day Course on Digital Recording Taught by Music Producer John Keane Offered Through UGA’s Music Business Program

Respected Athens music producer and engineer John Keane will teach a series of four-day workshops at the University of Georgia on the essentials of using Digidesign’s Pro Tools, the music industry standard for digital recording.

Registration is under way for the next session, which begins Monday, Aug. 18.

The continuing education course will be based on Keane’s popular book, The Musician’s Guide to Pro Tools, which provides a strong foundation in the basics of Pro Tools for home recordists and aspiring audio engineers and producers.

Keane has worked on numerous gold and multi-platinum albums, and his Athens studios have hosted a variety or recording artists, such as R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Drivin’N’Cryin and Widespread Panic. He began using Pro Tools in 1991 and has written two editions of The Musician’s Guide to Pro Tools.

Chad Wilkes, tour manager of successful artists such as Blink 182 and Bubba Sparxxx, took part in the first session of the Pro Tools workshop held last March. “John puts the vast world of Pro Tools in simple, easy-to-understand words and practice,” Wilkes said. “His knowledge, patience, and hands-on approach make the complete novice feel comfortable in the area of digital recording. Anyone who has thought about diving into digital recording should take this opportunity to learn in a relaxed environment from a true music professional and legend.”

“John teaches valuable, real-world techniques for recording and editing audio,” said Keith Perissi, program coordinator for UGA’s Music Business Program. “For those interested in understanding the full potential of Pro Tools, it’s a great introduction to the system and software.”

The workshop is scheduled for two sessions in Athens -- Aug. 18-27 and Nov. 3-12 -- at UGA’s Caldwell Hall, where the Terry College of Business houses the Music Business Program’s lab. In addition, the workshop will be offered once in Atlanta at the Terry Executive Education Center from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2. For schedule details, consult the Music Business Program’s Web site at or contact Terry’s Office of Executive Programs, which is partnering with Music Business to present the program.

Registration is limited to allow for more one-on-one interaction with Keane. The cost for the Athens workshop is $700 and includes instruction and the use of Apple iMacs equipped with Mbox and Oxygen8 MIDI controllers and Pro Tools software. The registration fee is discounted $100 for participants who provide their own laptop computer and Pro Tools software. The cost for the Atlanta workshop is $995, and participants must provide their own laptop computer and Pro Tools software. For questions about registration, call Christina Allen in Terry’s Office of Executive Programs at 706/425-3051.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Glorious Gospel Jazz Fills the Gardens

Extraordinary live music will melodiously fill the gardens as Villa Christina celebrates the 2nd annual Gospel in the Gardens Jazz Series. Step past the lush foliage and wandering stream into the beautiful garden where the top inspirational jazz musicians will perform a trio of free concerts during the summer. When it’s hot outside, let the cool uplifting music be a balm for the soul. Villa Christina’s soothing al fresco evenings of inspirational gospel jazz are presented by Praise 97.5 and TD Entertainment. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a relaxing getaway to Villa Christina’s secluded gardens and enjoy live performances at the 2nd Annual Gospel Jazz Series at Villa Christina. Adam Ghali, General Manager of Villa Christina, welcomes visitors to the free concerts. “We love hosting outdoor concerts here. Everyone enjoys listening to the uplifting music outside and sharing incredible food with friends and family members.”

Three complimentary outdoor gospel concerts will be performed at Villa Christina on select Sundays throughout the summer. The trio of shows begins on Sunday, June 29th with Brian Clay and special guest Antonio Allen. Originally from Chicago, pianist Brian Clay began learning to play piano at age five. He moved to Atlanta as a youngster, where he still resides. This polished vocal performer, known as “The Nu Flava in music”, accompanies his elegant singing with emotional, passionate piano playing. His style has been described as “a unique blend of urban rhythms and contemporary jazz melodies”. Soulful saxophone player Antonio Allen grew up in a houseful of musicians, all of whom were heavily involved with church music. Although his sax playing is in the gospel genre, Allen’s hip, urban vibe broadens his appeal.

