Worship Leaders Jerard & Jovaun Sign with Motown Gospel, Set to Release EP “What A Beautiful Name’ March 15th

Worship Leaders Jerard & Jovaun Sign with Motown Gospel, Set to Release EP “What A Beautiful Name’ March 15th

You have heard their work behind some of your favorite artists on your favorite albums and as the newest members of the Motown Gospel family, the time has come for them to put their own spin on some of your favorite worship songs. Though notoriety for the Jerard and Jovaun Woods has been found mostly in liner notes and in industry circles, their rendition of “What A Beautiful Name” spread like wildfire online and across social media pages. Their five song EP by the same name features more than arrangements of these songs, it’s a direct view into the genius that keeps these duo in high demand, year round. Also part of the project is “Oceans” which was elicited a social media challenge among musicians, capped off Quennel Gaskin on piano.

You can pre-order the album, today!

The duo, currently worship leaders at Bethesda Church in Ft. Worth are a husband and wife singing team who have quietly been making a name for themselves as go-to background singers. With over two decades of experience working with industry heavyweights like BeBe and CeCe Winans, Natalie Grant, Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams, Jerard & Jovaun have started a popular Facebook series performing unique renditions of worship songs and hymns. Their cover of “What A Beautiful Name,” has become a viral sensation garnering over 1.66mm views!

Last year, the couple released “Higher Higher” which remains currently available for purchase on all digital music platforms.

The EP is set for a March 15th release, but each pre-order will receive a download of the album version and a more familiar, a capella version of “What A Beautiful Name”.

Did Kirk Franklin Really Try to Kill His Own Son?

Did Kirk Franklin Really Try to Kill His Own Son?

Kirk Franklin in Dallas at the “20 Years in One Night” Concert ©SoulProsper Media Group

No! He Couldn’t have…why is this even a thing? Over the weekend, a story surfaced alleging that Kirk Franklin tried to kill his oldest son Kerrion. The story was generated by a startling post Kerrion made about his dad while in Los Angeles and has since been picked up by Black Christian News, Ebony Magazine and passed around online by other news outlets. Why Kirk Franklin would be trying to kill his own son is beyond me; however, his son seems to think so and made it public in a now deleted post.

Kirk Franklin is a very proud dad of his children with his wife Tammi and gushes over them on and off social media. I used to regularly see Kerrion’s posts when we were friends on Facebook, and he almost always presented Kirk in a negative light. I don’t follow his new profile or Instagram account which was the platform of the latest, outlandish bombshell, so forgive me for not being able to provide much more detail. What I did notice on Facebook for a number of years was the simmering angst brewing against his dad. For what reason remained unknown to me and I didn’t want to pry because in reality, I’d never personally met the him.

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How did they arrive at this impasse? Early on, Kirk made mention of his son in his recordings-one of the first to ever shout out everybody in a single song! For all we knew, Kerrion was a part of and the youngest member of “The Family”. Now, he’s estranged from his famous father and infamously grabbing headlines. Further review of Kerrion’s Instagram gave me a little insight as to where he is in life and it’s not on the same page as his father. While Kirk is a “Church Boy” who has for all intents and purposes lost his religion, his son has focused his energies on a different plane and is the antithesis of almost everything his father is known for to the world.

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Fathers and sons…
There’s no hurt like a fractured relationship between parents and children. Sadly, it occurs far too often within the black community. Inside the microcosm of the black church, the devastation is much more pronounced, as Kirk Franklin has also bore witness to. The greatest hurt and strongest reaction seems to be from sons. Kerrion is taking the damaged relationship to heart and as a bystander with no knowledge of why the two are estranged, I don’t have an opinion to share.

Instead, what I do want to offer is hope…hope that these two are able to repair their relationship for the sake of the gospel as well as their quality of life. Kirk has survived the ‘fight of his life’, but what about Kerrion who may be encountering the same but doesn’t draw inspiration, but agitation from his father’s worldwide ministry? 

