Radio Facts: Malaco Music Group Recording Artists The Sounds of Blackness featuring The Next Generation and Jamecia Bennett will release its CD, The Sounds of Blackness on Tuesday, October 18. The Twin City natives will celebrate the CD release with a free 30 minute concert at the Mall of America's Best Buy Rotunda, 365 North Garden, Bloomington, MN 55425 at 6:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, October 18. Sounds of Blackness has been bringing hope and inspiration to people through its music globally for the past four decades. The group has awed audiences on five continents with the depth and breadth of its artistry, covering all forms of African-American music, from gospel and soul to jazz, R&B, reggae, hip-hop, rock and blues, to ragtime, field hollers, work songs and traditional spirituals. As Sounds of Blackness celebrates 40 years of music and inspiration, the group offers a superb self-titled fifteen-track CD that is a dazzling showcase for its all-encompassing musicality. The songs on this three-time GRAMMY-winning group's latest set focus on the themes of reconciliation and healing. “Music can be our primary method, mode and means of avoiding annihilation and achieving peace,” explains group's founder, Gary Hines. “Music is God's perfect form of communication, because what comes from the heart reaches the heart, what comes from the soul reaches the soul and what comes from the spirit reaches the spirit.” The Sounds of Blackness is filled with material that celebrates life and offers encouragement during trying times. In addition to serving as executive producer for the album, Hines was involved in the production of the majority of tracks on the CD but, as with each of the group's projects, this album is a collective effort. The first single, “Fly Again” features the phenomenal lead vocals of Jamecia Bennett, daughter of the incomparable Ann Nesby, a former lead singer with SOB, and mother of Paris Bennett, a finalist on American Idol Season 5. “Fly Again” is a soaring anthem to the resilience of the human spirit. The group dedicated the song to all of the people of the cities across America and around the world, who have recently suffered unfathomable devastation. “Fly Again” was highlighted on radio stations and online outlets for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorists attacks. The song reassures the listener that no matter how bad things seem, you've got to “just hold on and be strong,” because together we will all soon be able to “FLY AGAIN.” Sounds of Blackness has entered into a strategic partnership with the nonprofit organization Humanitarian Resource Institute (HRI), led by writer, composer, artist H-II: Stephen Michael Apatow. HRI is planning a series of promotional events and PSAs for the United Nations Arts Initiative to support humanitarian relief operations in the U.S. and abroad. The group's video, “Fly Again”, is currently featured on the UN Arts website, www.unarts.org, and will be part of the organization's “Arts Integration Into Education” project. “Sounds of Blackness, through its latest single release, ‘Fly Again,' has provided the world with an uplifting message of hope, and inspiration for artists and members of the entertainment industry that have taken the lead in solution oriented humanitarian relief efforts in 192 countries, in cooperation with the United Nations Arts Initiative,” said Apatow. See video of “Fly Again”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0w8GAYpans
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