The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in partnership with Miami gospel radio station WMBM 1490 AM, proudly announce the return of FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS! The popular, four-part 2011-12 concert series kicks off on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM with gospel legend YOLANDA ADAMS who has been hailed as the most versatile contemporary gospel singer since Aretha Franklin.
ADAMS, a Grammy nominee and multiple Stellar Award winner, will perform a soul-stirring program of signature gospel favorites, guaranteed to bring the crowd to its feet. She will be accompanied by two Miami powerhouse choirs: the series’ resident ensemble, Miami Mass Choir, and New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, recognized as one of Miami’s largest and most vibrant congregations. Under the direction of Pastor Marc Cooper, the Miami Mass Choir consists of 50 of Miami’s best gospel voices, selected through an open audition process, and representing South Florida from Lauderhill to Florida City.
Following this spectacular season opener, FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS 2011-2012 will continue with gospel celebrations in the Knight Concert Hall in December 2011, February 2012 and April 2012. Performance dates and headliners for subsequent FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS performances will be announced approximately four weeks prior to the show date. The soulful sounds of the resident ensemble Miami Mass Choir will be heard at each concert, along with local talent from one of Miami-Dade’s greatest church choirs, adding their uplifting voices to the joyful noise that fills the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.
“We are thrilled to open our FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS series this year with the sweet sounds of the marvelous, Platinum-selling Yolanda Adams,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “These extraordinarily powerful and moving shows have become a favorite Sunday afternoon concert experience, bringing together our South Florida community to hear the brightest stars in gospel music perform with Miami-Dade’s finest choirs,” Richard added. “We are especially proud to be able to continue to offer these joyous, crowd-pleasing concerts free of charge with the help of Knight Foundation and Funding Arts Network.”
Hailed as the most versatile contemporary gospel singer since Aretha Franklin, YOLANDA ADAMS has been wowing gospel audiences all over the world since her Elektra debut with the acclaimed Just As I Am in 1988. Several studio albums and one live album later, ADAMS’ success demonstrates why she is one of gospel’s greats. With conviction that has caused critics to refer to her as one of gospel’s “seminal” voices, ADAMS has ventured out to work with some of pop music’s most formidable producers such as Keith Thomas, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, earning her multiple awards, including four BET Awards for Best Gospel Album, multiple Grammy Award nominations and eight Stellar Awards, gospel’s highest accolade. She was seen by millions in homes across America when she offered up a stunning performance in tribute to Aretha Franklin as part of the opening act of the 2011 Grammy Awards. ADAMS’ highly anticipated recording, Becoming, was released in May 2011.
The Adrienne Arsht Center’s extraordinarily popular FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS series is made possible with the support of the Funding Arts Network.
“FIRST ACCESS PASS” INFORMATION:
Admission is FREE. First Access Passes for the first FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS performance on October 16 featuring YOLANDA ADAMS will be available beginning on September 27.
First Access Passes can be reserved in advance by calling the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722 or online at www.arshtcenter.org (limit four per person). The passes provide patrons with first access to seating in the theater. Seating is “first come, first serve” for the performance and passes do not guarantee a seat.
Patrons who do not have a First Access Pass can join the stand-by-line beginning at 3 p.m. outside the theater. *The First Access Pass expires at 3:45 p.m. Patrons in the stand-by line will be let into the theater at 3:45 p.m. if seats are still available.
First Access Passes to subsequent FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS performances will be made available approximately four weeks prior to the show date. Sign up for the Adrienne Arsht Center email list at www.arshtcenter.org to be notified when FREE tickets become available for each of the FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS concerts.
The Adrienne Arsht Center’s extraordinarily popular FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS series has been supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation since the inaugural 2008-2009 season, and received a three-year, $150,000 grant to continue the series into the Center’s 2013-2014 season. A generous grant from the Funding Arts Network is also supporting the 2011-2012 season.
“Free Gospel Sundays is proof positive of the undeniable power of song to bring people together,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “The event is a must for all South Florida residents.”