Celebrated Musicians Come Together For an Evening of Advent Enlightenment and Entertainment

On Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.  Cass Community Social Services will host A Great Light at the Cass Community United Methodist Church (3901 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201). Produced by DeAnn Forbes and Alvin Waddles, the evening will feature a roster of renowned jazz, gospel, soul, contemporary and spoken word musicians, as well as refreshments. Cass’ Executive Director Faith Fowler will be on hand to deliver some inspirational words to the crowd.

A Great Light performers include:

· Alvin Waddles is a pianist, singer, composer and director who has been a musical director and/or pianist for notable theatrical productions including: The Wiz, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls and West Side Story. He has also worked with some of the world’s finest musicians including: Aretha Franklin, Robert Shaw, Anita Baker and many more.

· David McMurray is a seasoned composer and multi-instrumentalist who has performed with a diverse list of a-list artists including: Bob Dylan, Gladys Knight, Iggy Pop and the Rolling Stones. His latest album will be released next year on the iconic Blue Note label.

· Luis Resto – Academy Award and Grammy-winning songwriter, musician, producer and keyboardist who co-wrote “Lose Yourself” for the 2002 film 8 Mile. Luis has performed and co-written songs with artists including Anita Baker, Patti Smith, Fuel and Eminem.

Herschel Boone is a skilled vocalist, writer and producer who has worked in many different capacities with artists such as Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Anita Baker, Aaron Neville, Keith Washington, Aaron Hall and many others. Most recently, Herschel recorded and performed as a featured vocalist with Kid Rock.

· Ron Otis has been hailed as “one of the most established sidemen in contemporary American Jazz.” Renowned for his versatility, improvisation, timing and funky accenting, he has worked with a number of notable artists and is currently touring with Motown recording artist Kem.

· Darrell “Peanut” Smith began his career at the age of 16. Over the course of his career, “Peanut” has performed, recorded or toured with a roster of legendary artists including: The Temptations, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Martha Reeves, Gladys Knight & The Pips and countless others.

· Shaina Newborn is a veteran percussionist who has been performing for over 20 years and has also taught a variety of performing arts at after-school programs.

· Michael Brock is a faith-based soul music artist with a career spanning back to the ‘80s. Brock has also spent time as the musical director at the Cass Community United Methodist Church.

· Testimony Sings is a five-woman group of gospel singers from metro Detroit that performs everything from traditional and contemporary gospel to jazz, R&B and soul.

Seating is limited to 300 and a freewill offering will raise funds that will contribute to the replacement of Cass UMC’s broken boiler and other rehabilitation efforts for the church.

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