Museum to hold Juneteenth gospel celebration

·3 min read

May 21—RALEIGH — This June — as part of its 25th anniversary season of the Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Theater in the Museum Park — the North Carolina Museum of Art will host a special Juneteenth weekend of activities and performances.

The activities will feature Grammy, Stellar, and Dove award-winning artists; a screening of the documentary Summer of Soul; and the kickoff of the new series Jazz at the NCMA.

The performances are part of the Museum's Outdoor Performing Arts and Film series, presented by First Citizens Bank.

"Our campus is alive this summer with music, film, and dance," said Museum director Valerie Hillings. "We are excited to host our second annual Juneteenth weekend and kick off a new series celebrating jazz music outside in the Museum Park."

The Juneteenth Weekend Juneteenth Joy: A Celebration of Freedom and Gospel Music will be held at 7 p.m. on June 17. It features Grammy- and Dove-nominated artist Kelontae Gavin; Grammy and Stellar Award — winning vocalists Kierra Sheard and Le'Andria Johnson; and Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Award — winning gospel music legends Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Fred Hammond.

Tickets are on sale now from $50 for museum members to $55 for non-members.

Kelontae Gavin

Whether you know the 21-year-old gospel music sensation Kelontae Gavin as the viral "Cafeteria Singer," a Billboard-charting artist, or a Stellar and Dove Award nominee, chances are you don't know his full story. Gavin's first album, "The Higher Experience," was released in April 2018. It debuted at number two on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart.

"No Ordinary Worship" spent nearly a year on the Gospel Airplay chart. In 2019 Gavin was nominated for four Stellar Awards and nominated for a Dove Award for New Artist of the Year.

Kierra Sheard

Kierra Sheard is no stranger to breaking new ground. After all, the young dynamo grew up with two gospel barrier-breakers as role models: mother Karen Clark Sheard, a member of the legendary group the Clark Sisters, and grandmother/Clark matriarch Mattie Moss Clark.

Now the Grammy and Stellar award-winning artist is back with her first project in five years. Released on her family's Karew Entertainment label, the highly anticipated album has already produced the genre-blurring hits "Don't Judge Me," featuring Missy Elliott, and "It Keeps Happening."

Le'Andria Johnson

Grammy award-winning recording artist Le'Andria Johnson has taken the gospel music scene by storm since being crowned the season three winner of BET's Sunday Best in 2010.

In 2011 Johnson received her first Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for her debut single, "Jesus." In 2019 she released the prolific song "Deliver Me" with Grammy and Stellar award-winning producer and recording artist Donald Lawrence. They earned a Billboard No. 1 hit with "This Is My Exodus (Deliver Me)."

Hezekiah Walker

Hezekiah Walker's signature sound has set an international standard in gospel music. Walker, the multiple Grammy award-winning, newly inducted Gospel Music Hall of Famer, continues to uplift the masses with inspirational songs that focus on maintaining faith and overcoming life's daunting moments. He has earned multiple music awards and two North Carolina Museum of Art Celebrates Anniversary Outdoor Performing Arts and Film Season with Juneteenth Weekend and New Series Jazz at the NCMA three Grammys for Best Gospel Album for Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College in 1994 and Love Is Live! in 2001.

Fred Hammond

For more than 40 years, music lovers around the world have known Grammy award — winning artist Fred Hammond as a gifted vocalist, songwriter, musician, producer, and arranger. But as his peers and supporters alike have so reverently declared, he is without debate the architect behind the creation of a genre of gospel music called Urban Praise and Worship. As a result, Hammond has become one of the most respected names in the music industry. Essence magazine (2017 Collector's Edition) named him one of the 50 greatest male singers of all time.