Jennifer Holliday headlines Gospel and R&B celebration at SF Sept. 4-5

Tony and Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Holliday will join the choirs of three area churches in a celebration of gospel and R&B music at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 4-5, 2015, in the Fine Arts Hall on the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville. The concert is part of the college’s Master Artist series.

Tickets are $25 for the orchestra and Jennifer_HollidayLouFreeman.jpgmezzanine, $15 for the balcony, $15 for seniors and children in all sections, and $9 for SF College students. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181. Tickets may be purchased online at sfcollege.edu/finearts.

The choirs from PASSAGE Family Church, Mount Carmel Baptist Church and the Church of God by Faith provided backing vocals for last year’s Master Artist Series concert by Ruben Studdard. This year, each of the choirs will perform several songs to be followed by Holliday’s solo performance that will include her signature R&B hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The choirs and Holliday will come together on stage for the finale, “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Visiting Master Artists interact with students and community members and then perform in the SF College Fine Arts Hall. While she is on campus, Holliday will lead a question-and-answer session with students and choir performance participants.

Holliday is best known for her role as Effie Melody White in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls,” for which she won the 1982 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Her recording of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” her hit song from “Dreamgirls,” won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best Female Performance, Rhythm & Blues, and peaked at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart.

Originally from Riverside, Texas, Holliday was nominated for a 1981 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God” that was based on the Book of Matthew. Her other stage appearances include “Sing, Mahalia, Sing,” “The Gospel Truth,” “Harlem Suite,” “Grease,” “Chicago,” “Black Nativity,” and “The Color Purple.” She had a recurring guest star role as a choir director in the television program “Ally McBeal” and appeared in episodes of “Touched by an Angel.”

In 1998, Holliday was featured on the album “My Favorite Broadway Ladies” as one of “The Queens of Broadway.” Her R&B hits include “I Am Love,” “Hard Time For Lovers,” and “A Woman’s Got the Power,” which charted at #7 in 1999. She was a featured vocalist on Foreigner’s number one single, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” in 1985, and appeared in a “Cinemax Gospel Session” produced by Paul Simon and Ken Ehrlich that featured Luther Vandross, Andrae Crouch, The Edwin Hawkins Singers and the Mighty Clouds of Joy.

For more information, call Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes, 352-395-5296.