Virtual Benefit Concert

On May 30, 2020 at 7pm (CST) we will be hosting an amazing virtual benefit concert to raise awareness and funding! We have several artists from different genres participating and we can't wait to share it with you!  
 
We will go Live on Facebook through the James Bess Foundation page (facebook.com/james.bess.foundation).  Mark your calendars as you won't want to miss this epic concert! 

Participating Artists

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AT THE AGE OF SEVEN, RACHAEL BEGAN SINGING.
 

Though she never asked for that gift, the fact that she was given a voice at such a young age was truly a gift from God. 

Rachael was self-trained and also learned to play the piano at a young age. She also plays by ear, which makes it extremely easy for her to hear harmonies and sing them.

She started singing at church and acting in church plays. Her first church solo was at ten years old in which she sang "Somebody Love Me" by Michael W. Smith. Little did she know she know, almost ten years later she would be singing with him on an album.
 

At the age of thirteen, Rachael sang on the Ann Varnum Show in Dothan, Alabama and sang at countless school chapels along with winning the Most Promising Singer at the Northside Mall music contest also in Dothan, Alabama.

When Rachael moved to Birmingham, Alabama in high school, her musical talents grew along with her writing abilities. At the age of 17, she started working with Producer/Songwriter Marc Phillips. Three years later her first cd, "Unbelievable Love" came out in which Rachael wrote and co-wrote all songs. That same year she opened for Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee, Hezekiah Walker and Jars of Clay along with having her song "Satisfied" and "The Road" from this cd airing on 93.7 WDJC, and 88.9 Moody Radio South. Within two years of her cd’s release, Rachael opened for J.Moss, Salvador, Lincoln Brewster, and Big Daddy Weave along with being one of the main worship leaders of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham and singing for countless events, wedding, television shows and more. Along with singing and speaking on several jingles including McDonalds and Williamson Medical Center in Nashville, nothing has stopped her from pursing her God given dreams.
 

A few years later, Rachael moved to Nashville where her musical dreams continued to flourish and acting opportunities. Rachael appeared on two episodes for The 700 Club which aired all over the world and is on YouTube.com today. This including stories for Tracey Judkins and Tajuan McCarty. She also worked on her second cd project, "Proud of Me" and sang for countless events, festivals and churches including TBN and the CTN Network in the Nashville, Tennessee areas. She sang on several albums for many artists including the Michael W. Smith’s “Hymns” which is for sale at Cracker Barrel stores. She has been a production assistant in 2006 for American Idol and 2015 for the Dove Awards and sang background for the 2016 CMT Awards with Carrie Underwood.
 

Rachael has traveled the World and has sung in Countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal and Israel. She continues singing to this day while her acting opportunities have also increased with her acting in "A Question Of Faith", "Spider-Man Homecoming", "Case For Christ”, “Heartstrings” which will air on Netflix Fall of 2019 and much more.

Rachael has co-written and sang on projects with some of the best writers in the industry including Krissy Nordhoff who wrote ‘Your Great Name” by Natalie Grant and Jennifer McGill of the Mickey Mouse Club for the song “Battle is On.”

She has been a repeated guest on Atlanta’s own Atlanta Live which reaches to millions of homes throughout the Atlanta area.
 

Rachael has been featured on several radio stations including 93,7 WDJC in Birmingham, Alabama, Revocation Radio which airs throughout several FM stations in the state of Alabama, WIAM Radio in Knoxville, Tennessee and Victory 91.5FM in the Atlanta, Georgia market to name a few.
 

Rachael's new song "Control" was produced by Nathan Walters who was one of the original members of Plus One. This song is now available through all digital formats.  Click HERE to listen!  

Rachael’s dream is to share her God given gifts to a World. Her prayer is her songs can encourage those to hear them and give them hope.

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BILLY DAWSON is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, entertainer, author and motivational speaker. Nashville Industry Music Awards awarded him with Artist of the year, Best country male vocalist and best country live performer. 

He was also the winner of the 2010 "Get Discovered" (iHeart Radio/Clear Channel) National Competition and was featured live on the iconic Jerry Lewis MDA telethon in Las Vegas and on the airwaves for over four million viewers. He was included in iTunes/Tunecore best of Country 2010 album featuring Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford.

Billy penned the theme song “Born to Lead” for the CBS Sports Network Lombardi Awards and has his songs playing in stadiums nationwide for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. He has also had his music placed on Netflix.

