(l-r) Calloway Brothers (Midnight Star), Siedah Garrett, Howard Hewett,
Denise Williams, Leon Ware and Greg Phillinganes
With guitars all along the walls, ardent fans shared floor space with amplifiers, keyboards and other equipment while the all-star cast of talents rocked them to their socks backed by an 8-piece band. Howard Hewett revisited his `80s Shalamar days singing his first hit with the trio, “The Second Time Around;” Leon Ware sang the classic love song he penned for Marvin Gaye “I Want You;” Evelyn “Champagne” King delivered a cork-popping rendition of her smash “I’m In Love” while lesser known Howard Johnson proved his mettle by slamming his Top 20 hit “So Fine” then filling in for Jerry Butler on a perfectly rendered duet with Brenda Lee Eager of “Ain’t Understanding Mellow.” The joy of and the history behind R&B continued to be celebrated with more great performances by Kathy Sledge, Deniece Williams, Melba Moore, Dawnn Lewis, Tommy Davidson, Calloway and promising new Kashif protégé Ms. Myracle Holloway.
Kashif states, "Just like the wonderful music that we call R&B could never be replaced, music stores are a necessity the world cannot do without. I have been shopping at Sam Ash Music stores for over 30 years. They have always taken such good care of me as a repeat customer so our relationship was already strong. One day about three months ago, I was in the store on Sunset where a fan of my music was working. They asked me if I would consider doing an in-store event. I immediately said, ‘Yes, let’s do a Black Music Month celebration.’ Rick Waite and TJ Milian (District Manager of Sam Ash Music) immediately signed on and – just like June is Black Music Month and I’m directing a film about R&B music - the rest is history!”
Rick Waite whose colorful title at Sam Ash Music is “Customer Experience Manager,” proudly coordinated the event with Kashif on behalf of a company ever ready to support solid musical causes. “I’ve known Kashif for 30 years,” Waite states. “I only just found out a few days ago that he has six platinum albums! That’s how humble he is - no ego, just a loving, caring, ‘down home’ person who’s always finding ways to ‘give back.’ The first time he came to me with an idea to do an event was to help kids that came up in the foster care system like he had. Now Sam Ash Music is elated to help Kashif with his documentary. The night of this concert can be described in one word: historical. It was expensive to close the store for half a day but the company wanted to be a part of this. I had people like Ray Parker Jr. and Sinbad calling me while it was going on bummed that they couldn’t get here in time! Sam Ash is proud to have aligned with Kashif for this once in a lifetime concert - among the largest Black Music Month events in America this month. There’s already talk about next year or an annual happening.”
To make a donation to the IndieGoGo campaign for Kashif’s documentary “The History of R&B Music and Its Influence On World Cultures” and to keep up with its progress, click this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-history-of-r-b-music/x/5169837
Brooklyn Boy Entertainment, Sam Ash Music Stores, Schecter Guitars, Yamaha, Electro-Voice and Onyxx Unlimited International sponsored Kashif’s “Black Music Month Celebration”.