Darius Brooks (Journey Music Group Website Page)
Bridgette Campbell (Website: www.bridgettecampbell.com)
The Caravans (Website: The Caravans page on Albertina Walker’s Website)
Chicago Mass Choir (website: www.chicagomasschoir.com)
Ricky Dillard & New Generation Chorale (website: MySpace Page)
Dana Divine (website: www.danadivine.com)
Travis Douglas and Determined (website: www.travisadouglas.com)
Sylvia Fedrick (Website: www.sylfedsang.com)
Kevin Gray (Website: MySpace Page)
Maurice Griffin (Website: MySpace Page)
Maurice Griffin is a young rising star now residing in Chicago, IL, and is the Minister of Music at Truth and Deliverance International Ministries. Griffin’s goal is to serve and empower other worship leaders to their maximum potential. His solo CD I Am Somebody: I Peter 2:9 was produced through his own Chicago-based Maurice Griffin Ministries organization. Griffin wrote and produced all eleven of the songs on this heart-felt praise and worship project.
Heather Headley (Website: www.heatherheadley.com)
Acclaimed by Billboard as “one of the great entertainers of the day,” Tony award winner and multiple Grammy nominee Heather Headley makes her triumphant debut on the EMI Gospel label with the most personal album of her multi-faceted career, AUDIENCE OF ONE, recorded with Grammy award winning producer Keith Thomas. Following critically acclaimed performances on her certified gold debut CD This Is Who I Am (2002) and her second album In My Mind (2006), Headley now returns to the gospel roots that became the foundation of her career singing as a child in her father’s church in Barataria, Trinidad. Heather currently attends Harvard Bible Chapel in Chicago.
Mark S. Hubbard and The United Voices for Christ (Website: MySpace Page)
Chicago-based Mark S. Hubbard and The United Voices of Christ took home their first Stellar Award in 2006 for "Traditional Choir of The Year" for their most recent release, "Blessin’ Waitin’ On Me." Mark’s brother, Reginald Staggers penned the title cut. The group records on the Utopia Music Group record label founded by Bishop Larry Trotter. Bishop Trotter is also Mark’s pastor.
Lonnie Hunter and the Voices of St. Mark (Website: www.lonniehunterministries.com)
Lonnie Hunter is an accomplished vocalist, organist, director, actor, and entrepreneur, and has been the Minister of Music at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church Cathedral in Harvey, IL, since 1983. Lonnie Hunter and The Voices of St. Mark’s most recent project, “Next Level,” featuring the toe-tapping, “Let’s Dance,” was recorded live at the choir’s home church, and received a 2004 Stellar Award nomination for “Contemporary Choir Of The Year.” A successful entrepreneur, Lonnie is president and CEO of Hunter Communications Group, a public relations firm. Adding to his impressive list of accomplishments, Minister Hunter has taken on the position of Pastor of Worship for the Bethany Baptist Church of Lindenwold N.J., Pastored by Bishop David G. Evans.
This Chicago-based gospel choir shook the music world with the release of their chart-topping project, “The Remix” featuring the 2005 version of one of their biggest hits, “Jesus Can Work It Out.” The choir picked up 2006 Stellar Awards for “Choir Of The Year” and “Music Video Of The Year.” Organized by Dr. Charles G. Hayes in 1960, this world renowned choir is recognized by industry leaders as one of the foremost traditional gospel choirs.
Darwin G. Jackson and Praise Ministry (Website: MySpace Page)
Darwin G. Jackson & Praise Ministry is a gospel group from Chicago. This group comes together from different churches in the Chicagoland area. Often described as “fresh” and “anointed”, they sing music that promises to bless people. The release of their current CD entitled “Hungry Soul” is blessing people all over the United States. They reach people of all races, ages and denominations. They are available for bookings.
Joshua’s Troop (Website: www.joshuastroop.com)
Originating from Chicago, IL, Joshua’s Troop consists of more than 40 young people and a band that ranges in age from 16 to 22 years old. Blending urban and hip hop tracks with contemporary gospel, Joshua’s Troop proves to be a vocally experienced group beyond their youthful years. Joshua’s Troop is under the leadership of Pastor Charles Jenkins, successor to Pastor Clay Evans at Fellowship Baptist Church of Chicago. The name of the group came about as a result of the relationship between the two pastors. During the time of transition from Pastor Evans to Pastor Jenkins, they were referred to as Moses and Joshua. The name Joshua remained with Pastor Jenkins, and so the group became his troops…Joshua’s Troop. Their most recent project, JT3, included the smash hit, “Everybody Clap Your Hands.”
