Festival of Praise Tour

Tour 2018 ft. Fred Hammond, Take 6, Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune,
and Pastor Charles Jenkins

Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award-winning gospel great Fred Hammond (“Blessed”) is bringing back the Festival of Praise Tour for the 4th time! The Festival of Praise Tour promises to be an evening of soul-stirring music which will feature Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Take 6, James Fortune, and Charles Jenkins.

“This tour brings back the days of gospel touring like Power 98, Tour of Life, and Hopeville…The biggest (gospel) tours to hit the country.” – Al Wash, ALW Entertainment

“This package was amazing and so uplifting….a clean sold out show (Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, IN)….Truly a Festival of Praise! I am looking forward to the shows that I am buying this year!”
– Al Kennedy, Concert Promoter

“The Festival of Praise concert was one of the most electrifying enjoyable shows I have seen in gospel music. I am looking forward to bringing the show back next year.
A MUST SEE.” – Eddie Rush, Twilight Productions 2


Fred Hammond
For more than 27 years, music listeners around the world have known Fred Hammond as a talented songwriter, bassist and vocalist. He is also known throughout the music industry as a gifted musical arranger and producer. But, his work with Face to Face Productions Corporation, the company for which he is both founder and CEO, has earned him the title the “Babyface” of gospel.

Few gospel artists can boast of the consistency of sales, radio airplay and concert appearances that Hammond has achieved over the course of his career. As a solo artist, founder of the pioneering urban group, Commissioned, and his work with Radical for Christ combined, Fred has sold over 7 million albums and these endeavors have made him a mainstay on Billboard’s Gospel Chart top 10, along with frequent appearances on the magazine’s Heatseekers and Music Video Sales charts. In addition, as if that were not enough, Hammond’s work as a producer has landed him in the #1 spot among gospel producers according to the Gospel Music Round-up. Throughout his professional career, Hammond has maintained a reputation for excellence, racking up numerous awards and nominations including the Grammy, BET, N.A.A.C.P. Image, Stellar, Dove, and GMWA Excellence Awards.

Beyond Hammond’s individual success, his achievements as CEO of Face to Face Productions and the F. Hammond Music Label have placed him in a class by himself. Since their inception, Hammond has served as producer on more than 80 album projects. With that level of productivity, it is not surprising that the Face to Face sound has dominated the gospel marketplace. Their recent success in bringing the praise and worship format to the African-American church has resulted in the development of a new genre of gospel music, Urban Praise & Worship.

As the architect behind the new phenomenon in Gospel music, Fred has become one of the most respected names in the industry. His previous release {Pages of Life} Chapters I & II has exceeded Double Platinum status and held the #1 position on the Billboard Gospel Charts for over 15 weeks. His 2006 Free To Worship bombarded Billboard’s #1 position on the Gospel Charts, and was hailed as one of the year’s best-selling gospel albums for 2006. Its debut release entitled “In CaseYou Missed… And Then Some”, featured brand new artists on the F. Hammond Music Label including Joann Rosario, Shea Norman, & The Singletons and has sold well over 200,000 copies.

The pages continue to turn for the platinum recording artist! Hammond has taken his creative savvy to a higher level moving into from the stage to the big screen with the movie, The Gospel. This feature film was both Executive Produced and Inspired by Hammond, and boasted a stellar cast including Boris Kojo, Nona Gaye, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker and Martha Munizzi. Hammond will serve as producer for the soundtrack to the upcoming feature film Mamma I Wanna Sing .

Donnie McClurkin
His world had been characterized by violence, alcoholism, and abuse; young Donnie McClurkin thought that promises were made to be broken. Often forced into the role of peacemaker, he did his best to keep his life together. Finding a safe haven in his church, Gospel Tabernacle Assemblies of God, he made a commitment to Christ at age nine. Throughout his troubled youth, he found solid promises in the Scriptures that would set the course of his future.” I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” (Rev.3; 8)

Donnie’s musical journey began to take shape at age eleven when he met gospel singer, Andrae Crouch at a church concert. The venerable gospel artist became his role model, his mentor and his friend. Andrae sent Donnie postcards, that became a lifeline for struggling youth, they always included a scripture. Donnie says, ” Andrae could have taken on a celebrity mentality, but he didn’t. He nurtured my ministerial side, that’s the type of person I wanted to be.”

