Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams is confirmed to be among the headliners at the third annual Compton Summer Soul Jam, which has gotten progressively more exciting each year and last summer presented the New Face of Compton and attracted over 8,000 patrons. This year’s event will be held at the distinctive Par 3 Golf Course in the City of Compton on Saturday, August 18.
Compton’s Par 3 Golf Course, with its lush landscape, manicured lawns, shade trees and ample parking, is one of Compton’s best kept secrets and will once-again be transformed to offer an afternoon of sheer pleasure with live entertainment from some of today’s top jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues artists as well as food, fashion, and fun compliments of some of our region’s unique entrepreneurs, food service vendors and other providers.
While the line-up of confirmed performers continues to grow, those already confirmed are sure to present what is likely to be one of the most noteworthy and memorable outdoor concerts of the summer.
In addition to Adams’ broadly anticipated performance, the list of performers continues to grow and as of this date, artists that have already confirmed include: Clarence Carter, Barbara Morrison, Linda Hopkins, and Billy Valentine, to name a few.
Clarence Carter—The man who brought you “Strokin,” “Slip Away,” “Patches,” “Sixty Minute Man” and so many other hits will certainly ‘deliver’ as he always does in his live performances and is sure to get the audience involved in singing along with his distinctive style.
Barbara Morrison, celebrating over 30 years in the music industry and one who has performed with a virtual ‘who’s who’ in the jazz and blues world, is sure to dazzle the crowd with her rich, unique, soulful and highly spirited interpretations of both familiar jazz and blues classics and original contemporary tunes.
Blues and jazz living legend, Linda Hopkins, the New Orleans native who performed in front of Mahalia Jackson at the age of 11 and one who has won the hearts of fans domestically and abroad will certainly bring her best to those in attendance at the Compton Summer Soul Jam.
Billy Valentine, the consummate vocalist who has been performing his brand of R&B since his early years as a student at Morehouse College in the early 1950s is sure to perform some of his original classic hits as well as some contemporary favorites.
Yolanda Adams requires little introduction however, a few words about her background may be persuade some readers to confirm their attendance immediately.
Blending R&B styles and gospel music, Yolanda Yvette Adams, among the artists who have achieved the greatest critical and commercial success and helped gospel music gain wider commercial acceptance and gain airplay in secular venues, is sure to be a highlight of the afternoon performances.
A native of Houston, Texas, and the oldest of six siblings who were reared in a household where she was exposed to musical influences ranging from classical to gospel to R&B, Grammy Award-winner Adams, sang throughout her teen years and continued to perform on a regular basis as she went-on to finish college and begin her career as a school teacher and part-time model.
Inspired by her mother, she began to pursue music and garner significant attention as a lead singer. Eventually she gave up teaching in order to perform full-time and she has gone on to become one of the most popular gospel music artists of the contemporary period.
From her early experiences as a lead singer in the Southeast Inspirational Choir she later signed a recording contract with Sound of Gospel Records which yielded her debut album Just As I Am in 1988. Her strong, soulful voice and striking, statuesque beauty scored quickly with gospel audiences, and the debut hit the Gospel top 10. She later signed to Ben Tankard’s independent label Tribute Records and released “Through The Storm,” the first of a string of top 10 gospel albums.
Adams followed two years later with the equally well-received set “Save The World” and the next release was “More Than A Melody.” The album also gave rise to her first mainstream single and music video for “Gotta Have Love” and the next year, her touchstone release “Live In Washington” arrived featuring spontaneous and energetic versions of material from her first two albums.
The last release attributable to her association with Verity Records was a collection of hymns entitled “Songs From The Heart,” which also included two contemporary radio offerings with “Only Believe” and “God Will Take Care Of You.”
A decade after her arrival, Adams received her first significant attention outside the Gospel realm with her signing by Elektra Records and releasing “Mountain High... Valley Low” in 1999. Working with top producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Warryn Campbell and Keith Thomas, made for a contemporary urban album while holding to the timeless moral and spiritual themes on which Adams’ core fan base was built.
The album’s biggest single came in the form of the ballad “Open My Heart” which took Urban Adult Contemporary radio by storm. This would be Adams’ first ever top five R&B and top 40 Pop hit. “Open My Heart” stayed on the charts for over a year and was also instrumental in winning Adams her first Grammy, the award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel.
After releasing a Christmas album in 2000, Adams followed up Mountain High with a live album in 2001 simply entitled The Experience. Consisting mainly of material from “Mountain High... Valley Low,” the live album captured her magnetic stage performance and featured a standout cover of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” The album was enough to net yet another Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.
Following Adams’ next endeavor “Believe,” released later in 2001, she took a four year hiatus that included both a new baby and an unfortunate divorce. During that time she served as a spokesperson for the FILA Corporation’s Operation Rebound program, addressing the concerns of inner city school children.
The end of Adams’ hiatus yielded her eager comeback album “Day By Day,” which was well received and featured the singles “This Too Shall Pass” as well as “Victory.”
Not long ago on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord, Adams told host Kirk Franklin that she was developing a new CD as well as her first clothing line.
Adams is now considered by many to be the “first lady of modern Gospel.” She is the star of The Yolanda Adams Morning Show airing on all gospel radio one stations and she has fashioned an enviable career for nearly 16 years through a combination of class and grace.
Columbia Records has announced Yolanda Adams as a recent signing and the first planned release is a holiday collection produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and James “Big Jim” Wright.
Patrons of the Compton Summer Soul Jam, presented by The Los Angeles Sentinel and KJLH Radio, FM 102.3 and hosted by Compton Mayor Pro Tem, Isadore Hall, will have the opportunity to experience her live performance in a comfortable, outdoor setting, as she brings her Grammy Award-Winning style to the Compton Par 3 Golf Course on August 18.