Gospel music industry insider Jerome Bell is no stranger to gospel music aficianados. Bell has been around for quite some time, intricately woven into so many aspects of the world of gospel music. Radio host, manager, promoter, event emcee, pastor, you name it, Bell has done it, and done it well. This Thursday, June 22, Bell will host a Black Music Month Celebration at Christian Tabernacle Church @c 7:30 p.m. that brings together all genres of music. Bell shared his excitement and enthusiasm about the event with Positively Gospel.com
“I’m excited about Black Music Month and this celebration to take place at “The TAB” (Christian Tabernacle Church). Elder Kevin and Lady Darlene Hart have been incredibly kind and gracious in opening their doors to us for this event in the “heart” of DC. It will be free. However, please bring an offering and a nonperishable food item.”
Many remember that Bell pastored the Maryland Family Christian Center (MFCC) for many years. Now Bell has expanded his ministry reach and currently has a “church on the move” where he plans monthly “Fellowship DMV” events throughout the DMV at various locations. Bell also shared his other ventures.
“I am accepting as many ministering invites as I possibly can from everywhere, Africa and Guadeloupe (where I am Ambassador of the annual Festival) on the horizon, assisting First Lady Tonita with her upcoming Women’s Conference (July 22), not to mention being a student at Strayer University! Periodically throughout the week, I join Winston Chaney on his morning show program on WYCB (1340 AM) where a lot started for me. I also have a radio program on two internet networks, Family Gospel Radio out of Los Angeles, CA, and Blue Melody School Radio emanating from the beautiful island of Guadeloupe.”
For such a busy man, who just returned from holding the Bridging the Gap Conference in Cleveland, one may wonder what led Bell to hold this week’s celebration.
“Not long ago while clowning around in a Chicago hotel lobby piano side a few of us were just cutting up and someone began playing Sammy Davis, Jr. songs, I started singing knowing ALL verses to ‘Candy Man.’ A gentleman comes out excited about what we were doing and exclaims he was Sammy and Altovise’s adopted son and began to weep. He asked if anyone knew ‘Mr. Bojangles’ and, of course I did! It was a great time! I don’t sing nearly as much as I used to. I actually started out singing and ended up being interested more so in the business side of things, radio, management, event planning, ministering, on and on so I’m excited about this and particularly to sing Sammy Davis, Jr!”
Bell has assembled a slew of artists to perform during the celebration.
“Dr. Bonita V. White, a legendary DMV songstress in her own right and certainly a great historian will not only narrate, but will perform with The Vintage Gospel Singers. Willie Blount in tribute to Darryl Coley, Robert E. Person, Lorree K. Montgomery-SLye, Victoria Purcell Coan, Ronnette Harrison, Ginger on Sax and husband, Martin Cornwell (former Musical Director for Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes which featured Teddy Pendergrass), John Carrington, Stephen Key & Company and a few others. ”
Black Music Month celebrates all genres of music and Bell is making sure classical music is a part of the mix.
“I actually studied the classical genre and performed in high school also as a part of the famed Howard D. Woodson Sr High School Male Chorus I wanted to be sure was a part of this! Much too too often it is a genre missing in our musical tribute and musicals, in general. Especially anything with church folk! I’m aware that most teachings of the classically trained involve instructing them not to go near gospel music, as singing gospspel music will ‘ruin your voice,’ they say. I’m excited to have Terrance Bradford Toliver, Richard C. Odom, and Ken Alston, who was a part of 3 Mo Tenors be a part of this celebration as we bring on the classical!”
During the celebration Bell will pause to remember his dear friend Kenny Taylor who passed away month. According to Bell, he and Taylor had often talked about the event.
Jerome Bell is also working on a book scheduled for release later this year. But in the meantime, check out the Black Music Month Celebeation, this Thursday! Christian Tabernacle Church is located 2033 11th Street, NW at the corner of 11th & V Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.