James Bignon and the Deliverance Mass Choir will headline the Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival gospel concert at 5 p.m. on Feb. 14 at St. John Baptist Church, 522- 28 Hartridge St. Local gospel artists scheduled to perform include Zion, Huxsie Scott, the Savannah State University Wesleyan Gospel Choir and St. John Baptist Church Choir. The annual gospel concert is presented in part by LifeLink of Georgia.
Bignon, who comes from a large family of singers, pianists, organists and preachers, sang his first solo at the age of five at St. John where his Ireland, United Kingdom and Japan.
Bignon and the Deliverance Mass Choir are best known for their Grammy/Stellar nominated and Billboard gospel hit recordings of God Is Great, On the Other Side of Through, What a Mighty God We Serve and He Made the Difference in My Life. His latest project, Evolution, remains true to his core traditional gospel audience but incorporates a generational appeal. The bonus track, He Is God, was written and recorded with both of his sons, Chris and LJ (James Bignon III). mother was pianist.
While attending Lucy Laney High School in Augusta, Ga., Bignon formed the school’s first gospel group. In 1991, he formed his Atlanta-based Deliverance Mass Choir. His debut album, How Excellent Is Thy Name, quickly landed on the gospel charts, followed by Use Me in 1992.
In 1995, Bignon led the ten-member ensemble of the original cast of Michael Flatley’s Riverdance, introducing a secular audience to his unique brand of gospel. He toured Listeners will experience the musical influences from his early beginnings studying at The Gospel Music Workshop of America under the leadership of Reverend James Cleveland, who is considered the king of gospel music.
“Our Journey From a Glorious Past” is the theme for the 2010 festival , which is the 11th produced by Savannah State University.
All festival events are free and open to the public. For more info, visit www.savannahblackheritagefestival. com.