Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #52

Entry # 0052  Zach Williams and 1Akord

Philadelphia native Zachary S. Williams started his musical career at age 5. As a young boy he played the piano, drums and other instruments, and later trained at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. Stellar Award winning producer, songwriter, and musician, Williams played for and produced for a variety of gospel artist from Wilmington Chester Mass Choir to Angela Spivey. He is president and founder of En-Christ Muziq since 1995, and co-founded a choir Hype Prayze in 1997.  In 2004 He formed the choir 1Akord, consisting of 40 members from various denominations and from areas like Delaware, PA, New Jersey, and Maryland. The choir has ministered with many gospel greats from Hezekiah Walker and LFC to Tramaine Hawkins. 1Akord has appeared on television and live recordings, and on numerous gospel venues locally and abroad.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #51

Entry # 0051 Lady Esther Ford

Lady Esther Ford formerly of  the Philadelphia and Bucks County area, began her musical career at age five. She was billed as the “Child Wonder Gospel Singer”, and toured with her late grandfather Rev. Edgar Haywood on the many southern Maryland revivals. In 1957, Ford  sent her musician to the Caravans and joined the Ward Singers of Philadelphia. After resigning from the Ward Singers in 1958, she formed the “Stars of Faith”. Upon resigning form the group, she organized her theater company, writing and directing several plays. In 1964, she recorded her new group, “The Exodus Singers”, who were the first integrated female  gospel group ever to record in America. In the 70’s she organized the Esther Ford Christian Youth Movement in Bucks County, and was honored in 2009 at Notre Dame College in Baltimore for her 70+ years of contribution to gospel music. Lady Ford was honored at Calvary Baptist Church in west Philadelphia in 2010 for her dedicated contributions to preserving vintage gospel music. She also received citations from the PA State Senate, PA House of Representatives, the City of Philadelphia, and Calvary Baptist Church.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #50

Entry #0050  Tamika Patton

Philadelphia native Tamika Patton is a dynamic psalmist, gospel recording artist, model and actress. She specializes in live concerts, theater, conferences, and ministry at corporate events. Patton was voted “Best Inspirational Singer in America 2011″, and has traveled extensively across the country and abroad ministering in song. Continuing to be a steady force in the gospel music industry, Tamika Patton has shared the stage with many gospel greats from Karen Clark Sheard to Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #49

Entry #0049 Ava L. Williams

Singing gospel music since age 5, worship leader, workshop facilitator, singer, and songwriter Ava L. Williams was born and raised in Philadelphia. Williams has ministered in song throughout the United States, Canada, the Cayman and Virgin Islands. Her styles include upbeat praise and worship, old school gospel and contemplative melodies.  She studied voice at Temple University Boyer School of music in Philadelphia, and has served as a Minister of Music. Williams has performed with many local gospel recording artists, and shared the stage with many gospel greats from Byron Cage to Hezekiah Walker. She even formed her own group at one point, Ava Williams and the Light.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #48

Entry # 0048   Cindy Barber and the Voices of Praise

The Voices of Praise was established in Florence, New Jersey at Nothing But the Word Church in 1995 by the Founder and Director Cindy Barber. The group prepared songs written and arranged by Cindy Barber, and recorded their first project in 1999.  The anointed voices climbed the charts and received heavy air play, allowing them to appear in New Artist Showcase for GMWA, and to be top picks for leading industry magazines. They have shared the stage with gospel greats from Vickie Winans to Bishop Paul Morton, and they continue to minister locally and abroad.


Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #47

Entry #0047   Donald Ashley

Born in Dover, Delaware, Donald Ashley grew up in a Bible-believing, spirit-led home where gospel music was an integral part of his life. At an early age, Ashley sang on the church’s youth choir, later singing solos, and venturing out to minister at local churches. He joined his older brothers at age 20, touring the country and receiving national attention for their musical abilities. Ashley lends his talents to a variety of venues from boxing matches to gospel television programs.  He wrote original songs, and scripts for theatrical productions, and joined with local artist which lead to his release of his first recording project. Donald Ashley gathered gifted voices from the Delaware area to form the group known as Donald Ashley and Millennium, writing and producing all the songs in their debut project.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #46

Entry #0046  Terri Champion

Out of her hometown of Philadelphia, PA, Terri Champion is a gospel singer and recording artist. She is an evangelist of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and has served as a Praise and Worship Leader. Champion has been influenced by gospel greats that include Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar and the Clark Sisters. Champion continues to minister wherever God’s people are in need.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week # 45

Entry #0045  Pastor Hersey Lee Coles

Known as a Prophetic Minstrel, Pastor Hersey Lee Coles is a songwriter, producer and gospel recording artist. He is the founder of 1 Accord Ministries, and has appeared on many Christian television broadcasts. Coles is dedicated to God and family. He has learned that the best way to minister is out of a true relationship with God. Coles continue to minister in song locally and abroad.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week # 44

Entry #0044  Chris Graham

Chris Graham has a praise and worship gospel style, with elements of funk and jazz. The younger of two boys, Graham grew up with a gospel music foundation where he was influenced by a variety of gospel artist.  He learned a lot as he as he traveled with his mother, who sang soprano with the Clara Ward Singers and Marion Williams, when his was young. Graham has served as a minister,  recording artist, Praise and Worship Leader, and Mass Choir Director, and  he continues to minister in song wherever God’s people are in need.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week # 43

Entry #0043   Alex Ingram

Alex Ingram is a musician, songwriter, producer, and minister of music. While attending Strawberry Mansion Junior High School in Philadelphia, the late Gabriel Hardeman Jr., then the director of the Gospel Ensemble, began to nurture Ingram’s talents. He later became the musical director for the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation. While attending Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Ingram played for the Overbrook Gospel Singers and the Overbrook Jazz Band. He has served as minister of music for many local churches and have recorded with and written songs for many local and national artists from Elder Goldwire McLendon to Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar. He continues to serve as Music Director in local  Philadelphia church.