Dawson has shared the stage with artists including Toby Keith, Lee Brice, Big and Rich, Josh Turner, Montgomery Gentry, Aaron Lewis, Craig Morgan, Lady Antebellum and many more.

Every year Dawson is a celebrity golfer for the Pat and Emmitt Smith charities golf tournament, he is on the Red River Rivals OU celebrity softball team (team Toby Keith & Bob Stoops) and battles against University of Texas (team Matthew McConaughey & Roger Clemens) to raise money for Matthew’s, Toby’s and Roger charities.  Dawson is also a celebrity golfer at George Lopez Foundation tournament that helped raise money for kidneys for kids and is an ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In addition to his musical endeavors, Dawson is the author of (AMAZON best seller) "You Never Know", the first book in a series of children's books focusing bullying, racism and other societal issues involving children (which is now available www.amazon.com) He brings his book to life when he speaks at schools about the importance of respect and love in everyday life.

He recently is working on a new record produced by Rodney Clawson, Lee Brice and Jacob Rice.

His new single “Sinners Saints” is coming soon.

He also had his song "Second Chance" come out with Pat Smith's (Emmitt Smith's wife) new book titled "Second Chances.

Others awards:

American Advertising Awards (Silver Addy winner)

Dawson was honored alongside First Lady Laura Bush who was honored with the “Outstanding Citizens Award for Promotion of Literacy” by The Texas Authors Institute of History. He received the “Outstanding Social Impact Award” for his Amazon best-selling children’s book, “You Never Know”.

Billy just came out with his newest single Saints, Sinners, check it out on all your favorite music platforms!

Click HERE to listen to Saints, Sinners!

“Southern-Soul and Curious-Grit” 
 

Emotionally-honest lyrics will bid you to wander through hidden scenes in their lives, accompanied by raw vintage guitars and the intimate harmonies that only life-long lovers could discover.  Uncovering the pursuits of purpose and love, with the triumphs therein, and exposing the pains of severed relational connections, My One And Only reaches into the expanses of their hearts to bring up lyrics that will cause you to wonder if they have been reading your diary. 
 

With their polar-opposite musical backgrounds, Kassie and Benjamin meld old-school country, singer-songwriter, and alternative folk-rock into a sound that can only be described as “Southern-Soul and Curious-Grit”.  From impassioned ballads like “You Never Ask How I’m Doing Anymore” to the raucous acoustic ditty “This Heart of Mine”, My One And Only serves up a full-course meal when they hit the stage.  As to sound, the duo is driven by a racing-striped acoustic guitar (with some family history) and a suitcase kick-drum, but the bold vocal harmonies seal the deal.  At times, Kassie and Benjamin’s voices seamlessly intertwine to create delicate thoughtful moments, while other times cultivating a roar of angst. 
 

“I love these guys.  If their fun upbeat songs don’t seal the deal for you, their never-ending onslaught of bold harmony is undeniable.”  Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), Grammy Award-nominated producer. 

Presented the “Discovery Award” by acclaimed music critic Robert K. Oermann (Nashville’s Music Row Magazine), My One And Only declares performance as their love-share to the world.  “The stories behind our songs make them come alive in a new way, and in our live shows, people experience that.  It’s that thing where people realize how connected they can feel to a certain song or lyric,” says Kassie.  Touring listening rooms throughout the United States, this Americana act has honed their sound through years of performing and writing, as well as extending their reach into audio production and engineering.  Following after Benjamin’s audio background, the duo self-released their sophomore self-titled album from their own Greensound Studios.  

“My One And Only is an Americana band that oozes honesty through the music they make.  They are a melding of raw acoustic music with meaningful lyrics that paint a picture of their and our journey.” -Eric Dahl, host of Fox 17 Rock & Review Radio & TV. 
 

Not only have they toured throughout America, but My One And Only has done two tours in Uganda, Africa, working in conjunction with a ministry there to produce youth conferences that incorporate music concerts, Bible teaching sessions and youth training.  Their heart for broken families and orphaned children comes to light in their songwriting and in their between-song stories during live performances.  “Not only has our songwriting been affected by our multiple trips to Africa, but our worldviews and our priorities have been shaken to the core,” says Benjamin.  Beyond their Ugandan tours, Kassie and Benjamin have traveled to Rwanda, Africa six times, where their sponsor-child lives.  They are honored to be able to use their talents to help relay the message of God’s love and truth on the other side of the world.