As teenager, Donnie seriously began developing his vocal skills. At age 19, he stepped into public ministry with the formation of ” The McClurkin Singers,” a musical group that included his sisters. Then he formed the New York Restoration Choir, a group that preferred performances on the streets and prisons rather than the church choir circuit. They landed a recording contract with Savoy Records. Donnie’s desire to minster, as well as his evident musical talents, had not gone unnoticed.” A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” (Prov.18: 16)

Donnie’s singing and choir directing has taken him to the White House, performing for Presidents Bush and Clinton, as well as allowing him appearances with Quincy Jones, numerous appearances at the New York Knick games, and a home at Warner Alliance.

The doors to future ministry continue to open. Donnie McClurkin’s self-titled Warner Alliance debut, has garnered both a Grammy nomination (Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album Of The Year) and a Dove nomination (Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song Of The Year). Donnie also captured two of the most prestigious Stellar Awards in 1998: Best Male Vocalist and contemporary Vocalist of The Year. The album is produced by Mark Kibble (Take 6), and Cedric Caldwell (Whitney Houston, CeCe Winans).

In the wake of the album’s release, Donnie has become a regular on TBN, Hosting his Christmas Special in 1997. He also appeared on Prime Time Country, hosted by Gary Chapman.

In addition to awards, TV appearances, and his on- going slate of concerts and conferences, Donnie has taken the press by storm as well. Articles and reviews have been written about the artist in countless magazines, including a featured spot in USA Today’s ” Countdown To the Grammies” and an upcoming piece in Forbes magazine on the Gospel Music industry.

Donnie McClurkin has also been pursued for film sound tracks, most notably, Prince of Egypt, and animated version of the life of Moses, directed by Jeffery Katzenberg for Dream works, a production company co-owned by Steven Spielberg.

Currently, Donnie serves as associate minister of the 2000-member Perfecting Church in Detroit-of which his dear friend Marvin Winans is senior pastor. He focuses his ministry on encouraging those who have suffered the pain of broken families, sexual abuse, and fragmented dreams.

The consummate preacher, Donnie takes his message of hope and restoration to thousands of hungry souls thorough his appearances at Promise Keepers, Azusa conferences and countless crusades with ministerial greats, T.D. Jakes, Rod Parsley, Carlton Pearson, and Benny Hinn.

His message is clear, as real to Donnie McClurkin today as the day he committed his life to Christ at nine years old. “I want to introduce Jesus Christ to the world, not as a religious leader, but as an intimate Friend who wants to radically change our lives,” Donnie explains. ” I want the world to know that we can sit down and embrace Him, He can embrace us, and He can handle any problem we are going through. He loves each of us individually, one by one.”

Take 6
TAKE 6 is the most awarded a cappella group in history, with ten Grammy’s, ten Dove Awards (Gospel Music Awards), Best Jazz Vocal Group honors for seven consecutive years in Downbeat’s prestigious Reader’s and Critic’s Poll, a Soul Train Music Award, BRE (Black Radio Exclusive) Vocal Group of the Year, two NAACP Image Award nominations, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and countless other musical and humanitarian citations.

Showing the global appeal of this phenomenal group, they celebrated their 25th Anniversary last year with a World Tour including stronghold favorite markets Asia, South America, eastern and western Europe and the United States and TAKE 6 opened up new markets with debut tours of Australia and Canada. They receive rave reviews and overwhelming audience reception wherever they go. From New York’s famed Blue Note to the Montreux Jazz Festival, from PBS to ABC-TV specials, they remain the quintessential and pre-eminent a capella group in the world, working harder than ever, and loving every minute of it. Most recently, TAKE 6 had the honor of being the first American vocal group to perform in Cuba since diplomatic relations were restored. One of the Public Diplomacy officers wrote after the concert, “The group elicited a response I’ve yet to see many groups here do, and in some form helped to advance U.S. diplomacy and interests in ways that our formal process could not.”

