As reported for the Contra Costa Times
by Roni Gehike on 04/27/2010
PITTSBURG — For the past 16 years, Director Silvester Henderson has used his many contacts in the music world to bring popular musicians to Los Medanos College for the Gospel Celebration.
This year, he achieved a longtime goal of landing one of the nation's most highly regarded jazz performers.
"I'm so excited to bring Gerald Albright to the Gospel Celebration this year," Henderson said.
Henderson secured Albright through his friendship with College of Alameda professor Glen Pearson, who had worked with the renowned jazz saxophonist.
"With Glen's help, I was finally able to get in touch with (Albright) personally, and got him to come to perform," Henderson said.
A California native, Albright lives in Denver. He is known for his television appearances, which have featured his musical talents in such shows as "A Different World," "Melrose Place," the Channel 2 and Channel 5 morning news shows, BET jazz segments as well as piloting a show in Las Vegas with "Designing Women" star Meshach Taylor.
Albright is renowned for his saxophone playing. Immediately after graduating from college, Albright did studio work with popular artists, including Anita Baker, Ray Parker Jr., Lola Folana, The Temptations and Maurice White, among others.
Over the years, he has toured with Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Les McCann, Rodney Franklin and many more.
Albright was one of 10 featured saxophonists who performed at President Bill Clinton's inauguration. He also was featured at the Presidential Summit, as well as several private functions for the president.
With nine albums and one collaboration CD, Albright has carved a place in the music world as a performer, songwriter and producer after selling more than 1 million albums in the United States.
Also featured at this year's Gospel Celebration will be Casey and Erica Starr Pringle. The Oakland couple has a rich history in the gospel music genre.
Casey has been singing since age 4, when he performed at the church where his grandfather was pastor. Today, he still sings at the church, leading praise and worship. He has worked with Henderson for several years, first at UC Berkeley's Young Inspirational Gospel Choir and then at LMC.
Erica Pringle also has been singing since age 4, when she started at another church, where her grandfather was pastor. She sang with the choir for years before eventually taking over the youth choir.
She also has sung with the gospel choir at LMC and with UC Berkeley's Young Inspirational Gospel Choir under Henderson's direction.
The couple sings with Bay Area gospel artists Lawrence Keith Matthews, Demetrius Tolefree, Amar Khalil, Dave Hollister, David Jackson and saxophonist Angelo Luster, another performer at this year's celebration.
The LMC Gospel Celebration includes several other artists, such as Regina Turner, Harvesters, S&R Dance Duet and The Ambassadors For Change. The Ambassadors For Change is an Oakland-based group that uses music to spread AIDS awareness.
"The group of 65 musicians will be on hand using their music to spread the word about safe sex, health consciousness and AIDS," Henderson said. "This is a great group of young people who are doing something very good."
IF YOU GO
- WHAT: Gospel Celebration
- WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
- WHERE: Los Medanos College, 2700 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg
- TICKETS: $14 in advance, $16 at the door. There is no parking fee on the LMC campus on Saturday evenings. For details, contact Henderson at 925-439-2181, ext. 3249, or firstname.lastname@example.org.