Donald Lawrence (Website: www.donaldlawrence.com)
Currently residing in Chicago, Donald Lawrence is one of gospel music’s premiere artists. He has made his mark as a producer, arranger, and director whose prolific career has spanned over 15 years. Along with his world-renowned choir, Tri-City Singers (so-named because they hail from the three cities of Spartanburg, Gastonia and Charlotte, NC) Donald has released several highly successful albums, including 1993’s "A Songwriter’s Point of View," 1995’s "Bible Stories" and 2002’s "Go Get Your Life Back." In November 2005, the Tri-City Singers recorded their final project and in April 2006, EMI Gospel released "Finale: Act I & Act II," a double-CD & DVD set containing both new songs and all their classic hits recorded live. Donald plans to continue working on solo projects like "I Speak Life," for which he took home six Stellar Awards, and 2009’s The Law of Confession Part I for which he received a Stellar Award for Producer of The Year. Donald is also very active with the Recording Academy (the organization responsible for the Grammy Awards) and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Midwest Chapter.
A native Chicagoan, Dwayne was born the eighth child to Julious & Barbara Lee. Born into a large family of singers, he began singing at a very young age. He was so young in fact that his first appearances where on top of a milk crate, to allow the audiences to see as well as hear him. He is in the 3rd of 4 generations at the Apostolic Church of God, where the Bishop Arthur M. Brazier is pastor. The Church is located at 6320 South Dorchester in Chicago, IL. Dwayne Lee is known for his professional statue and powerful delivery whether for Sunday Services at his home Church or any other appearances. His Tenor Virtuoso voice showcases a wide range of vocal talents; his diverse style touches the heart of his listeners, helping them to submit to the will of God. He has been labeled the “Gospel Balladeer” by his peers because of his style. There is something special about Dwayne’s music ministry that, once it has been heard, it leaves an indelible impression on its audience.
Keshia McFarland (Website: MySpace Page)
From an early age it was abundantly clear to Keshia that she was called to oracle ministry. From her humble beginnings singing in the children’s choir in her father’s church, 2:11 N. Cicero, on the Westside of Chicago, to watching her sister Kim McFarland’s rise to prominence singing with Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago as well as the Thompson Community Singers, Keshia has always been surrounded by this beautiful music—this music that told of the wonderful love of Jesus Christ. It was not a coincidence that she was surrounded by this culture of praise. It consumed her very being, and served as prelude to what God was to have her become. Following her own stint singing with Walt Whitman and also time spent ministering with Mark Hubbard and Ricky Dillard and the New Generation Chorale, Keshia was given a new assignment—that of being a solo artist. Now armed with a divinely inspired album entitled Covergirl, Keshia has all the makings of Gospel Music’s next superstar.
Vashawn Mitchell (Website: www.vashawnmitchell.com)
VaShawn Mitchell was born and raised in Chicago, IL. The city known as the birthplace of Gospel music quickly made its imprint on him. When he was barely a teenager, VaShawn became the assistant music director of St. Mark Baptist Church, working closely with nationally renowned choir leader Lonnie Hunter.For nearly a decade he served as Minister of Music at Bishop Larry D. Trotter’s Sweet Holy Spirit Church, setting the musical tone both within the church walls and on the ministry’s top-selling recording projects. Vashawn recently released Triumphant on EMI Gospel.
New Direction (Website: www.newdirectionchoir.com)
Currently signed to the New Haven record label, this 43-member Chicago-based choir was organized as a youth outreach in 1994 by gospel veterans and brothers, Jeral and Percy Gray. The choir’s name is inspired by its purpose, demonstrating that God provides “new direction.” Their debut CD was released in 1999, and since then they’ve received several Stellar, Dove and Grammy Award nominations. The choir has also backed Shirley Caesar on a number of projects including her 2002 CD, Hymns. Their third CD, Rain (GospoCentric) brought them a 2005 Stellar Award for “Choir Of The Year.” Their 5th project entitled Destiny released in 2009 carrys New Direction to higher heights.
Smokie Norful (Website: www.smokienorful.com)
EMI Gospel Music recording artist, singer, and classically trained pianist. Smokie Norful’s debut release, “I Need You Now” was certified gold (over 500,000 copies sold) and earned him 2003 Stellar Awards for “New Artist of The Year,” “Male Vocalist of The Year,” and “Contemporary Male Vocalist of The Year.” His sophomore release, “Nothing Without You,” earned Smokie his first Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.” With over seven years in gospel music, he’s become a heavyweight of the genre, reaching benchmarks that have taken others a lifetime to achieve. In 2009, Norful went on to make Smokie Norful Live, his fourth EMI Gospel outing and first-ever live recording.
DeAndre Patterson (Website: MySpace Page)
DeAndre Patterson is a gospel recording artist out of Chicago who is signed to Tyscot Records. Pastor Patterson is presently the pastor of the Destiny Worship Center of Chicago.
