"An All-Star Salute to Selma" Concert Set for Sunday, March 8, at Bridge Crossing Jubilee to Honor 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

Top Quote A star-studded musical concert honors the foot soldiers of Selma 1965 and 50 years of Black achievements. Special guest stars include Kirk Franklin, Ruben Studdard, Tramaine Hawkins, Sounds of Blackness, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Richard Smallwood. End Quote
  • Montgomery, AL (1888PressRelease) February 12, 2015 - "An All-Star Salute to Selma" docu-concert featuring well-known gospel and R&B artists will culminate nearly a week of activities commemorating the 50th Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" on Sunday, March 8, at the annual Bridge-Crossing Jubilee.

    More R&B stars including Mary J Blige, Earth Wind & Fire, and Frankie Beverly & Maze, and Stevie Wonder have expressed a desire to join the event.

    Led by renowned conductor Dr. Henry Panion, III, with the GSC Symphony Orchestra and a 1,000-voice Mass Choir, the docu-concert features special guest stars Kirk Franklin, Ruben Studdard, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Sounds of Blackness, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Richard Smallwood and more. In addition to the confirmations already received, other artists including The Clark Sisters, Fantasia, Kenny Lattimore, Bobby Brown and Mary J. Blige are trying to work out their schedules to appear.

    The salute on March 8, 2015, starts at 3:00 PM, after the annual pilgrimage of thousands who come each year to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the Bloody Sunday March. The three-hour concert honors the civil rights leaders and the foot soldiers who put themselves in harm's way to secure the voting rights of African Americans and all citizens. It also showcases and celebrates the 50 most significant triumphs in politics, sports, music, and civil rights activism since this historic march that changed the world in 1965.

    "We wanted this year's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee to be special, particularly for all the people who are making a special trip to join this golden-anniversary pilgrimage to Selma," says Catrena Norris Carter, Executive Director of the Selma to Montgomery 50th Commemoration Foundation.

    "This salute is not just for the dignitaries whom we welcome to Selma every year. It's for everyone who comes to remember the past and who wants to recommit themselves to securing the voting rights of every citizen, especially by urging Congress to restore the protections recently stripped from Voting Rights Act of 1965," she says.

    Dr. Panion says he is honored to pay homage to the past by playing a central role in organizing the Sunday concert. He is assembling a 1,000-voice choir to accompany the stars and his orchestra. He says famous artists from across the American music community are reaching out wanting to join the effort, including Quincy Jones III, Earth Wind & Fire, and Frankie Beverly & Maze. He hopes that his friend, Stevie Wonder, might also make a special appearance.

    Although many dignitaries and stars will come to Alabama and visit Selma to commemorate Bloody Sunday, "I don't want us to take our eyes off what we're really here for, a particularly tragic and pivotal moment in our history," Dr. Panion says. "Yet we want to come together -- and I hesitate to use the word celebrate but yes, we are celebrating the fact that we have come this far. So this is my chance to give back."

    Church choirs, community groups, or individuals who would like to join the 1,000-voice choir can visit Audiostate 55 Recording Studio and Entertainment Company's website, www.audiostate55.com, for more information.

    For sponsorship opportunities, contact Catrena Carter at ccartersm50cf ( @ ) aol dot com.

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