For those who have patiently waited for new music from the sextet, wait no more! The group has signed with SoNo Recording Group and will release a new album, Believe, in 2016 with lots of surprises. The first single, just released, is “When Angels Cry” catering to their gospel roots and just in time for the holidays.

James Fortune
“The youth of today must realize that true happiness and fullness of joy is only found in the presence of Yahweh, our Heavenly Father”

At the precocious age of five, James Fortune began composing drum accompaniments for his father’s Houston, Texas choir. James knew in his heart that he was destined to spread the Word even before his first performances and with the guidance of his father became well-versed in the teachings of the Lord. Throughout his adolescent years, James became engrossed in the church’s annual Youth conference and set out to fellowship with other young people who shared his zeal for God and also wanted to assemble more than just once a year.

Unbeknownst to him, James would soon be given the blueprint for his life’s path. God granted the 20 year old wunderkind the vision to create a choir that would minister the Word through praise and worship. James, honoring his calling to save souls through music, embarked on a journey to unite adolescents in his Church and surrounding neighborhoods who shared the desire to make a positive impact on the world while praising the Lord simultaneously, and with that Youth For Christ was born.
James Fortune & Youth For Christ began to perform regularly at his father’s church and it wasn’t long before churchgoers were raving about the group’s phenomenal presence on stage. Within a few months, James Fortune & Youth For Christ went from a small unknown choir to having amassed a devoted following, many of whom travelled from cities outside of Houston to witness firsthand their compelling performances. With a fan base that was steadily growing and becoming too large for his father’s church, James Fortune & Youth For Christ decided to take the Word on the road.

Performing at any and every event in Texas, Youth For Christ quickly became a magnetic presence for the religious and agnostic alike. The group advocated a simple message – live a fruitful life regardless of religious devotion. Their message of unwavering faith and determination coupled with their fiery performances encouraged audiences not to succumb to the pressures of drugs, alcohol, and fornication, but to prosper with the eternal support and blessings from the Almighty.

On the heels of one of the group’s most spiritually enthralling performances, James was overwhelmed by how much Youth For Christ had done in the name of the Lord, touching lives wherever they went. Acknowledging that everyone had spiritually matured as a result of the past years’ experiences, James knew that it was time for the ministry to reflect their collective growth. In May 2000, Youth For Christ was rechristened FIYA, or ‘Free In Yahweh’s Abundance.’ The name FIYA became the embodiment of what it meant to live an existence that was in adherence to the Word.

James believed that “God’s will is not for his children to live a defeated and broken life full of uncertainty and anxiety, but to have life and have it more abundantly.” He believed that God’s plan would reveal itself regardless of struggles, pain, and adversity. James Fortune & FIYA were determined to take their message to the highest mountaintops, the lowest valleys and everywhere in between, proving that the love and support of God was the greatest freedom anyone could have.

In September 2004, James Fortune & FIYA released their highly anticipated debut album, You Survived! Their first smash hit single, also titled “You Survived,” peaked at #2 on the R&R Gospel Singles chart and became one of the Top 7 Most Played Gospel Songs of the Year, earning James Fortune honors at the 19th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards and the 2006 ASCAP Writer’s Award for Gospel Song of the Year. The impressive debut solidified James Fortune & FIYA as a force to be reckoned with.

The success of You Survived! catapulted James Fortune & FIYA to the forefront of gospel music and they began to perform all over the country. However, behind closed doors, the album’s success meant little to James, who was fighting to survive himself. While his wife was pregnant with their third child, the Fortune family found themselves homeless. Having poured all of the family resources into his recording project, the Fortune home was foreclosed and their car repossessed.