Reggie Royal & Judah (Website: www.lifelinechicago.com)
In 1996 the outreach ministry “Judah” was formed under the direction of Minister Reggie Royal. Judah has experienced great favor as they’ve shared the gift of music ministry and have been awarded great opportunities including the Chicago 2002 WGCI Gospel Home Jam Winner, and the Spirit of Uplift Award for Outstanding Outreach Contributions. They’ve also shared the stage with noted industry greats, such as Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, Kim Burrell and rendered inspirational selections with the legendary Paul Anka during his ‘01-’02 Midwest Tour. Additionally, they have been a featured guest of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, House of Blues Gospel Brunch, Taste of Chicago, Bud Billiken Parade, ASAPH Conference in Nassau, Bahamas with Myles Munroe, Chicago Faith Conference with Bill Winston, Studio vocals for Al Hobbs (Aleho Records, GMWA Women of Worship), as well as covered telecast/broadcast services for Dr. Charles G. Hayes & The Cosmopolitan Warriors while they traveled. Minister Royal is currently the pastor of Lifeline Church in Cicero, IL.
Joann Rosario Condrey (Website: MySpace Page)
JoAnn Rosario was born in Chicago to Rev. Nahum and Minerva Rosario, and is a former member of Fred Hammond’s group, Radical For Christ. She was first introduced to the world as a solo artist on “Fred Hammond Presents: In Case You Missed It …and Then Some.” Her debut project, “More, More, More” on F Hammond Music, earned her two Stellar Award nominations and a four month run on Billboard’s Gospel charts. Her sophomore release, “Now More Than Ever …Worship,” followed the diagnosis of and recovery from nodules on her vocal chords and is a testimony to God’s healing power. Joann served as the National Music Director for Maranatha World Revival Ministries where her father, Apostle Nahum Rosario, is the founder and pastor. The Chicago-based ministry has more than 500 affiliated churches around the world. Upon her marriage to Cory “CoCo Brother” Condrey, Joann has moved to Atlanta and is serving there in ministry with him. Now, with her husband, the ministry is expanding as they share the salvation message inside and outside the church walls through their national radio ministry CoCo Brother Live and STAND.
Shekinah Glory Ministry (Website: www.kingdomrecordsinc.com)
This worship and praise ministry is part of Valley Kingdom Ministries International, a 10,000-member non-denominational church based in Chicago, where Apostle H. Daniel Wilson serves as Senior Pastor. This ensemble is best known for their smash hit, “Praise Is What I Do,” featuring Elder William Murphy, which was certified Gold by RIAA and is heading toward Platinum. SGM’s second live praise and worship double CD, SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY LIVE, was released and immediately hit BILLBOARD charts where it remained for over 103 weeks and was also certified Gold by RIAA. Shekinah Glory Ministry continues to receive acclaim for their projects earning a Stellar Award in January 2009 for the “Praise and Worship CD of the Year” as well as a Chicago Music Award for the “Best Gospel CD of the Year”. Their newest release, Refreshed by Fire hits stores in September 2010.
Kevin Vasser (Website: MySpace Page)
Kevin Vasser’s released his debut recording, SO GLAD, in 2006. SO GLAD was driven by Vasser’s personal testimony—a testimony full of God’s faithfulness, promise and healing. This bona fide ‘church guy’ shares his journey – musically - from former leader of Chicago-based gospel group Youth Edition, to preacher to solo artist. SO GLAD was recorded live at Vasser’s home church, Fellowship Baptist Church in Chicago, IL, where the pastor is Pastor Charles Jenkins and Vasser serves as the Director of Worship & Arts. The recording is a true testament of faith for Vasser, who recorded the entire project on his own before signing with and releasing the project on EMI Gospel.
