Recap: ‘Dinner Concert at the Main,’ presented by Milagro Productions

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever


“No singing at the table” is an etiquette rule that definitely was not applicable at JC’s Kitchen on East Main Street Saturday evening.  The Durham restaurant hosted “Dinner Concert at the Main,” presented by Milagro Productions, and the truth is that nearly everyone sang at his or her table at some point throughout the lively four-hour event.  Stellar Award-winning radio announcer Bobby Parker served as the emcee.


Roughly 50 people packed into the eatery, occupying every section of the compact dining area, to enjoy an evening of music, mime, comedy, and home-style food.  Concerns about the broken A/C—and the pesky wasp that hung out for a while—faded swiftly once the concert got underway with mime dancer Anointed Vessel’s rousing performance.  Milagro Records’ Brandie Brown followed, debuting her uptempo contemporary single “Undefeated.”

Beth Daniels joins JSUP on "Te Bendecire" at Milagro Production's "Dinner Concert at the Main."
Beth Daniels joins JSUP on “Te Bendecire.”

Milagro’s Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise rendered several tunes from their repertoire, including the ensemble’s exuberant current single “Glimpse” and “Te Bendecire,” which are both featured on JSUP’s forthcoming full-length CD.  For the concert finale, Santiago invited nearly a fifth of the audience to come down and take turns riffing over the refrain of “Healing Rain,” another of the group’s requested songs.


Other performances of the evening included a pair of selections from Yolanda Mitchell—who later transformed into the comically eccentric Ms. Marzette—and a medley of worship anthems from Shelia Copeland.

Juan Santiago launches new label at showcase and release party featuring Kierra Sheard

(Durham, NC) – May 22, 2017 – Many in the Gospel music industry are familiar with Juan Santiago as the leader of the gifted Gospel ensemble Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise (JSUP). The group is known for presenting sacred music with exquisite harmonies and God-focused lyrics. Now the head of JSUP is embarking on a new venture as he launches a record label called Milagro Records. Santiago will be showcasing his label’s talented artists at his upcoming Artist Showcase & Single Release Party. The event will celebrate the start of the label as well as the release of three singles by Milagro’s artists on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 5 PM, at Faith Assembly Christian Center located at 3120 Fayetteville St. in Durham, NC.


Hosted by Radio One’s Darlene McCoy, the Artist Showcase & Single Release Party will also feature GRAMMY Award Winner Kierra Sheard. Doors will open at 4 PM and the evening will include performances by Milagro Records artists Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise, LaBria Thompson, Frank Lewis, Jr. and Sunila Williams. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.com or by contacting Milagro Productions at [email protected].

Santiago is excited about the event, his artists, and the launch of his new venture. Recognizing the fact that some record label deals are not advantageous to artists, he launched his record company because he wants to offer gospel artists the opportunity to sign with a label that truly puts the artist first. “It’s important to me that artists are treated fairly,” Juan states. “As an independent artist, I know the struggles that come with being an indie artist and I want to offer something at Milagro Records that artists would not be able to find elsewhere. My prayer is that God will use Milagro Records to open doors for artists so that His music can move forward.”

It’s with that heart and spirit that Juan signed three artists to Milagro. The first artist he signed was LaBria Thompson. Born in Hattiesburg, MS and raised in Marietta, GA, LaBria is a worship leader, songwriter and songstress who has sung background vocals for Gospel artist Marjane Parks. An ordained minister, LaBria just celebrated one year of healing from lupus. It’s with that testimony in mind that she is releasing her new single, “How Can I Smile.”

Frank Lewis, Jr., another new artist on Milagro Records, has been playing the piano since the age of nine. That talent found him playing at a number of local churches as a youth. An exceptional vocalist, he made it to the second round of FOX’s American Idol and participated on BET’s Sunday Best and NBC’s The Voice. Flaunting a soulful sound, the Dallas, TX resident is a gifted songwriter as well. His first single is entitled “Peace.” The track, co-written by the artist himself, was inspired by challenges he endured and the peace he found in the midst of it.

