In this newsletter you will find some highlights about what Damien Sneed is doing for the month of April. Meet him at any of the events listed below.
Tues. 4/22 (Washington, DC) Raymond T. Jackson Retirement Celebration at Howard University (more details below)
Wed. 4/23 (Bowie, Maryland) LeChateau Earl Records new recording artist, Tekesha Russell's CD Release/Listening Party (more details below)
Fri. 4/25 (New York, New York) LeChateau Earl Records recording artist, Lawrence Brownlee (www.lawrencebrownlee.com) Spiritual Sketches CD Signing at the Metropolitan Opera Bookstore at 5:00 PM at Lincoln Center in NYC.
New York, NY –April 21, 2014) – Conductor, pianist, producer and recording artist Damien L. Sneed will join faculty and alumni of Howard University’s Department of Music to celebrate the career of Professor Raymond Jackson. The event will be held on Tuesday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall (#3001) of Howard University’s Fine Arts Building, located at 2455 Sixth Street, NW. Sneed will perform a classical solo piece on piano. “Professor Raymond Johnson has been very instrumental in my development as a musician and artist,” says Sneed. “He has been a dedicated mentor and has contributed to my career significantly. I learned a great deal under his tutelage and I am profoundly grateful for all he has taught me.”
LeChateau Earl Records Releases Tekesha Russell’s Debut Album, Wondrous Things
CD Available on iTunes
(New York, NY –April 21, 2014) – LeChateau Earl Records announces the release of Tekesha Russell’s debut album, Wondrous Things, available on iTunes on Tuesday, April 22. Wondrous Things is the fourth release from the label, which was founded by producer and recording artist Damien Sneed and Bishop Iona Locke of Abyssinia Christ Centered Ministries. The album is produced by Sneed and written by Russell.
Releasing her freshman project is one of Russell’s greatest musical accomplishments so far in her burgeoning career. Wondrous Things is something new, something fresh, and, with a broad mix of traditional gospel, contemporary gospel, jazz, soul, urban and Latin music, it eloquently demonstrates just how musically diverse the genre of gospel truly is. Wondrous Things has a sound of its own, unlike anything that we have heard in gospel music. The uniqueness of this worship album takes us into the heart and mind of Russell, a gifted songwriter and an amazingly skilled vocalist. The single and title track exclaims how God only does wondrous things. “I'm really excited about seeing God's promises fulfilled in this CD,” says Russell. “I was able to realize a dream of not just singing but composing and actually seeing my writing published. For a first project, this was a good marriage of composition and musicianship. I actually get to bring maximum glory to God."
Russell is a godly, straightforward and sincere artist whose reputation for a consistent life of holiness, praise, and worship lingers with those who come in contact with her. A conscientious singer, her sensitivity to the Holy Ghost makes her ministry and personality infectious. Exclaims Bishop Locke, “Tekesha is a modern-day David.” This project is a compilation of thoughts and conversations with God, as well as observations about the world around her. Russell’s favorite song on the project is Life Abundantly, because it is the impetus behind the diverse styles of music on her inaugural project. “I've known Tekesha since my freshman year at Howard University,” says producer Damien Sneed. “Her amazing ability to sing absolutely any style of music baffled me then, and it still does today. I'm extremely humbled that I had the opportunity to produce her debut project and to present her to the world on my own label, LeChateau Earl Records.”
On Saturday, April 19, Russell, along with Sneed and The Levites, appeared in concert at the Refreshing Springs Church of God in Christ in Riverdale, MD, for a benefit event for an orphanage in Uganda, West Africa. On Wednesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m., Russell will have her CD Release and Listening Party at Ridgley Ministries Church of God in Christ, located at 9235 D’Arcy Road, Upper Marlboro, MD.
Russell takes inspiration from some of her musical influences including Take 6, Commissioned, Maurette Brown Clark, Twyla Paris and a host of jazz composers and instrumentalists. Russell travels domestically and abroad ministering in song to share her gifts and testimony.
Now residing in Prince George’s County in Bowie, Maryland, the Miami native currently serves as a psalmist, music director and praise and worship leader at the Ridgely Ministries Church of God in Christ, in Upper Marlboro, MD, where Dr. Herbert and Herldleen Russell, serve as pastors. Singing is something that comes naturally. Her mother, Karen Joseph, was a singer who directed several groups and choirs. However, it was her grandmother, Missionary Charlotte Smith, who could be found on the Hammond organ or drums on Sundays, who encouraged her to sing and who ensured her place in the church choir.
ABOUT LECHATEAU EARL RECORDS
Damien Sneed and Bishop Iona Locke created the independent label, LeChateau Earl Records in 2009. Through spiritual, gospel, jazz and other musical genres, LeChateau Earl, which means House of Nobility, is committed to giving artists an opportunity to deliver fresh music capable of inspiring the masses. The label reflects Sneed’s varied musical interests. It boasts music from critically-acclaimed artists such as Bishop Iona Locke, Damien Sneed, and Lawrence Brownlee; upcoming inspirational music artists such as Tekesha Russell; and two groups assembled and directed by Sneed: the musically versatile Chorale LeChateau, and the gospel ensemble, the Levites.
On Friday, April 25, at 5:00 p.m., Sneed, along with classical recording artist Lawrence Brownlee will participate in a signing event for their CD, Spiritual Sketches, at the Metropolitan Opera Bookstore at Lincoln Center in New York City. Sneed has collaborated with Brownlee, a rising international opera star for live performances and recordings. At his recital debut at Carnegie Hall, Brownlee performed spirituals arranged by Sneed. In March and April of 2013, Sneed was featured with Brownlee in several recitals of arias, art songs and spirituals at venues around the country, including the Cincinnati College Conservatory in Ohio and the Asheville Opera in North Carolina. In January, 2014, Sneed and Brownlee were featured in the Allen Room for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, where they performed music from their project, Spiritual Sketches, which was produced by Sneed and released by his independent label, LeChateau Earl Records. The New York Times’ film and music critic, Stephen Holden, lauded Sneed and Brownlee for their resounding performance, writing that Sneed’s fresh arrangements turned the traditional gospel tunes into “concert art songs.”