Bobby Jones' gospel retreat in
BY JOAN CARTWRIGHT
Gospel celebrities recently convened in South Florida, bringing a
wealth of talent and knowledge to the 21st Bi-Annual International Gospel
Industry Retreat with Bobby Jones.
Invitees were mesmerized by a
live performance from Jones and his entourage of musicians and background
The focus of the conference on Nov. 19 and 20 at the Westin
Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood was threefold: How technology impacts the
ministry; careers in the performing arts and entertainment industry; and plans
for the historical groundbreaking of the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Complex for
Education & Preservation to be built in Lauderhill by 2010.
Complex is expected to bring together the rich history of gospel music in one
central location, according to its website,
music is ingrained in American culture, but unlike other music genres, gospel
does not have a place to house its artifacts, memorabilia, historical documents
and recordings, the website states. The gospel complex is expected to become
such a place.
Jones released his new CD, The Ambassador (Zomba
Records, Sony) on Nov. 18 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. The
beautiful set was designed by award-winning Interior Decorator Cecil
Joining Jones onstage were notable gospel singers Kim Burrell and
J. Moss. The evening opened with a video welcome from Kirk Franklin, who was not
able to attend.
On the panel was a Who’s Who of distinguished gospel
personalities and promoters, including singers
Kim Burrell, Betty Wright,
Donna Harris of the Whitfield Singers, and the Williams
Students from Boyd Anderson High, Ely High, Stranahan High and
Smart High schools as well as Eagle Charter Academy School attended.
in attendance were Florida Memorial University, Savannah State University and
Nova Southeastern University students.
Panelists encouraged the hundreds
of students to be encouraged and stick to their studies.
Lee said, “Listen to what God has for you and continue to pursue your
According to Jones, “We sing so well, but don’t know what
we’re singing about.”
He said secular artists with “gold teeth, pants
down, sing insulting songs about women. We’re presenting you with men and women
on the other side.”
Jackie Patillo said “Music is the universal language
and gospel is the sound of heaven. She called Teddy Riley the “Vision Catcher
with his ear to the street.”
Songwriter V. Michael McKay, who has written
hits for Yolanda Adams and other top gospel singers, said he writes
“commercially viable products that the public will buy.”
has produced Bebe and Cece Winans (Heaven), Whitney Houston (Jesus Loves Me from
The Bodyguard that sold 40 million copies), Johnny Mc-Kirkland, T.D.
Jakes, Darwin Hobbs and Karen Clark-Sheard. He said his company, Legacy Records
produces “pretty music.”
He emphasized the importance of producers
“staying on deadline and budget.”
Caldwell gave a historical overview of
recording technology, from the 78 record in 1943 to the vinyl LP recorded on two
sides, to the cassette tape that could be played in your car or
He talked about the 8-track tape in 1968, and moved on to the
compact disc (CD) in 1992, to the present-day hissless DVD, mp3 and
Jones discussed the benefits of the digital sending of songs to an
entire audience and the “curse of this technology being used in the wrong manner
and negatively impacting music sales.”
He said that music lovers should
not just “download music for free but should continue to purchase music.”
“All music is hurting, today,” said concert promoter Al Wash, who has
promoted Kirk Franklin, Yolanda
Adams and Sisters in the Spirit. “That’s why
I’m involved in other projects like plays – Ain’t Nothin’ Like Family written by
Tyler Perry and Jazz and Comedy with Sinbad.”
Radio personality Jeff
Grant, whose career began as an English teacher, became an executive with Warner
in the urban music/gospel genre. Grant emphasized that “there is so much good
music out there and competition for ratings requires that an artist’s single has
to be right.”
He said a recording “must touch the heart,” referring to
songs like We Fall Down by Chris Tomlin.
Telisa Stinson, known for her
behind-the-scenes work with Be-yonce, said that those who work in the industry
“must have patience and passion. It’s good to be important, but more important
to be nice.”
Greater Fort Lauderdale Con-vention & Visitors Bureau
Vice President Albert A. Tucker said he is welcoming ideas and suggestions from
the public about the Gospel Complex that is coming to Broward County.
may be reached at 954-767-2456 or 800-356-1662 ext. 2456.
Gospel Complex for Education & Preservation at 954-494-7596 or email them at
Photo courtesy of Joan Cartwright:
Bobby Jones addresses people at his retreat.
Last Updated (
Friday, 30 November
2007 ) ||
FUNKFEST 2007 PHOTOS
FRANKIE BEVERLY AND MAZE
More articles by Joan
a hologram and pyrotechnics added lots of excitement to the powerful
choreography that made Chris Brown’s show at the BankAtlantic Center
in Sunrise a memorable event.
The event was packed with screaming teenagers whose obedient parents
got them concert tickets as a Christmas gift.
The show began at 6 p.m. Dec. 26, with rapper Bow Wow opening. By
7:30 p.m., he had brought on three Hip Hop legends who got the
audience to their feet.
DJ Khaled, a producer and disc spinner on Miami’s 99-JAMZ radio
station, shared the stage with Fat Joe and Rick Ross.
The four men generated predictable teenage mayhem, as Bow Wow
announced, “I have a house in Miami,” which made the girls yelp even
I remember in my teens learning of a report that revealed the
presence of a chemical in 12- to 14-year-old girls that causes them
to get extremely agitated when a musical idol is onstage. The
Beatles were the first to cause scientists to study this phenomenon.
It was at the Apollo in Harlem that I had this experience for the
first time, when Shep and The Limelights came out singing, “Daddy’s
Today, it takes more than a song to arouse teenagers, and Brown’s
production crew was on the job. The din from the crowd made it
difficult for the uninitiated to understand most of the lyrical
content, but the animation that opened the show cleverly conveyed
the songs’ titles. Brown was about to “Kiss Kiss” a beautiful
animated girl, when a text message warned him that “Haters Are on
Bringing the video to life in Ninja-like fashion, two attackers
wielded huge swords at Brown one at a time.
He managed to divert them, but one of them got the girl and took her
up a flight of stairs, inside a spaceship where a foreboding entity
took hold of her, stating, “No one gets in!”
This was followed by an elaborately staged rescue scene with the
adorably handsome Brown, of course, as the girl’s rescuer.
The show went on for over an hour with one theatrical gimmick after
the next, enhancing each love song
Brown had for the “single ladies,” including his hits “With You” and
“Take You Down.”
What attracted me most were the images of musicians on screens at
the back of the stage that were all
Brown in different clothing, playing keyboards, bass and congas.
There was a real drummer, however, who never missed a beat.
DJ Khaled took over with cuts from “the eighties” while Brown
disappeared. While Khaled had the audience dancing to the beat,
Brown reappeared with a group of colorfully clad break dancers. The
dancers wowed the crowd with Brown clearly in his element, spinning
on his back on the floor.
The show also included two 9-year-old rappers, Myles and Smooch.
A rumor that Bajian pop singer Rihanna was in the house was verified
when she sang in the hologram, something about an umbrella that
Brown twirled during the performance.
When DJ Khaled took over for a few moments, Brown and two cut male
dancers did their thing on a turntable-like stage at the back of the
arena, driving the young ladies crazy with their sensual gyrations.
At this point, the heat from the fiery torches onstage, the clamor
from the screaming fans and the loud blasts from something Brown was
throwing like hand grenades made this reviewer call it a night.
While making my exit, I overheard folks saying Brown and Bow Wow
will perform together. I’m sure this worked out well for the
concert-goers whose parents were waiting patiently outside.
I’m satisfied that I’ve gotten a glimpse of what this generation
considers the best of the best in entertainment.
Photo by Sayre Berman. Chris Brown
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