Barbados will host one of the most respected personalities in the Christian music arena across the globe and songwriter for a wide range of top movies such as Kingdom Come, starring LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett Smith and Whoopie Goldberg.
We are talking about Kurt Carr –– with his Kurt Carr Singers –– who will be the headline artiste at Breakthru 2015, coming off at The Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on Sunday, November 29, from 6:30 p.m. to mark this country’s 49th Independence anniversary celebrations.
The event will be boosted by local acts Paula Hinds, Ricky Niles & Quartet, Pastor John Yarde, Samantha Leacock and the First Baptist Choir, Sherry-Anne Maughn, Keanne Walters, Lakenna Hall, Bryan Lashley and Trenecia Esseboom, accompanied by the SIDA Gospel Choir and Zamar backing band, led by Kevin Cox.
Also being featured are the 2015 FLOW Gospel Challenge winner Ria Armstrong and Halal Dance Ministry.
But that’s not all.
Breakthru 2015 will dedicate a segment of the event to the memory of the late Godfather Of Gospel Music in Barbados, Joseph Niles.
The special tribute will be presented by Emmanuel Joseph [yours truly], Pastor Henderson Quimby [former krosfyah musician] and Sheldon Miller.
To put the icing on the cake, there will be special presentations made to the wives of pastors, and female pastors themselves.
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, this year’s Breakthru is being hosted by international gospel singer and evangelist Bridget Blucher.
Back to headliner Kurt Carr.
For those who might be asking who is this Kurt Carr, and what’s the big deal about him.
Well, after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in fine arts, Carr was mentored by gospel pianists such as Richard Smallwood and the Rev. James Cleveland. He began working with Cleveland in 1986 and served as his musical director until Cleveland’s death in 1991.
Meanwhile, Carr put together his own ensemble, The Kurt Carr Singers, who released their debut CD Together in 1991. The album was noted for his classical-meets-Pentecostal arrangement of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy. Carr was soon chosen as the creative director of music at West Angeles Church Of God In Christ in Los Angeles, California, pastored by Bishop Charles E. Blake. Carr served in this position for over 15 years.
Given his grand contribution to corporate worship, millions continue to sing Carr’s In the Sanctuary across the globe every week, in nine different languages.
“After the success of that song, I knew God had called my music ministry to reach people of all races and all people who have an open ear for God’s message,” says Carr. His last CD –– Just The Beginning –– features the Top Ten 2008 modern gospel iconic hit Peace And Favour Rest On Us.
“God has called me to preserve the music of the church,” Carr says, matter-of-factly. “There are ministers who are called to go into the world and evangelize it. I feel that I am called to perpetuate the music of the church so that there’s substance to feed seasoned saints and new converts. That summarizes my calling.”
Carr also shares his gift of music with other artistes, producing the chart-topping album for Bishop Paul Morton, I’m Still Standing; and for Tramaine Hawkins, I Never Lost My Praise. In addition to producing, Carr wrote the BMI Award-winning song The Presence Of The Lord Is Here for Byron Cage.
This piece was also featured as the recurring theme song throughout the Sony Pictures movie First Sunday, starring Ice Cube, Katt Williams and Tracy Morgan. Kurt also served as a music consultant for the film.
His previous film credits include writing, producing, and performing the song God’s Got It All in Control for the Fox Searchlight movie Kingdom Come. For the Sony Pictures movie Not Easily Broken, written by Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kurt wrote and produced the song You’re In The Right Place.
Over the last 13 years, the songs of Kurt Carr have become essential to Sunday morning church services. His sophisticated praise tunes such as In The Sanctuary, For Every Mountain and Peace And Favour Rest On Us are choir staples.