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Washington D.C. — Gospel music advocates, musicians, organizers and supporters will gather Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. at the Warner Theater to kick off nationwide festivities surrounding the 4th Annual Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) explained, “From the African American spirituals to Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson and Rev. James Cleveland, this unique American music has united generations, classes, and cultures. It is only fitting that we honor Gospel music’s place in both the history of the United States and in our daily lives.”

Since September 2008, Congresswoman Jackson Lee has led the efforts to ensure the contributions, history, and sound of Gospel music are recognized and honored throughout our nation. She has passed resolutions for the past four years designating the month of September as Gospel Music Heritage Month.

This year’s event will be held at the Warner Theater. Grammy-award winning Gospel artist Yolanda Adams will headline this incredible event which is free and open to the public.  In addition, the concert will feature.

Verity Records Gospel recording artist Crystal Akins.  Also performing are Gospel artists Maurette Brown-Clark, Damita Haddon, Lil Mo and Phillip Bryant, and 7 Sons of Soul.  Additionally, there will be a special guest appearance by the Washington Society for the Performing Arts’ Men and Women of the Gospel Choir.  Don Jackson of the Stellar Awards, Charley Humbard of Gospel Music Channel, and DC’s own Gospel music icon, Shirley MK Berkeley will be honored during the evening’s festivities as well. The event will be produced by Ernest Walker of Walker Entertainment Group.

Carl Davis, Chairman of Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation, commented, “We are excited to return to our nation’s capital for this fourth year of celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month.  It is an honor to be supported by gifted Gospel artists who are lending their gifts to emphasize the importance of educating and entertaining the public about the art form of Gospel Music,   The Warner Theater is the perfect stage from which to launch this year’s emphasis.”

“Gospel music has the ability to cross barriers of race, class, and religion, to touch the hearts of people.  Gospel music is a conduit for personal and societal uplift, and it is fitting that we celebrate this great art form every year,” adds James “Jazzy” Jordan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Verity Gospel Music Group.

“This year will be the biggest celebration ever as we continue to spread the Gospel-“the good news” about this great American music art form designated by Congressional Resolution as Gospel Music Heritage Month annually each September”, noted Ron Magnus, Chair of the DC Gospel Music Heritage Month.

Gospel music’s historic roots have originated in the humble and soulful melodies of African American spirituals. The sound contains diverse elements from African music, melodic influences from Irish folk songs and hymns, and other uniquely American musical styles including ragtime, jazz, and blues. Gospel Music Heritage Month celebrates the vital role that Gospel music has played in shaping music history.

“Evolution of Gospel 2012” is free and open to the public.  For further details please visit the website at Up to six tickets may be ordered by emailing a name, telephone number and quantity of tickets desired at or call 1-800-895-7301. 

Courtesy of