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Singer, songwriter, and actress is bringing southern rock n’ soul to Nashville

 

Amanda Page Cornett instantly found a passion for singing, writing, and performing before the age of 9. Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a mid-size city responsible for musicians, such as The Marshall Tucker Band and Pinky Anderson, she performed with many church, school, and community groups throughout her youth.  After playing her first original song at the age of 13, Cornett knew that she had found her calling.

 

Upon graduating from the University of Florida (Go Gators), Cornett relocated to Nashville, TN. By continually refining her skills as an entertainer, vocalist, and songwriter, Cornett developed her unique “southern rock ‘n’ soul” sound, combining country, rock, blues, and soul.  

Featured in the 2009 movie, "Junkyard Dog,” Cornett also has acted in various films, music videos, and commercials.  In addition to working with Kirsti Manna’s Songwriter Girl Camp, Cornett has also written with many hit writers, including Mark Narmore, Spooner Oldham, Rich Fagan, Will Rambeaux, Greg Lawson (pop), and Kirsti Manna.

 

Cornett can be found volunteering with various organizations, such as Salkehatchie Summer Service, and participating in fundraisers for conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and ALS.  Her band, Almost Angels, features the sibling trio Sherry Peterson-Tenille, Shawn Peterson, and Randall Scott Peterson. Together, they have had the honor of playing with special guest musicians, including bassist Tim Lawter ( Marshall Tucker Band) as well as Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame drummer Artimus Pyle (Lynryd Skynryd).

 

Released in 2018, Cornett’s album Front Porch Rebel was recorded at NuttHouse Studio in Sheffield, AL and features songs written at Muscle Shoals’ famous Fame Studios (Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Etta James).  Cornett and Almost Angels are currently preparing for a nationwide tour.

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Music Is For The SOUL

 

That’s the premise on which Roger Ryan has built his musical career. Roger is a graduate of Oakwood College, where he majored in Piano Performance and Graduate studies in Arranging at The University Of Alabama ,Tuscaloosa which launched his producing career.

 

This Grammy, Dove nominated, and Juno Award winning  producer has considerable experience. His work has run the full spectrum of the industry and spanned a wide range of genres. Directing multiple choirs and small groups, his talents have taken him around to world; Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, Vienna, Germany, Milan, the Ukraine, Hungary, the UK and Moscow just to name a few.

 

Highlights in his career include (production/performances):

  • First Music Director for Gospel diva, Cece Winans

  • Musician with Country/Pop great Wynonna Judd

  • Arranging and production for Reverend Shirley Caesar (Queen of Gospel)

  • Written and/or arranged music for various recording artists such as: Yolanda Adams, Alvin Slaughter, and others.

  • Invitation from actress Ashley Judd to play for her wedding in Scotland

  • Touring Europe as a vocalist with the acclaimed group Take 6

  •  Live performances with artist such as (Just to name a few): Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, Michael W. Smith, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Earl Klugh, Kirk Whalum, Denise Williams, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers, Fred Hammond, Jackie Velasquez, Crystal Gale, Karen Clark Sheard, Anointed, Desmond Pringle, the Blue Notes.

 

Though Roger’s gifts has made room for him worldwide, he has also been dedicated to local church ministries, like Minister of Music for Grace Pointe Church. Additionally, he is a skilled music teacher and has conducted music and producer workshops in select cities. He is currently involved in numerous recording projects through his production company, After Touch Music, founded in the early 90’s.

 

“After Touch Music” is the culmination of his vision and a lifetime of work. For Roger, music is spiritual.

 

“I truly do believe that music is for the soul and should come from the depths of who we are…from the core. The mind isn’t deep enough, neither is the heart. To inspire it must come from the soul.”

 

Recognizing that there are countless talented individuals who slip through the cracks of major record labels, Roger’s goal is to provide an alternative avenue for artists to bring their music to life and to the world.

Pop recording-artist, Electra Mustaine, is a California native with personal yet relatable songs, unique voice, and an unusual upbringing. Raised in two conflicting worlds; small town girl and daughter of Rockstar, Dave Mustaine (founder of Grammy-award winning band Megadeth), she hopes to inspire fans to embrace who they are, like it or not, and live beyond outside expectations. Electra made her first debut in Rolling Stone at just 18 years old. She’s since taken time away from it all to independently discover and developed her sound in pop music while writing her upcoming album. Her influences include many 90’s and 80’s pop/rock icons, but she believes creating something genuine is most important. She connects with her audience which has grown through social media both in the U.S. and internationally as she prepares for her next global release.

