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“Make a Joyful Noise” A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson Featuring: Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel and special guest Della Reese / Screening: “Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory” In association with ImageNation Cinema Foundation

Saturday, June 22, 2013

6:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which called for civil and economic rights for African Americans, SummerStage honors the storied legacy of famed Gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson with an evening of music and film. Listen to Joshua Nelson, known as “The Prince of Kosher Gospel”, as he pays tribute to Ms. Jackson with his creative reinterpretations of her original catalogue, followed by the screening of “Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory” which gives an intimate look into the life and rise of the famed singer that changed our history one note at a time.

Joshua Nelson, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Kosher Gospel”, has created a music genre that blends together his religion and his heritage.  In a New York Times Article, Nelson said “Kosher gospel isn’t an imitation of traditional gospel music, but the marriage of ethnic African music and Christian music.”  In his music, Nelson combines the lyrics and meanings of Judaism with the soulful sounds of American Gospel music.  For his audiences, whatever their faith or heritage, kosher Gospel has been a revelation. Now in his early thirties, Nelson has performed around the world, for presidents, congregations, major music festivals—and for Oprah, who named him a “Next Big Thing.”  In 2008, Nelson released his latest album, Mi Chamocha.    

While developing her music skills as a teenager, Della Reese had the opportunity to tour with Mahalia Jackson.  From 1969 to 1970, Reese hosted a television talk show while guest starring on many shows into the 1980s, including Sanford and Son, Crazy Like a Fox and Picket Fences. In 1987, she was nominated for a Best Female Soloist in Gospel Music GRAMMY Award. In the late 1990s, Reese landed a starring role on television's Touched By An Angel, alongside Roma Downey and John Dye, while continuing her music career. 

Mahalia Jackson's music cut through whatever lay in its wake and shackled itself to your soul. Those who witnessed her singing spoke of being taken to a sacred place, of the sheer power of her voice, of the rapturous, transcendent nature of the experience. Jackson was considered by many to be the world’s greatest Gospel singer and the creator of a musical standard by which all would be judged. “Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory” follows the course of her extraordinary life, from her humble beginnings as a sickly child singing in the churches of New Orleans, through her years in relative obscurity, to her breakthrough and her role as a civil rights activist and her ascendancy to Carnegie Hall and the great stages of Europe. Director Jeff Scheftel gives intimate insight into Jackson’s life with archival footage and interviews with those who knew her best.


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