Chandra Currelly is all set to wow the crowd with her improvisational vocal stylings on July 13th. As the former lead vocalist for the SOS Band, Ms. Currelly has plenty of hits on her musical resume. In addition to pop chart success, she has explored success in other genres, including gospel, as well as acting and writing. Chandra has received numerous award nominations including an Atlanta gospel choice (best female vocalist), Helen Hayes (slam!), NAACP (Hot Mikado) and Suzie Bass (rejoice!). Her smooth, soulful, inspiration sound has its own category, one Chandra herself calls “urspijazz”, an extraordinary potpourri of urban, spiritual and jazz musical elements.

Singer and keyboardist Christopher Lewis takes the stage on August 24th. A prolific career songwriter, Lewis has penned numerous gospel jazz hits, including “Delivered”, a number-one single in 1996. Lewis nurtured his musical aspirations by singing in the church choir from age 10 and eventually moving on to quartet harmonies, directing, and pursuing a musical career writing heartfelt lyrics. Eloquent and moving, Lewis attributes his style to old-school influences such as Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke and newer artists Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Fred Hammond. Lewis believes his God-given musical purpose is “to melodiously articulate dreams, desires, hope, and love”.

Doors open at 4:00 p.m. and music begins at 5:30 p.m. Concertgoers should bring blankets or lawn chairs for comfortable seating. Children of all ages are welcome and will be delighted by free activities including a moonwalk and face painting. There will be a variety of exhibitors whose products and services will be available for purchase including exquisite hand made jewelry, original artwork and more.

A variety of food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be offered by Villa Christina and Caffe Christina for purchase on the premises. Nibble on light delicacies such as pasta and salmon salads, or feast on gourmet burgers stuffed with special seasonings, plump hot dogs with French fries, or real Italian-style pizza straight from the wood-burning-oven. Be sure to save room for an indulgent dessert such as tiramisu or cheesecake, because the food here is unsurpassed. No coolers are allowed on the grounds.

The Summer Gospel Jazz Series is sponsored-in-part by Villa Christina, Praise 97.5, C3 Marketing Group, Atlantan Magazine and Piedmont Review. For more information on the Gospel Jazz Series or Villa Christina, call 404-303-0133 or visit For Corporate sponsorship or exhibitor information, contact Terri Harof at or call 404-786-7410.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Friday Jazz at The High June 20

FRIDAY JAZZ: Dan Baraszu
Friday, June 20, 5 to 10 p.m.

The High welcomes Detroit born Guitarist/Composer Dan Baraszu for June’s Friday Jazz. Baraszu has been playing guitar for over 25 years. His major influences include guitarists Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny and John Scofield as well as other instrumentalists like Bill Evans, Horace Silver, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker. He received his Bachelors degree from the renowned Berkley College of Music, where he majored in Jazz Composition and Arranging. In addition, he also received his Masters degree from the University of Miami with a major in Jazz Pedagogy.

Held on the third Friday of every month, Friday Jazz includes live musical performances, art-making activities and gallery tours. During Friday Jazz, a live model—in costume—will be positioned in the galleries for patrons and visitors to see and capture with pencil and paper. The model will be positioned for short-term poses, ideal for gesture drawing and quick sketches. Pencils, paper and drawing boards will be provided.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bill Gaither Pays Video Tribute to the Seventy Year Music Ministry of George Beverly Shea

BUSINESS WIRE--During the past 65 years, as a member of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, George Beverly Shea has carried the gospel in song to every state and every continent, singing before an estimated 220 million people. Bill Gaither salutes the musical legacy of his long-time friend with the release of Then Sings My Soul, a video tribute that includes vintage performance footage of the beloved singer combined with remembrances from the Gospel Music Hall of Fame member.

