SummerStagePresents: Motown Gospel Revue featuring Tasha Cobbs / Smokie Norful / Pastor Charles Jenkins / VaShawn Mitchell / Kierra Sheard / Micah Stampley / Brian Courtney Wilson
Saturday, August 9, 2014
3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
When Tasha Cobbs took the stage on June 14, 2012 at Northview Christian Church, in Montgomery, Alabama, she did so neither as a nationally renowned vocalist, nor as a recording artist making her major-label debut. Instead, with microphone in hand, she ascended the platform prepared to do what she had done every week since her teenage years—lead the congregation into worship. Cobbs won her first-ever Grammy for Best Gospel/Contemporary Music Performance for “Break Every Chain.” in 2014, from her album, Grace, a moving example of the raw power of a live worship experience. Produced by multi-award-winning artist and producer VaShawn Mitchell, the eight-song project reveals Tasha at her best as a psalmist, songwriter, and minister. A pastor’s kid and long-time worship leader, Tasha has developed her gifts as a songwriter and psalmist to become a nationally recognized minister. She currently serves as Worship Leader for the Young Adult Division of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, while simultaneously holding the position of Worship Pastor at the dReam Center Church of Atlanta. With the release of Grace, Tasha Cobbs is sure to become a recognized name in churchgoing households across the nation.
The 2002 release of Smokie Norful’s debut album I Need You Now, heralded the birth of a new Gospel legend. That project, led by the instantly classic title song, achieved gold-certification while winning the first of the numerous awards that would mark his truly groundbreaking career. In the decade since then, Smokie has sold more than two million albums, earned four #1 albums, received countless GRAMMY®, Dove, and Stellar awards, and has twice been named Billboard magazine’s “Gospel Artist of the Year.” Meanwhile, audiences around the world have come to embrace him as songwriter, balladeer, worshipper, and preacher.
Pastor Charles Jenkins is a dynamic, inspirational and visionary religious and community leader who is widely known as the senior pastor of the legendary Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of the book, Thriving In Change, and is a sought-after adviser to governmental and political leaders, high-profile personalities, business groups, and advocacy organizations. Perhaps less known is the fact that Charles Jenkins is a GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter and a recording artist. His CD project with Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church—Pastor Charles Jenkins Presents Fellowship Chicago Live: The Best of Both Worlds, was released in 2012. Jenkins believes that music can be the basis of an urban Christian movement that attracts people in ways that many traditional mediums cannot. “There are opportunities to create amazing music and to create a meaningful movement around that music,” he said. “For us, this is not just a CD, it a movement for God and good that begins with this project.”
Six-time Stellar Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist VaShawn Mitchell soared to the top of the charts in 2011 with his mega-hit single “Nobody Greater,” from his top-selling, award-winning album Triumphant. Billboard magazine declared “Nobody Greater” the #1 Most Played Gospel Song of 2011, and the single held the #1 position for nine consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart and crossed-over to the Urban Contemporary Adult charts. Now the acclaimed singer-songwriter is back with Created 4 This, which picks up where Triumphant left off. This project is a body of music that features Mitchell’s signature style: contemporary themes with a traditional Gospel vibe. The praise and worship music on the CD is encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting. “I wanted to build on ‘Nobody Greater’ and Triumphant to create a new compilation of music to empower and equip people in this economy to understand why we are here and what we are created for,” says Mitchell. “The whole message of the album is that we still have hope, that we shall overcome and be victorious, and that God will be there to sustain us in this next phase of our lives.”
Kierra Sheard is a Grammy Award-nominated, GMA Dove Award and Stellar Award-winning recording artist and songwriter. The daughter of Karen Clark Sheard, of the legendary Clark Sisters, and Bishop J. Drew Sheard, senior pastor of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ in Detroit, Michigan, Kierra first came to the world’s attention as a nine year old, belting out vocals well beyond her years in a live recording of the hit, “The Will Of God,” which was on her mother’s 1997 solo debut release, Finally Karen. Until that point, Kierra had shown little interest in being a singer, and the family was unaware of her exceptional talent. “I didn’t want to do the song with my mother and she had to make me practice,” Kierra recalls. However, after her performance with her mother, offers for recording deals started to pour in. By 2003, Kierra had a label deal with EMI Gospel, which propelled her into music stardom—churning out hits that showed her vocal prowess and diversity, such as “You Don’t Know,” “Love Like Crazy,” “Praise Him Now,” and “Invisible.”
Nearly every song ever recorded tackles the topic of love. It’s long been the favored subject for songwriters and poets through the ages, but when an artist turns his focus to the love of Jesus, the result is bound to be powerful, especially when that artist is the multi-talented worship leader, songwriter and producer Micah Stampley. Love Never Fails is Stampley’s sixth album and his debut on Motown Gospel. The project spotlights the passionate vocal delivery and compelling songwriting that have made him one of the gospel community’s most acclaimed young artists. Stampley and his wife Heidi co-wrote six of the eleven tunes on the new album including the exhilarating and emotionally charged worship song “We Will Praise You.” Stampley’s music has long had a global flavor and that approach continues on Love Never Fails. “How He Loves Me” is an infectious reggae tune that features vocals from the talented Jamaican songstress Chevelle Franklyn, and “Oh Give Thanks” will remind listeners of the sheer joy that comes from praising God in song.
Brian Courtney Wilson was raised in the Chicago, Illinois area. Since his childhood, Wilson has been singing, starting with the adult male chorus at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. “Before my mom and dad knew I was going to be a singer, God had given them a promise to nurture into the person that I am today,” he says. “We are all given some promise, some vision for our future that we have to nurture, endure hard times for, and always believe in.” Wilson has nurtured his promise into a remarkable career in music ministry. Since the release of his debut CD, Just Love, Wilson has been touted as one of gospel music’s contemporary break-through artists of 2010 and 2011. Wilson says Music World Gospel has become the perfect home for his sacred art: “It’s a place where I can do more than just church music. I can do music for the world that’s rooted in the church.”
Doors open at 2:00pm