Let me be clear, I like Kirk Franklin. He’s a good dude, in my opinion. Has he made mistakes, of course and many more than we know about (as is the truth for all of us). I just need him to get together with The Family and all will be forgiven (I mean it, too)! For many people, the ongoing saga of father and son has persisted under the radar, but this latest episode has struck a nerve and is being promulgated by Christian and black media. Bolstered by the pervasive social media “gotcha” journalism of today, the story is blown wide open.

Not just a nudge…
In Hebrews 10:24, the Apostle Paul tells us to find ways to provoke one another to good works and I want to do that here. Without knowing the ins and outs of the cause of the estrangement, I believe that it would be advantageous for father and son to quell their beef. In Malachi 4, the prophecy comes forth as the great and terrible day of judgement. As a reprieve, the Lord promises to send them Elijah who will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their father. While you may argue that this coming day is far off, what is inarguable is the effect of the relationships between fathers and their children. To this end, this restored relationship will spare the earth from being smitten with a curse.

The older I get, I have come to understand fatherhood as part of a spiritual awakening, as detailed in my Father’s Day podcast. There’s some level of drama and trauma concealed within the recesses of every family. Whether its covered or not, we owe ourselves and our families the privilege of healing the hurt, reaching beyond the break and repairing the breach, to the saving of our soul! I do hope and pray that Kirk and Kerrion can heal their relationship.

Kirk & Tam Exodus @CFA ©SoulProsper Media Group

Though it took many years, Kirk has healed his relationship with David and Tamela Mann, working together on hits like: “Take Me to the King” and her Grammy winning “God Provides”. I still await the day we all see a full reconciliation with The Family. He has shown that he can right his wrongs and grow beyond the missteps of his youth, I anticipate the same with his son! I don’t think Kirk tried to kill him (as stated on Instagram), but they do need to repair that relationship, it’s a black eye on all the positive Kirk does for the Kingdom!


Jazz Sitcom Stirs Up Controversy With White College Students

Jazz Sitcom Stirs Up Controversy With White College Students


A controversy arose on social media following a recent BlackNews.com story entitled, “Giant Steps TV Show — America’s First Jazz Sitcom Launches on Amazon” which was published on October, 31, 2017. Apparently, three white students at The New School School in New York posted that the show “sucked” and was “bad for jazz”, “not remotely funny or interesting”, and then followed with a claim that “whites saved jazz because Black people don’t listen to it anymore” and that “whites have evolved the music to be more intellectually engaging”. They further offered anecdotal proof claiming that booking agents nationwide hire more white artists than black artists.

This happened on the same day that Grammy award-winning iconic drummer Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts had given the show 5 Stars on Amazon, where the bulk of comments surrounding the show applaud it as funny, entertaining, historic, and a first step in addressing the plight of jazz within the sitcom format, utilizing three top Black musicians as the principal actors.

Several musicians excoriated the students’ assertions, including William Murray, an celebrated original member of the famed Howard University Jazz Ensemble, legendary bassist Mickey Bass, who stars in the show, and Dr. Geraldine Seay a Florida A&M history professor and owner of B Sharp’s Jazz Club in Tallahassee, Florida.

Former Duke Ellington Orchestra alum Gregory Charles Royal, who created, wrote, and co-stars in Giant Steps with Mickey Bass and Lauryn Hill saxophonist Brent Birckhead said, “These comments open up a simmering wound that has been on the surface for decades. Jazz in no way knows color, but in every way it knows tradition. Many Black musicians feel that the ill effects of academia have created a class of people who have no idea about jazz’s traditions, nuances, humor or historical context.”

He continues, “We never expected people such as this to ‘get it’ with our show. And obviously the show will improve its production quality as we move out of the pilot. But the bigger issue is do we as Americans want our artforms co-opted by people who have no sense or desire to respect or understand tradition or context? That jazz is the only Black artform that has been co-opted to this extent, Giant Steps and other future shows depicting the jazz experience in creative ways are an obligation of its warriors to produce.”

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America’s First Jazz Sitcom Launches on Amazon


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