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Biografia Oh Happy Day, lo spartito
Tour Europeo 1997
Artisti del Tour

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EDWIN HAWKINS
& Singers & Band & Strings
European Tour 20.11. - 25.12.1997

Artists:

  • Edwin Hawkins (Soloist - USA)
  • Larry Johnson (grandpiano - USA)
  • Carl Wheeler (add. Keyboards - USA)
  • Joel Smith (drums/perc. - USA)
  • Luca Genta (Bass, Cello - I/NL)
  • Dimitry Reznik (Violin - RUS)
  • Backing-Choir (USA) consisting of
    • Lawrence Matthews
    • Lynette Hawkins-Stephens
    • Brenda Roy
    • Diīta Monique
 

LAWRENCE MATTHEWS (Voc)
In the age of five years, Lawrence did his first solo-performances in the Good Samaritan Church of God in Christ in Oakland, California. Later on when he joined music-business, it was an advantage for him, being part of one of the first music-families in the country, the Hawkins-clan. His cousin Edwin Hawkins helped him a lot in building up his musical career. A connection that lives on until today.
It is now several weeks, that his second Solo-album "All I have" was released, co-produced by Rev. Daryl Coley and Jerry Mitchell. It has been awarded with the renowned "Stellar Award".

 

LYNETTE HAWKINS-STEPHENS (Voc)
When her older brother Edwin started to tour with his Mega-Hit "Oh happy day", she was still too young to join the band. But her musical talents was so great, that she became member of the Edwin Hawkins Singers in 1973. Up from that time she toured and recorded with that group. 1987 her brother Walter Hawkins produced her first Solo-album "Baby Sis", which was nominated for the GRAMMY of the best female Soul performance. The big names in Pop-business started to invite her to be part of tours and studio-sessions. She worked with artists like Michael Bolton, George Duke, Whitney Houston, Angela Bofill. On the "Earth, Wind and Fire"-album "Touch the World", Lynette was featured Vocalist.
Lynette also belonged to the cast of Steve Martins Movie-hit "Leap of Faith" and could be seen in leading roles of the Broadway-Musicals "Sing Mahalia, sing" and "Mamma, donīt". At present she performs in the Musical "Raisin" besides co-stars like Peabo Bryson and Jeffrey Osborne.

 

DIīTA MONIQUE (Voc)
She is much more than "just another songstress". Her creativity, perfection and dynamic makes the job-description "vocalist" far more applicable to Di'ta Monique. Several first places in national talent-hunts gave an early glimpse on her diverse gifts. In 1992 she worked together with the legendary Cab Calloway, later on with artists like John P.Kee, The Five Blind Boys, The Winans, Commissioned and last but not least with the great Yolanda Adams. Many of her songs she is writing herself and she performed numerous Musical-roles.
For instance as Dorothy in "Wizard of Oz", Billie Holiday in "Lady sings the Blues", Sharon in the Hit-Musical "Sneaky" and since several weeks Michael Matthews "Fake Friends" on Broadway.

 

BRENDA ROY (Voc)
Look up "versatile" in a dictionary and you will have a true description of vocal stylist Brenda Roy. With ten years she began her road to vocal excellence with the choir of the McGee Avenue Baptist Church. Later on she studied at the Sausalito Music school, where she received training from the late Gospel great Rev. James Cleveland. 1980 she got into contact with Walter Hawkins and the precision tutelage of Edwin Hawkins.
Many live-performances and recordings with them and other fellow-artists followed. For instance with Patti LaBelle, James Brown, Lionel Richie, Earth Wind & Fire, George Michael and the Oakland Symphony Orchestra she had different times of cooperation. She also performed different renowned TV-shows as the Oprah Winfrey show and David Letterman's "Late Show". In the last year she also sang in the White House for President Clinton's birthday party.
Brenda Roy is not only a superb vocal artist, she is also an accomplished actress and stage performer.

 

JOEL SMITH (drums/percussion)
In the tender age of 16, Joel Smith accompanied already the Hawkins Family on tours around the world. At this time he was working as professional drummer also for Yolanda Adams, James Moore and Vanessa Bell.
His unlimited percussive abilities and easy-going, down to earth personality was used in the last years also by artists like Shanice, Sheila E., Jay Spencer, Narada Michael Walden, El de Barge and numerous other artists in studio and on different world-tours. As drummer, Joel is one of the first addresses in the United states.

 

LARRY JOHNSON (Piano)
People say, that this world-class-pianoplayer from St.Louis/ Misouri has the best chances to become the heir of Ray Charles on his instrument and with his clownesque humour. For several years he is now partner of Edwin Hawkins in his solo-concerts, but he is also partner for quite a number of other renowned artists worldwide. Larry Johnson studied classical piano, but when he discovered the energy of Gospel and Soul Music, he changed completely into these styles.

 

CARL WHEELER (Piano)
With 11 years Carl started his musical Career as pianoplayer in different bands and in the TV-program of Channel 4 "just kidding". At school Carl conducted the Castlemont Casteleers in Oakland and started arranging songs. Along with high school friends, Carl became the keyboardist and backing singer for Sheila E. They toured with Sheila E. and Lionel Richie in the "Dancing on the ceiling" tour and with Prince, tour in Japan.
After the tours with Sheila E., the band assembled as group, named "Toni! Tony! Tone!". Carl was the group's keyboardist and musical director. In 1987 the group recorded the album "who?" and went on promotion tour. The group's second album "Revival" contained the two #1 Hits "Feels Good" and "Whatever you want", written by Carl Wheeler. In 1991 the third album "Sons of Soul" was released with the GRAMMY-nominated song "Anniversary", again written by Carl Wheeler.
As pianoplayer Carl toured in the past with Edwin, Walter and Tramaine Hawkins and many others. He is musical director and pianoplayer for Michelle Shocked, Bobby McFerrin, "Too Short" and Frankie Beverly. Carl is the owner of Coda-Studios in Oakland, California, where he for instance wrote and produced the latest album for Jay Spencer "Blue Moon".

 

LUCA GENTA (Cello)
Luca's origin is Italy, where he studied music at Asti and practised for many years in the band of the italian Cantautore Albino Montisci. His soul-full style of playing Bass, Cello, Flutes and many kinds of ethno-flutes brought him times of cooperation with artists like Adrian Snell, Andreas Vollenweider, Oslo Gospel Choir, the dutch shooting star Ralph van Manen and also Edwin Hawkins. Since several years, Luca lives in Holland, where he is one of the most busy studio-musicians. In 1996 he released his first solo-album "Navigando".

 

DIMITRY REZNIK (Violine)
Dimitry comes from Russia, where he played the first violin in different renowned orchestras, before he came to Germany at the end of the 80's. He lives now in Cologne, where he performs sometimes with the Philharmonic Orchestra, but even more oft with his own Klezmer-Combo and as studio-musician.

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