[js_swp_row_heading title=”JTNDc3BhbiUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIybGNfdmlicmFudF9jb2xvciUyMiUzRSUyME1vdGhlciVFMiU4MCU5OXMlMjBEYXklMjBNdXNpYyUyMCUyMEZlc3RpdmFsJTIwMjAxOCUyMCUzQyUyRnNwYW4lM0UlMEFBdGxhbnRpYyUyMENpdHklMjBGZWF0dXJpbmclMjBHbGFkeXMlMjBLbmlnaHQlMkMlMjBNYXh3ZWxsJTIwYW5kJTIwVml2aWFuJTIwQW4lMjB1cGxpZnRpbmclMjBldmVuaW5nJTIwb2YlMjBsZWdlbmRhcnklMjBzb3VsJTIwbXVzaWMlMjBCeSUyMExhdXJhJTIwTWF6dXJlayUwQQ==” subtitle=”JTNDc3BhbiUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIybGNfdmlicmFudF9jb2xvciUyMiUzRUJ5JTIwU0NFTkUlMjBNYWdhemluZSUyMC0lMjBNYXklMjAxOCUyQyUyMDIwMTglMjA=”]
This year marked the 10th Annual Mother’s Day Music Festival  in Atlantic City presented by Big Bloc Entertainment and Platinum  Productions. The annual music festival took place this year from May 11th-13th at Caesars Palace and Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The festival always features a stellar line up of legendary r&b and soul artists celebrating and uplifting women. This years line up included musical artists Joe, Stokley, Maxwell, Gladys Knight, Vivian Green, The Whispers, The Pragmatics and The Intruders.
I had the pleasure of being in attendance to cover the May 12th concert at Boardwalk Hall featuring Maxwell, Gladys Knight and Vivian Green for the Scene Chicago and my radio outlets Spiritual Connect and London Energy Radio UK. The evening was full of amazing energy, empowerment and sensational musical performances. The concert opened up with the beautiful, graceful and dynamic Philadelphia native singer/songwriter/actress Vivian Green who got the crowd moving with extended renditions of her hit songs ” Emotional Roller coaster”, “I Don’t Know”, and ” Get Right Back to My Baby”. Vivian Green was accompanied by legendary DJ and music producer Kwame who produced her 2016 album Vivid on his label Make Noise Recordings. Kwame has produced hits for LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot and Will Smith, and many others, and created original music for motion pictures Stomp The Yard, Coach Carter, and Freedom Writers to name a few. As a producer he has sold over 30 million records and got the crown dancing with his old school club hit “Owlee Eue”.
Vivian Green’s feel good set was followed by The Empress of Soul, 6 time Grammy Award winner and 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee Gladys Knight who took the audience on reflective and musical journey through her iconic career.  Gladys Knight thrilled the crowd with her sensational vocals and  many of her hits  including ” Midnight Train To Georgia”, ” Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me”, and ” I Heard It Threw The Grapevine”. Gladys was very warm, interactive and engaging with the audience. She reflected with the audience about her carear, memories of Marvin Gaye, and also spoke about messages of empowerment and the importance of musical artists presenting themselves with class and elegance on stage. Everyone in attendance, including the evenings closing act Maxwell was well aware we were in the presence of musical greatness and praised Gladys throughout the evening.
Maxwell who helped shape the neo soul movement with his debut cd Urban Hang Suite, which many feel is one of the best soul albums of all time, wowed the crowd with his soaring falsetto and magnetic stage presence. He delighted the audience with a cross section of his hits including Grammy winning “Pretty Wings” and “Lake By The Ocean” as well as funked out versions of “Ascension” and ” Sumthin Sumthin”, and his power ballads ” Whenever Wherever Whatever” and ” Fortunate”.  Maxwell is known for always wearing impeccably tailored suits on stage and to public appearances. He has been quoted in interviews saying that he dresses to show respect for the legacy of his music and what it means to his fans. One of the many things I love about Maxwell’s music is that he always portrays women in a respectful and empowering light. All of his songs are individual gems that are timeless and you can listen and enjoy over and over, and never tire of listening to. He effortlessly infuses elements of r&b, soul, funk and new age music in all of his compositions. He uplifted the audience not only with his music but with his words of acknowledging the power and importance of women.
Maxwell is a musical  artist who is not only known for his soul stirring vocals and lyrics, but also for his activism and award winning philanthropy. He lends his support and influence many charities aimed at fighting for women’s rights and giving voices to those who’s struggles are underrepresented. Maxwell recently announced that he is putting on the musical festival Black Summers Night for Social Justice which will take place August 11th at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens NY. The concert purpose is to bring attention to issues such as women’s rights, the disproportionate incarceration of African American men in America and other social issues. Maxwell has stated that a portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the Metoo Movement, Southern Poverty Law Center and other charities to be announced. The evolving musical line up of The Black Summers Night for Social Justice so far include Maxwell, Fanatsia. Jazmine Sullivan, and DVSM. This is sure to be a an enlightening and socially conscious event full of memorable musical performances. You can find more information and purchase tickets at musze.com