Lalah Hathaway sings while Kirk Whalum blows on his sax

*I was invited to attend the “It Started with a Dream” Concert hosted by The Dream Center, Victory University and 12-time Grammy Award nominee, Kirk Whalum. The free show was held at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles to honor the Gospel/Christian 53rd Grammy Award Nominees. Matthew Barnett, co-founder of The Dream Center and senior pastor at Angelus Temple, was co-host.

What a spectacular event it was with performances by Whalum and Lalah Hathaway, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Lacrea, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Israel Houghton, Gunger, Forever Jones, Vashawn Mitchell, Karen Peck and New River, John Stoddart, and special guest George Duke. Benefiting The Dream Center’s Project Hope initiative, “It Started With a Dream” was streamed live at www.DreamCenterLive.com. Project Hope provides a home to victims of human trafficking.

Throughout the concert we were treated to a little of God’s Word from Kirk Whalum, who started the show with Lalah Hathaway on one of my favorite songs on his “The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter III,” album – “He’s Been Just That Good.”

Two-time Grammy Award nominated Gospel Country artists Jeff and Sheri Easter performed “Expecting Good Things;” Billboard chart topping Gospel rapper Lacrea performed “Rehab;” Bluegrass Gospel artists Karen Peck and New River performed “Live at Oak Tree – The Series;” Israel Houghton performed “Others;” Rock/Gospel artist Gungor performed “Beautiful Things;” Contemporary Gospel group Forever Jones performed “He Wants It All;” Vashawn Mitchell performed “Nobody Greater;” Vanessa Bell Armstrong performed “The Experience;” John Stoddart performed “Loving in Love With Jesus,” and George Duke performed “Because You Loved Me.”

Cali Swag District joins Nelly’s ‘Blizzard Music Tour’

“We want to go rock every show,” said group member Smooth about their upcoming appearance on Nelly’s “Blizzard Music Tour,” slated to start March 1, 2011 in Brooking, South Dakota.

The Hip-Hop phenomenon’s other members consist of Yung, JayAre and M-Bone. Their debut single “Teach Me How To Dougie” made them platinum selling artists and their debut album, “The KickBack” (EMI Music), is not due out unto this month.

Cali Swag District took a Doug E. Fresh dance and turned, the “Dougie,” into a dance craze. In less than a year the music video to the single, “Teach Me How To Dougie,” has received over 29 million views.

“Any tour is good as far as selling records,” group member Smooth said about the tour benefits. “We ‘need’ to get up in different markets.”

Smooth admitted to me that they group had to sacrifice a lot to achieve their dream.

“We put all our effort into it,” admitted the EMI Music artists about their journey.

The group said some of the sacrifices included putting off partying for school. Smooth, who is also a DJ, admits Cali Swag District “lives in the studio.”

For information on the dates Cali Swag District will be on the “Blizzard Music Tour” with Nelly, log onto www.BlizzardMusicTour.com or visit them at www.Facebook.com/CaliSwagDistrict.

NBA All-Star Weekend kick-off event, ‘Fire on the Runway,’ was a stunning show

I attended one of many NBA All-Star events held in Los Angeles, this one, called “Fire on the Runway,” benefits the Breast Cancer Angeles. The faith-based fashion show was hosted by Women of Virtue.

Before the fashion show guest and media were treated to an abundance of good food, music, mingling and drinks. When the show started, and the placed was filled with spectators which included Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell and Kym E. Whitley, all you could hear was cameras flashing because every one’s eyes were on the runway.

Designs presented that night included Angela Dean of DeanZign, Woody Wilson of the Woody Wilson Collection and the St. John collection. “Fire on the Runway,” a faith-based fashion show, was presented by True Love Worship Center.