Gospel Stylist Richard Smallwood to Perform, February 3

By
Allen Bush
January 10, 2011
Richard Smallwood
Photo Provided by the artist

The 2011 Berklee College of Music Signature Series, where world-renowned musicians share the stage with Berklee faculty and students, presents the Songs of Richard Smallwood, February 3, at the Berklee Performance Center. Smallwood is the creator of a unique and widely appealing style of gospel that blends r&b, pop, soul, and classical music. Performing songs from a nearly 30-year career, Smallwood will be backed by a faculty group led by associate voice professor Raymond Reader, and the Berklee Reverence Gospel Ensemble, directed by associate ensemble professor Dennis Montgomery IIITeresa Hairston, publisher of Gospel Today magazine and a donor to Berklee's Africana Studies Archive, will be the guest emcee. The Songs of Richard Smallwood is produced by Africana Studies, a discipline within the Liberal Arts Department. 

The Berklee Performance Center is located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Show time is 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, and are available at the performance center box office, or through Ticketmaster. For more information, call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com. The venue is wheelchair-accessible.

Smallwood is a six-time Grammy Award-nominee and Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee. The Smithsonian honored him as a gospel innovator and songwriter. Graduating cum laude from Howard University, the pianist, singer, composer, and arranger's first album, 1982's Richard Smallwood Singers, spent 87 weeks on Billboard's gospel chart. Smallwood won a Grammy for production on Quincy Jones's gospel project Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration. Destiny's Child, Yolanda Adams, Whitney Houston, and Boyz II Men are just some of the artists who have recorded Smallwood's songs. 

The Songs of Richard Smallwood also commences the annual Africana Studies Concert Series, produced by Bill Banfield, director of Africana Studies, and students and faculty. The series includes performances and lectures by John Blake, Ernie Isley, Honeyboy Edwards, Bobby McFerrin, Patrice Rushen, and Nnenna Freelon, among others.