Bill Gaither celebrated Bev Sheas 98th birthday with Billy Grahams favorite singer at the Grove Park Inn to reflect on his life and music. Sheas infectious humor and commanding presence shine throughout the lively discussion, which includes insights into the inspiration behind his compositions, Id Rather Have Jesus and The Wonder of It All. Vintage performance footage from the past 60 years, including classics such as Every Time I Feel the Spirit, I Will Sing the Wondrous Story, Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, The Ivory Palaces, We Are Climbing Jacobs Ladder, Jesus Whispers Peace, showcases Shea singing at Billy Graham Crusades throughout the world. He explains to Gaither how he came to adopt How Great Thou Art as his signature song after being handed the song in London in 1957 and singing it every night for 16 straight weeks at Madison Square Garden later that year.

The twosome also pays tribute to the songs of renowned composer, Stuart Hamblin, who was converted at the renowned Graham Los Angeles Crusade.

George Beverly Sheas deep, resonant voice has sung hope into the lives of hundreds of millions of people throughout his long and legendary career, Bill Gaither says. The integrity and humility that have long characterized this man of God have given a unique credibility to all he stands for. That kind of legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. Hes a rare gem; a true servant of the gospel.

A one-hour special of Then Sings My Soul will air on more than 15 television networks nationwide the weekend of June 20-22, including GAC, RFD-TV, Gospel Music Channel, TBN and others. Check local listings for date and time.

Then Sings My Soul is available on DVD June 24th at retail outlets nationwide or by at

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Atlanta’s Destiny Praise Debuts at # 30 on R&R Gospel Charts

Destiny Praise is singing to high heaven this week in celebration of their success! This creative, modern Christian vocal ensemble with a uniquely flavored urban sound, is grooving up the airwaves of the radio world with the debut of their new album, “Driven”, released by Destiny Style Records. Clearly enjoying their own refreshing mix of jazzy soul, R&B, a dash of pop, funky bass lines, and pure anointed voices, this Atlanta group of nine young worshippers performs an urban praise and worship experience unlike any other. Their original lyrical compositions range from tackling tough issues in our everyday lives to exuberant praise songs spiced with an urban hip-hop beat.

The album’s stellar first single, “His Will” has achieved heavy rotation on gospel stations nationwide and has soared upward to become the second most-added to radio station playlists this week. The inspirational song has also gained favor with listeners as it has ascended to number 30 on the gospel charts, proving beyond a doubt that Destiny Praise, with its spiritual spunk and universal appeal, is here for the long haul.

To celebrate the spectacular debut of “Driven”, Destiny Praise invites the public to their first special in-store show and appearance on Saturday June 7th at the brand-new Wal-Mart in Marietta. From 3:00pm-5:00pm, Destiny Praise will showcase songs from their new CD, “Driven” and demonstrate the power of their inspiring voices, after which they will meet and greet the crowd. Wal-Mart is located at 210 Cobb Parkway South in Marietta, 30060.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Niko on Tour with Chicago & The Doobie Brothers- In Atlanta June 24

“For 25 years The New York Pops has showcased young artists before they’ve become stars, and now I want you to meet a singer who’s about to set the world on fire, who begins a North Americans tour this summer, and you’re going to be able to tell your friends you saw him, heard him in his Carnegie Hall debut. Ladies and gentlemen, Nicola Congiu. ”
Liz Smith, New York Pops April 28, 2008

Every so often an artist is discovered with a voice so rare and a gift so pure. Most of today’s music is overproduced and prepackaged; marketed with glitz and glamour that more often than not, doesn’t live up to the hype it claims to be. From a town in Italy, we are reminded of what real talent sounds like – his name is Nicola “Niko” Congiu.

In one year, Niko has made impressive strides and has been recognized by many of the industries finest musicians and promoters. He opened for Jewel with the Chicago Pops, opened for Celine Dion at the start of her world tour and sang at Carnegie Hall with Tony Bennett at the 25th Anniversary of the New York Pops.

Soon Niko will begin his first national tour with Chicago and the Doobie Brothers, produced by Live Nation, starting on June 3rd in Phoenix, Arizona. With a three octave vocal range rivaling the sounds of Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli, this gifted baritone will be opening each show and reemerging with Chicago to sing in their set as well.

Don’t miss this opportunity to catch Niko at the beginning of what will inevitably be a long and successful career as a true musician. Niko is one of those artists who come along once every decade....

