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13th annual GospelFest to feature Byron Cage and J.J. Hairston

August 5, 2014

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

GospelFest is a free event and sponsored by Bank of America in partnership with the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston.

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture will present the 13th annual GospelFest on Sunday, August 10, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on City Hall Plaza. 

GospelFest is a welcoming, public concert for contemporary and traditional gospel and features local talent and national headliners. With headliners Byron Cage and J.J. Hairston, the festival will also feature performances by local artists Anointed Biblical Scriptures and Ayana McDonald.

Byron Cage, known for his top ten worship anthems “The Presence of the Lord” and “I Will Bless the Lord,” has just released his ninth album, Memoirs of a Worshipper. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, raised in nearby Detroit, and brought up in an environment where music and ministry were paramount, Cage was destined for greatness from an early age. When he was merely 4 years of age, he performed his first church solo, and by his teenage years, he was an accomplished saxophonist and choir director at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan.

From Bridgeport, Connecticut, J.J. Hairston has an uncanny ability to bring alive the gospel through energizing choir presentations. His 2014 album is entitled, I See Victory. Youthful Praise has appeared on television on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Stellar Awards, and Bobby Jones Gospel. The ensemble has also performed with Joan Osborne, Shirley Caesar, and Destiny's Child. J.J. Hairston and Youthful Praise have earned multiple Stellar and Dove Award nominations. 

The Boston-based Anointed Biblical Scriptures includes Mary Blake, Dixie Bufford, and Edna Wilkie and are a singing ministry whose mission is to spread the gospel through song. Their motto and theme song is, “I Will Spend All My Life Serving God.” The group not only sings together, but they go to the same church, and love doing ministry work, visiting the Bostonian Nursing Home to fellowship with the residents every third Sunday.

Ayana McDonald is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and a member of the Stellar Award-winning group J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise. McDonald has opened for Kim Burrell and Israel Houghton and shared the stage with Gloria Estephan, Shirley Murdock, and the Yellowjackets. Her debut album, Flow, will be released this fall.

Food will be available for purchase on City Hall Plaza during GospelFest.

City Hall Plaza is accessible by MBTA via State Street (Orange and Blue lines) and Park Street (Green and Red lines). For additional information, call 617-635-3245 or visit