Pulse of Entertainment: Israel Houghton's On The ‘Road to Demaskus'/Jiosa's ‘Move Your Body' is Fire
"We need to take the mask off our face...before God," said
six-time Grammy Award winning Israel Houghton about the meaning behind the way "Damascus" is spelled
in the title of his new album "Road to DeMaskUs" (RCA Inspiration). It also refers to the Biblical
tale of Apostle Paul's Spiritual change from Jewish man Saul to Christian Saint Paul - the main writer of the New Testament
in the Bible. Israel Houghton's "Road to DeMaskUs" project features seven-time Stellar Award winner Travis Green,
Billboard topping The Walls Group, Gospel/Reggae Chevelle Franklyn and Adrienne Houghton ("The Cheetah Girls").
"It's for everyone, believers and non-believers, all of us have protective mechanism," Israel
pointed out. Houghton, also a worship leader, said people wear masks and pretend everything is alright not
allowing God to help them turn things around. "Road to DeMaskUs" was ...Read
the full October 12, 2018 column...>
Jazz guitarist Denny Jiosa releases his eighth album,
a Latin/Jazz Fusion project titled "Mueve Tu Cuerpo (Move Your Body)" (Sonic Canvas Records/BFD). "Mueve Tu
Cuerpo" features Grammy Award nominated Phil Keaggy on guitar and drummer Chester Thompson (Frank Zappa),
"I have always had a love and passion for Latin music," Jiosa said about recording a Latin/Jazz project. "I
love Santana...the rhythm and passion. I was attracted to it my whole life." "Mueve Tu Cuerpo
(Move Your Body)" features Latin singer/percussionist John Santos on the 8th selection of the album, a song titled "Freedom
Tower" and GMA Dove Award winner Phil Keaggy on the 4th selection "Dance in Heaven." "Phil
Keaggy is big in Christian music and a fine ...Read
the full October 12, 2018 column...>
Enrique Iglesias Performs to Sold Out Crowds Around
the World, Arrives Next to UK, Bulgaria and France
(New York, NY) - Enrique Iglesias has sold more than 170 million albums worldwide, released
ten studio albums plus two greatest hits compilations, and is a multi-platinum artist in almost every country around the world.
He has headlined ten world tours. Enrique Iglesias has 31 #1 singles on the Billboard Latin Songs Chart and has multiple #1s
across all the Billboard Charts totalling of 105. His tour arrives Oct 19, 2018 in London, UK, Oct 21 in Dublin, Ireland,
Oct 23 in Glasgow, UK, Oct 26 in Manchester, UK, Oct 27 in Birmingham, UK, Nov 6 in Sofia, Bulgaria and Nov 11 in Paris, France.
Kevin Hart Inks First-Look Deal with Nickelodeon, the Number One
Entertainment Brand for Kids
(Los Angeles, CA) -
Nickelodeon has entered into an exclusive first-look deal with comedian,
actor and television personality Kevin Hart (Night School, Jumanji, The Secret Life of Pets) and his production entity HartBeat
Productions. Hugely popular among Nickelodeon's audience, Hart will develop and produce live-action, scripted kids' content
for the network through HartBeat. HartBeat currently has a first-look deal with Universal Studios to produce feature films.
Their first production together, Night School, had the highest grossing opening weekend for a comedy in 2018. Nickelodeon,
now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids.
Pulse of Entertainment covered the red carpet arrivals at the 25th Lil Miss African American Scholarship Pageant and interviewed
co-host Claudia Jordan ("Celebrity Apprentice," "Housewives of Atlanta") and pageant judges Roz Ryan ("The
Rickey Smiley Show") and Ella Joyce ("My Wife and Kids"). Watch coverage below!
of THE WEEK
(New York, NY) - Will Downing,
The Prince of Sophisticated Soul, experienced the power of God and prayer that turned everything around against all odds n
late 2007, in the very prime of his life with auto-immune disease polymyositis. Twelve years later, Will Downing is
a walking, singing testimony of the power of faith and prayer. He delivers on his promise to Godwith his new CD, "The
Promise", an inspirational album-actually his first Gospel album -- to be released November 9, 2018 by Shanachie Entertainment.
Though "The Promise",will
likely be categorized as aGgospel album or a Praise and Worship" album and while those elements are there, such categorization
misses the larger intent. The album is Downing's heartfelt 10-song thank you letter to God for bringing him back from the
edge of darkness into His marvelous light. Will Downing taps previously unrevealed aspects of his talent to step boldly outside
of his "Prince of Sophisticated Soul" persona to pour raw unblinking emotion into a musical re-creation of his journey
from hospital bed to wheelchair and ultimately back to the stage. In short, this is a Will Downing no one has heard before
in his now 30-plus year career, as one who stared down his own mortality and emerged, through faith, on the other side, blessed
to continue to do what he does best.
From the first notes of "The Promise", Will Downing
takes us to church with the initial piano and organ chords of the opening track "Take It To The Cross." This toe-tappin',
hand-clappin' kick-off sets the perfect tone with the message to take your burdens to the Lord. The opener is followed by
the album's first single, "Look At Yourself (In The Mirror)," a thumping horn-driven reminder that while God is
omni-present, He allows each of us to find him in our own way. The message is clear: you are the total sum of the choices
you make in this life. To that end, be the change you want to see in your self, so that you can look at yourself in the mirror
and be pleased. "I Hear A Voice" delivers the spiritual impact of the moment when Downing knew his prayers had been
heard and his fight was not his own-that moment when God speaks to your heart and lets you know He's with you and will see
you through, the turning point of Downing's "test."
A striking thing about "The
Promise" is that musically even as Downing ventures into the gospel realm, he does so on his own terms, forging
a music distinct from typical gospel sounds but maintaining the essence of his unique style. Perhaps the most deeply personal
song on the album is "You Blessed My Life," a kind of gospel ballad. It's a slowed down and stripped down, full-blown
love song with Will singing directly to God in humble gratitude for his entire life's journey-the ups as well as the downs.
He delivers the song with unashamed, tearful sincerity that grows with every measure, a sincerity that is all-too-rare in
popular music these days. "God Is So Amazing" truly embodies the miracle of Downing's recovery. This song originally
appeared on the "After Tonight" release which was begun just before and continued just after the polymyositis diagnosis.
A close listen to that release reveals a variety of colors in the strength and tone of Downing's signature baritone from one
song to the next, especially on the original version of "God Is So Amazing," which was recorded in determined fashion
from a hospital bed. The re-recording of this song for "The Promise" is sterling
testament to the faith of a man who could praise God as much at the height of his illness as he did in full recovery. "The Promise" concludes in a nod to the classic Will Downing sound as he duets with Regina Belle,
an R&B diva of great faith. And thus, with this moving new album, Will Downing fulfills his promise to God.
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1963, after attending college in Virginia, Downing moved back to New York City finding work
as a session singer. Signed to Island Records he broke through in 1988 with the album Will Downingon Island's 4th & Broadway
label; his distinctive version of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" hit #4 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
There followed a string of best-selling albums that established Downing as one of those rare artists who could blend R&B
with a jazz sensibility, all delivered with a gorgeous, rich baritone that stood out from amongst the popular singers of the
day. The sheer quality and uniqueness of Downing's artistry meant that his albums sold hundreds of thousands of copies even
if there was no radio hit. Indeed in 2000 he won a Grammy award in the Best Traditional R&B category for his album "All
The Man You Need."