6.24.08 Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA

Monday, June 02, 2008

The 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival Wraps Up At Woodruff Park

On Thursday, September 21, 1978, the Atlanta Free Jazz Festival began with opening ceremonies at the Central City Park Amphitheater. The city evolved into a vibrant metropolis and the jazz festival evolved with it. Thirty one years have passed and the Atlanta Jazz Festival has come full circle, the Atlanta Free Jazz Festival became the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Central City Park became Woodruff Park. This year the festival celebrated its 31st anniversary with its original host, Ernest Gregory, in one of its original locations, Woodruff Park, and a legendary line-up that included artists from the original roster, Joe Jennings and Howard Nicholson’s Lifeforce and Ojeda Penn Experience.

To truly celebrate Atlanta, the 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival incorporated the theme, 31 Years |31 Days | Atlanta, which promoted Atlanta’s cultural scene. In his 1977 election, Mayor Jackson said, “Jazz music is America’s only original art form, and I think Atlanta, with its growing reputation as an international center of the arts and education, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to promote an art form whose roots are indigenous to the South.”

Though 31 years have passed, the City of Atlanta still has a commitment to spotlighting jazz in the city. The festival exposed jazz aficionados and ordinary citizens to the great things the city of Atlanta has to offer and allowed them to visit some of the best restaurants, nightclubs and concert venues all in the name of jazz. The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs expanded the successful 31 Days of Jazz with the addition of the Neighborhood Jazz Series. The series highlighted the explosion of culture in three of Atlanta’s eclectic neighborhoods, Castleberry Hills, Virginia Highlands, and Midtown culminating with The Atlanta Jazz Festival over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th through May 26th, 2008, in Woodruff Park. Nearly 80,000 people came out and enjoyed the Neighborhood Jazz Series, 31 Days of Jazz and the Memorial Day Celebration.

“Jazz music, created over 100 years ago in the alleys and halls of the poor and the often disenfranchised, transcends cultural barriers and unites people around the world in its beauty,” said Mayor Shirley Franklin. This was an incredible year for the Atlanta Jazz Festival and having the event at Woodruff Park provided festival lovers of all creeds and colors with the chance to see a different side of Atlanta and heightened their cultural experience. "I’m happy to see local artists performing at the festival and I’m glad they moved it downtown," said native Atlantan Claudia Edmondson. "The whole community is involved and you can really enjoy the festival here. It’s intimate and cozy!”

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is committed to providing public access to jazz that inspires all generations to be creative and the festival featured a line-up of artists that allow us to explore what the direction the genre of jazz is going. Since the festival’s beginning, there has been an explosion of interest in junior high and high schools and winners of the Youth jazz band competition were able to open the festival each day and festival attendees were able to sample the sounds of the Future of Jazz Competition winners. Festival attendees enjoyed performances by international sensation Serenata Band, the celebrated Gordon Vernick and the GSU Faculty Jazztet, and young gun Mike Phillips to name a few. "Local people want the festival to stay around and the local artists want to express themselves," said Ron James of Ron James and the Truth. “I am so happy to be a part of this year’s festival.” With vendors and restaurants providing food, interactive games and festivities for all ages, this 3-day celebration proved to be fun for the entire family and was the perfect place to be on Memorial Day Weekend.

“There are so many things that contributed to the 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival’s success – talented Atlanta based musicians, our great sponsors, favorable weather and park patrons all enhanced the jazz experience,” said Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. “This year was all about Atlanta and the Memorial Day Weekend celebration was all about the music. We thank Atlanta residents and visitors for their support year after year!”

The 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival would like to thank its sponsors: Anheuser Busch Companies, BET J, Coca Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Central Atlanta Progress, MARTA, Brand Atlanta, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bank of America, JazzTimes, Spelman College, 91.9 WCLK, Gibson Guitars, Ephiphone, SmartMusic, JW Pepper, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, CONNECT Magazine, Smooth Atlanta, TD Entertainment, Upscale, Rolling Out, and City Living Home Furnishings.