Albertina Walker (Website: www.albertinawalker.com)
Hailed as the “Queen of Gospel,” Dr. Albertina Walker was born in 1929 in Chicago, IL. At the age of four, Albertina began singing in the children’s choir of West Point Baptist Church. By the time she reached her late teens, Albertina was a member of the Williams singers, and toured with the Willie Webb and Robert Anderson Singers. At the urging of Mahalia Jackson, in 1951 at just twenty-two years of age Ms. Walker organized her own gospel singing group- the world famous CARAVANS. It was in this legendary group that Albertina discovered and launched the careers of Inez Andrews, Shirley Caesar, the late, Cassietta George, Dorothy Norwood, Delores Washington and the late and great, Reverend James Cleveland among a host of others. After a stellar career with her group, The Caravans, Albertina went on to phenomenal success as a solo artist recording her first project “Put A Little Love in Your Heart” in 1975, produced by Donnie Hathaway. To date, Ms. Walker has written over 100 songs such as, “I’ve Got A Feeling Everything Will Be Alright” and “Jesus Will Fix It;” recorded 71 albums, including hits such as the gold selling “Please Be Patient With Me,” “I Can Go To God In Prayer,” “Spread The Word,” “The Best Is Yet To Come,” Work On Me” and “Joy Will Come.” Albertina still enjoys an active recording career recently reuniting with her group, The Caravans, in 2006 to release the entitled album “Paved The Way,” and are currently working on their new 2010 release while often lending her talents to the projects of other gospel artists. . Albertina Walker’s gift in music ministry and unselfish commitment to humanity for over six decades has earned her many awards and honors. Among them, a 1995 Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Gospel Album (“Songs of The Church”); 11 Grammy Award nominations; 2005 Grammy President’s Merit Award; 6 Gold Records; 4 Stellar Awards; BMI Award; several Gospel Music Workshop of America Excellence Awards; 2004 Trumpet Award; inducted into the 1997 and 2001 Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Detroit, Michigan and Nashville, Tennessee; several keys to cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; honored at the Chicago Gospel Festival where a bench bearing her name was placed in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park and a Chicago street renamed in her honor; conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary (an institution of the University of Chicago); a 2005 National Endowment of The Arts Award of $ 20,000.00; a National Association of Broadcasters Pioneer Award; and a 2010 Kennedy Center Honor saluting Gospel Music. In 2002, the former President of the United States, President Bush, honored Ms. Walker for her contributions to gospel music at a special ceremony held at the White House in Washington D.C. in recognition of Black Music Month.
Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago (Website: www.soulchildrenchicago.com)
Mr. Walter Whitman never intended to create one of the most inspiring stories in gospel music during the past two decades. But with faith in God and a conviction to help children and motivate audiences, Mr. Whitman created one of the most celebrated youth choirs in the world-The Soul Children of Chicago. During the past 25 years, he has utilized music as a catalyst to develop the minds, hearts and souls of over 1000 children. Under the direction of Mr. Whitman, the Soul Children of Chicago have produced Seven albums: Reaching the Nations (2005), The Best of Soul Children (2006),We Are One (1988), Generation X (1999), Growing Up (1996), Live and Blessed (1991) and This Is The Day (1996).
Sonja G. Whitmore (Website: MySpace Page)
Sonja is the co-founder and Minister of Music of High Praise Chorale Ensemble. She is best known for writing the song entitled “More Abundantly” that was initially recorded by Ricky Dillard & New G (New Generation Chorale). “More Abundantly” appeared on the album, The Promise, which was nominated for a Grammy award and was on the Billboard charts for several weeks. This song became so popular that it was played in television and movie projects and re-recorded by various artists. Sonja’s debut CD entitled PRAISE ON MY LIPS was released in December 2005.
Minister Arthur Williams (Website: www.arthurwilliams.org)
Minister Arthur Williams, accomplished musician, songwriter, and singer, is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Arthur’s grandfather who was a pastor recognized his musical gift and encouraged him to strengthen it. So at the age of twelve, Arthur began taking piano lessons. While in Chicago, Minister Williams was noted for developing excellent church choirs. He taught and directed several children’s school choirs as well as church choirs. He was blessed to play for the renowned Rev. James Cleveland in the Gospel Music Workshop of America for seven years. He has also accompanied and written songs for such recording artists as Albertina Walker, Stan Pearson, Rev. Clay Evans, and Ron Ellerson and Sounds Unlimited. Minister Williams’s travels have taken him on a European tour with Jessie Dixon to Germany, Norway, and to France with the Shirley Walls Singers. He was so well received in Norway that he has returned several times to conduct music workshops. He relocated to Albuquerque, NM in 2001 to be the Minister of Music under the leadership of Bishop David C. Cooper. He is currently the Minister of Music at Shiloh Baptist Church in Albuquerque. Soon after his arrival, God gave Minister Williams the vision of starting a multicultural choir. God has called Minister Williams into the ministry since starting the NMMC and has shown him His plan for reaching a world-wide audience through the recording industry.
Malcolm Williams & Great Faith (Website: www.malcolmwilliams.com)
Malcolm Williams & Great Faith is a Chicago-based gospel group, originally organized in 1994 as The Voices of Great Faith. In 1997, Malcolm Williams & The Voices of Great Faith won prestigious gospel competitions sponsored by Wrigley and McDonald’s, and also earned Chicago radio station Gospel 1390’s Choir Award. They recorded their debut album, Gotta Make It in 1998, four years later they released Renew Me. In 2006, they released their 3rd project, My Destiny, which earned a Stellar Award nomination. The 4th project, In Your Glory is the first for Williams’ Malcolm James Music imprint. The Malcolm Williams & Great Faith Live In Concert DVD was released in late 2009.
Pastor Maceo Woods (Website: Pastor’s page on Christian Tabernacle Church Website)