James, his pregnant wife, and their two small children were in and out of motels with little more than the clothes they owned, moving wherever they were required so that James would be able to perform. Unable to afford rooms with more than one bed, James was forced to create makeshift sleeping arrangements in bathtubs with pillows and blankets so that his children could sleep soundly. With no car, no home, minimal possessions and no real financial foundation, James found himself in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Questioning the Lord’s motives behind making You Survived! a success only to render his family homeless, James began to question his place at the head of his ministry as well, often wondering how he would be able to lead his followers out of the darkness by which he was being consumed.

One night, while praying in his motel room, James was blessed with another life-changing revelation. For the first time in his life he had truly doubted the Lord and in a moment of clarity, realizing why he had been ridden with doubt and anxiety over his financial troubles, James wrote “I Trust You,” a heartfelt testament to his undying faith and willingness to follow God’s plan. The song showcased the raw power of belief and depth of emotion that Fortune had experienced in his most trying time and four years after the release of You Survived!, James Fortune & FIYA reentered the studio more aligned with the Lord and stronger than ever. Soon their sophomore album The Transformation was released in February 2008.

“I Trust You,” the first single off The Transformation, cemented James Fortune & FIYA’s reputation as some of the most fervent performers in the gospel world. In no time, the single shot to the top of the charts and quickly became a spiritual anthem for the masses. For anyone who could identify with the trials and tribulations that James himself experienced, “I Trust You” encouraged them to stay strong and always have faith in the Lord. Because of the overwhelming positive response to the record, “I Trust You” maintained the top spot on the Gospel National Airplay chart for 29-weeks, making history by becoming the longest running #1 hit single for any genre, eclipsing Marvin Sapp’s six-month record with “Never Would Have Made It.”

In addition to opening for distinguished artists such as Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Stevie Wonder, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Kim Burrell and others, James Fortune & FIYA have performed on shows such as BET’s “106 & Park Presents Generation Gospel.” FIYA has been nominated four years in a row for the Texas Gospel Youth & Young Adult Choir of the Year. James Fortune & FIYA are currently gearing up for The Transformation Tour in addition to celebrating their Stellar Award nomination for 2009 Contemporary Choir of the Year.

James Fortune & FIYA are poised to soar and they continue to grace stages with their fiery presence. They are enjoying their trail-blazing crossover success with a universal message of hope and salvation set to uplifting urban contemporary music and have no intentions of ceasing to spread God’s love through music and ministry.

Charles Jenkins
Charles Jenkins is a multi award-winning songwriter, Hit maker, Billboard #1 Music Producer, 9 time Stellar award-winning recording artist, Soul Train Music Award Nominee, Multi-Dove Music Award Nominee, & was named Black Enterprise Magazine’s Urban Business Game Changer under 40.

Charles is the Founder and CEO of Inspired People, a music company that has delivered 6 Billboard #1 honors, tens of millions of streams, in a tough market in 4 short years. The honors include including, 3 Billboard #1 albums (The Best of Both Worlds, Any Given Sunday, & Think About These Things), 2 Billboard hit singles including the global worship anthem Awesome and his chart topping global smash WAR, and 2 Billboard year end chart #1 honors (most streamed 2015, most airplay 2015). Jenkins has also received a GRAMMY® certificate for his songwriting contribution on Israel Houghton’s GRAMMY® award winning album Alive In South Africa. Charles has also been a featured artist for several of America’s marquis events including Essence Fest, Jay Z’s Made In America, NBC’s Beyond AD, an Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama and more. Charles’ music has also been licensed by CNN, NBC, The History Channel, TV One, BET and many more.

Additionally in April of 2016 Charles was honored by Premier Gospel in London for his song “Awesome” being voted London’s favorite song. Charles has worked with GRAMMY® award winning producers such as Warryn Campbell, Rodney Jerkins, Harmony Samuels, and many more.

Finally Charles’ life mantra is “Don’t Box Me In” and his life’s passion is to inspire the world to better and help others advance in life!

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