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American singers and songwriters of Contemporary and Inspirational Christian music. Together, they have written numerous popular Christian songs. They have been ministering together in a music and speaking ministry since 1985 called "Love Sings! Ministries" (formerly known as "Heart for the World").

Terry and Barbi have written many songs revolving around their themes of prayer, revival, and family. And some of their most well-known songs have been recorded by choral, inspirational, and Southern Gospel Groups. Their most noted songs are "Out of His Great Love," "Calvary Came Through", "God of All Gods," and "For God So Loved."

They have traveled full-time in Worship & Family Ministry since 1985, ministering across the United States and in 40 nations worldwide so far. In 2017 their non profit ministry name was changed from Heart for the World to Love Sings! Ministries.[35][36] Besides their family worship events, they also lead marriage retreats, and worship and prayer conferences.[20] Their two sons also traveled and sang a capella songs with them, as well as original contemporary Christian music. In 2009, they recorded one family music CD, The Franklins, that all four of them contributed to with singing, songwriting, producing, and playing instruments.

Ellen Gordon Yager is a retired music specialist with 35 years of teaching, grades Pre-K to University.  She is a Classically Trained Mezzo Soprano, having trained at Mount Hood Community College and Portland State University.  She holds the equivalent of two BA's, one in Music Performance and one in Education, and an MST, Emphasis in Music.  Recently, Ellen has joined with Christopher Wicks in singing various Baroque and Classical works, as well at Mr. Wicks own compositions.  Ellen lives in Oregon City, Oregon with her husband, Steve, and their two Boston Terriers, Harley and Reggie.

Ellen 
Gordon-Yager
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My Anchor Holds is a husband & wife duo from Minneapolis, MN. With a soulful, modern Americana sound, My Anchor Holds writes about the ups and downs of their faith experience with honesty and vulnerability. Having grown up in the Church, Katie & Jacob each built a foundation of faith through that structure, and through the years their spiritual evolution has left them challenging that paradigm while also embracing the good parts of it. They hope to inspire the listener to connect spirituality... looking upward, inward, and outward with grace and love. 

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Jason Blake is a vibrant singer/songwriter crossing the boundaries of music genres. Infusing the sounds of POP and R&B rhythms. With interesting and authentic lyrics, you will always be sure to hear some type of positive and/or messages of encouragement. He has a flavor for high spirits and an attitude of fun as he engages the audience to participate in his performances. With his recent single release of an original song written and co-produced by Jason along with Roger Ryan and DQ, "True Love" which will be on his future project. This mainstream song is guaranteed to make you dance, even if you're seated.

Jason has been privileged to work and/or collaborate with excellent people in the music industry, such as Sir. Dean Gant, John Stoddart, Jeff Pitzer, Roger Ryan, Larry Somerville (Phantom Boyz), Michael J. Gains, Land Richards, Katie Eck, Scott Phillips, Steve Fitzhugh, Mike Picotte, Skip Dawg, and DQ just to name a few. In recent years, Jason has been touring sharing his music in Europe.

So stay tuned, cause there will be much more from this artist. Jason believes that good music should be songs with strong lyrical content, personified with integrity and truth and performed with artistry. Jason likes to have fun on and off stage and seeks to brighten people's hearts while bringing a smile to their faces. Jason strives to write and perform "Music From The Heart For The Soul"!

To hear Gwendolyn Brown is to experience that primal thrill which comes in the presence of a singer whose fusion of soul with a vast, resonant instrument is total.”  Kitty Montgomery, Saugerties Post Star
 

"Gwendolyn Brown has a voice like the Earth itself, immense with a deep rumbling contralto but with an extended top that has a stratospheric, counter-tenor-like quality, so that she can embody an extraordinarily wide range of emotional and symbolic experience." Simon Williams, Opera News

 

Contralto Gwendolyn Brown's more than 25-year international career includes performances in opera, symphonic music, classical art song and spirituals, as well as the contemporary and the avant-garde. She has received critical acclaim in these works and has performed in many large opera houses and symphony homes in the United States. Her international career includes performances in Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Amsterdam and Australia. She has created roles for Anne LeBaron, George Lewis, as well as premier and commissioned art songs and spirituals of up and rising young composers.
 

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Gwendolyn obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Fisk University (Nashville, TN), and pursued the Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Memphis (Memphis, TN). She completed her Master’s at the American Conservatory (Hammond, IN). Her young artist development included The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist Program. Ms. Brown currently lives in Nashville Tennessee where she is the assistant professor of music and voice and Opera workshop at her alma mater, Fisk University.

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