Sunila Williams is Santiago’s sister and is a new artist on his label as well. Hailing from Buffalo, NY, she has been singing most of her life. She belted out songs in the choir at Holy Temple COGIC and sang in the state choir as well. A former background singer for Kathy Burrell, sister of gospel singer and Pastor Kim Burrell, Sunila also led the song, “My Hiding Place,” on JSUP’s Naro Group Presents Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise, Ultimate Worship Experience. She will be dropping a new single as well entitled “My King.”

Juan’s own group, Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise, will be ministering at the event, too. Formed in 1995, the ensemble features singers from all over the east coast that initially included college students and ministry leaders. Since the group’s start, they’ve released Naro Group Presents Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise, Ultimate Worship Experience and are currently working on a new record. Also signed to Milagro Records, JSUP will be dropping a new single, “Glimpse” (see GMF’s review here), produced by GRAMMY and Stellar Award Nominee, Damion Murrill. 

"Glimpse" – Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise

Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise "Glimpse" art work

“Glimpse”
Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise (March 4, 2017)
www.jsuplive.com

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

“Glimpse” is the new single from multi award-winning international recording group, Juan Santiago & Uninhibited Praise (JSUP). Ecstatic applause and a one-minute guitar-infused intro kick off the CCM track through which JSUP proclaims, “Just to get a touch from You / Just to get a glimpse of You / We will be whole.” Santiago, the ensemble’s founder, allows his expressive vibrato to come to the fore as he enthusiastically leads the pulsating vertical worship song.

“Glimpse,” penned by Anthony Shepard, was recorded live in Baltimore and produced by Damion Murrill. It appears on JSUP’s forthcoming full-length project, scheduled for release later this year.

JSUP to hold S.O.S. (Select Our Single) Listening Party – Nov. 14

Inasmuch as SOS is the international Morse code distress signal, it can be said that Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise (JSUP) need your help.

JSUP has been working hard in the studio and is ready for you to hear what they’ve been cooking up.  The choir invites fam, fans, friends, and media to join them November 14 at 3 PM, for their S.O.S. (Select Our Single) Listening Party.  That’s right, the award-winning aggregation wants you to select the new single from their forthcoming album, Fresh Fire.

The event takes place at SkyLofts Gallery & Studios, 3701 Bank Street, in Baltimore, MD.  General admission is $12.  Admission is free for media, but you must RSVP to [email protected] by November 12.

In other celebratory news this year, JSUP is nominated for four Rhythm of Gospel Awards, including Traditional Choir of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year for “Take Your Burdens.” (Read GMF’s review of “Take Your Burdens” here.)

"Take Your Burdens" – Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise

“Take Your Burdens”
Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise (2015)
www.jsuplive.com

Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise Take Your Burdens art work

Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise’s single “Take Your Burdens” can be summed up in one word: churchy.

 
JSUP, an aggregation of vocal talent recognized in and beyond the country for its captivating style of praise and worship (with songs like “Holy is the Lord” and “Healing Rain”), presents a markedly different sound with “Take Your Burdens.”  Vocalist Jeneal Johnson and JSUP’s cascading choir vocals make this moderately paced scorcher of a traditional choir number redolent of South Side Chicago Sunday mornings, Jackson Sunday afternoons, and Memphis Sunday evenings.

Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise set for live recording Oct. 4

Click to enlarge

Juan Santiago and Uninhibited Praise (JSUP) is gearing up for its sophomore live recording, titled The Ultimate Worship Experience, Part II. The evening of worship will take place at 5pm on October 4, 2014, at St. James Free Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD.  Songstress Michelle Prather of Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers will make a special guest appearance.

JSUP is no stranger to the gospel music scene.  The choir’s debut CD, Taking It to the Streetz, was released in 2005.  In 2011, the aggregation released Ultimate Worship Experience Live, which featured the songs “Healing Rain,” “Majesty,” “Holy is the Lord,” and “God is Here.”

Tickets for Saturday’s event are available at www.anjelicarecords.com and John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham.  For more information about JSUP, visit jsuplive.com.