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Eunice Moseley
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Grammy-Nominated Gospel Trailblazer Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson Releases 'Believe in Yourself'
 
(Atlanta, GA) -  Grammy Award nominated and five-time Stellar Award winning quartet maven Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson and newcomer Josh Myles release new single "Believe In Yourself" and its cracked Top 40 on Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart.

The Inspirational Project (Timeless Music Movement) is currently in Top 20 heavy rotation and continues to gain traction in multiple markets including Jackson, MS; Little Rock, AR; Columbia, SC; Cleveland, OH; Baltimore, MD; and Philadelphia, PA. Keith recently made an appearance at the 50th Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, TN last month and recently told his story of over 4 decades of faith-filled music with CBN's Studio 5 with Efrem Graham.

'The 'Wonderboy' has for the past two decades been one of the most popular and best-selling Gospel artists delivering classic sounds with a contemporary production. His gutsy vocal sweeps, preaching moments and effortless blending of R&B, soul, funk, pop, and gospel has earned him multiple Billboard radio hits such as, "I Just Want to Be Right", "Let Go, Let God" (2005 BMI Most Played Song Of The Year), and "I Wouldn't Know You," featuring James Fortune & FIYA and Nakitta Fox (of Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers). In 2009, the hit song peaked at #2 on the Hot Gospel Songs and Gospel Airplay charts and a Top 10 charting position on Billboard Magazine's 2009 Year-End Hot Gospel Songs chart. Additionally, "I Wouldn't Know You" crossed over on the mainstream charts reaching #8 on Billboard's Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

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The Rebellious Beauty: A Master Class with Jerome Jennings Jazz Drummer, Educator, Activist

By Jeneanne Collins

I recently interviewed Mr. Jerome Jennings about jazz, his upcoming projects, his commitment to black people and humanity.

"I'm not scared "he states, I want to be a part of the continuum". He paused for a moment in thought, "Legacy's are a sense of pride".

I watch Jerome Jennings energetically and excitingly share his knowledge, history, and achievements with confidence. He is open, honest, and authentic with the musicians and students from The Peabody Institute. He encourages them to dig deeper, to find their core, and and to create authentic music from their true history, hearts and souls. He wants them to address the good, the bad, and the ugly.

"You can't remove the key elements from swing or jazz and call it that, Jerome says. "Let it be what it is. Look within and find yourself, lose yourself, and then find yourself again" he states.

Jerome Jennings is a jazz drummer. He was educated at Rutgers's and Julliard and has traveled the world with many artists including Sonny Rollins and Christian McBride.

He is a connoisseur, novice, and a truth seeker. He is concerned about the preservation and future of jazz music, the narrative, the people and the story. He is concerned about interpretation and critical analysis and dilution of the culture.

"The roots of jazz music are important ." he says. He shares knowledge as a leader, as a student and humble historian. In every portion of the master class he pays homage to those jazz musicians that came before him including Louie Armstrong, Count Basie, and Roy Hargrove .

"Be a side man before you become a leader" he states advising the students on their careers.

He continued on sharing more of his journey about his experiences with some of the "Greats of Jazz" and being schooled to play and accept criticism as a musician.

"You gotta be okay with setting your hurt and pride aside," states Jennings. "This is not a hundred yard race.It's a marathon against yourself".

In his 2016 release, entitled "The Beast", he creates a response through his music to some of the races and injustices that he experience in his life. He tackles police brutality and oppression with his soles, his sticks, and the heart beats of the ancestors. Jerome Jennings shares his interpretation of change from his rendition of "New Edition's "Cool It Now" to the hollow guts of life on "The Beast" to the open spaces of hope in "New Beginning". He weaves pain and power with his special interpretation through music. He translates many lives lost by unwarranted violence.

"We have to document our stories" he states

Jerome Jennings recently shared a story through his drum and through the jazz. He documented Senator Stephanie Flowers, recent viral video of her speaking about gun law debate in Arkansas. (Stand Your Ground). She spoke about fears for her son, other black men, children and the attack on African- American people.

"I wanted badly to be in the room with her, to have her back" Jerome says. He created the music/video from her visual, the smugness of the room, her strength, her courage and the hurt in her voice. "Look for your contribution. I felt it in my soles, it came through my feet. I created this piece to show ‘Solidarity' .

"Solidarity" is his next contribution. This new body of music will be released November 8, 2019. It extensively explores the LGBTQ community, #BlackLivesMatter, politics, and the oppression of Black women. This project is poetic, painful, and inspiring. It is a rare gem that explores the pedagogy of the oppressed with high sensitivity and the core of jazz. "If we don't address it, we can't move forward" Jerome states.

Jerome Jennings is documenting, addressing, and uplifting his people. He plays the drum to preserve the "Souls of Black Folk". He plays for the suffering and misunderstood communities, abandonment, stereotypes and ignorance. He finds a way to transform feelings of pain to faith and healing through his music.

"Pick up the music and play it in your instrument" Jerome states

This is truly the Master Class of Life Music with Jerome Jennings. 

~ ~ ~

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"The Rebellious Beauty" column is written by Baltimore Stylist and Make-up Expert Jeneanne Collins. Email comments to Collins at JeneanneCollins@hotmail.com. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook at @JenenneCollins and Instagram @rebelliousbeautystyle. 

"If You Can See It, and Believe It, You Can Achieve It"

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