Edwin Hawkins, the Father of Contemporary Gospel Music celebrates the 35th anniversary of his Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Love Fellowship Conference in the Gospel Music Capital of the world, Chicago, Illinois June 26 – July 1st.
“I love Chicago”, said Hawkins. “There is so much Gospel Music history in the city. Chicago was the home of the greats, the Father of Gospel Music, Professor Thomas A. Dorsey (who was with us at our first convention) Sallie Martin, Mahalia Jackson, Roberta Martin, Delois Barrett Campbell, Albertina Walker, Inez Andrews, Rev. Clay Evans, Pastor Maceo Woods and the list goes on. Chicago is now home to the some of Gospel’s current music influencers like Jonathan McReynolds, Donald Lawrence, Ricky Dillard, Tiff Joy and others. The Lord has allowed us to be together for 35 years, and I’m ecstatic that we get a chance to have a reunion celebration in the Windy City. The key to the continuation of our genre is empowerment through education. Its up to us to train future generations, giving them the origins and celebrated history of this great music we know as Gospel music to prepare them for whats to come”
The convention begins with a Quartet Concert followed by a Tribute concert honoring Chicago’s legendary Reverend Milton Brunson and the Tommies featuring some of Chicago’s finest community choirs including Malcolm Williams and Great Faith, Paul Turner and CMI, Dexter Walker and Zion Movement and William Smith and RVC. Classes will be offered during the week with nightly services, guest preachers and musicals. The convention will close on Friday, July 1st as the mass choir presents new music taught by some of the nation’s upcoming songwriters and arrangers.