Billboard Magazine’s holiday music Critics’ Choice Bryan Lubeck is back to celebrate the season with a concert event featuring old and new holiday favorites at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College on Tuesday, December 18, at 7 pm when he hosts REJOICE 2018 on the Mainstage. The annual holiday tradition will have even more Christmas favorites packed into a 90-minute tapestry of music delights.
Bryan, whose fiery Spanish guitar and smooth urban grooves landed him in the top 10 artists played on Sirius XM Watercolors channel last Christmas, will be joined by Billboard chart-topping, international guitar sensation Johannes Linstead, soulful singer-songwriter Selina Albright, as well as local favorites Kennedy’s Kitchen and All God’s Children Community Choir.
“This year’s show will be an incredibly rich blend of holiday sounds and styles that will inspire the spirit of the season in a fresh and sometimes unexpected way. The lineup we have planned is stellar in both talent and showmanship. The audience can expect exciting arrangements of beloved seasonal songs along with original material from each of the guest artists,” Lubeck states.
About Bryan Lubeck
Lubeck received an email out of the blue from Rick O’Dell, one of the most respected contemporary on-air personalities and radio programmers in the country. Attached was O’Dell’s famous Top 20 list of holiday albums of all time. In the Top 10 was Lubeck’s album We Three Strings with the likes of Mannheim Steamroller, The Carpenters, Dave Coz, and Mariah Carey. Since then Lubeck’s career has blossomed with his latest album Tuscan Sky which has spent more than 14 weeks on the various adult contemporary instrumental charts. Still his holiday CD receives regular radio play, with three songs played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Sirius XM’s contemporary jazz stations last year -- prime spots for an artist of any caliber. Lubeck has been named as a Critics’ Choice by Billboard Magazine and has recorded with five Grammy Award winners and performed with 12 Grammy Award nominees and winners. Live shows are his forte with his high-energy, fiery Spanish guitar and smooth urban grooves along with an ability to connect with an audience like no other.
About Johannes Linstead
From being named Canada’s “Guitarist of the Year,” to winning eight “Best Album” awards, to seven top-ten US Billboard charting albums, and winning the “People’s Choice” award in the UK, Johannes Linstead has become recognized internationally as one of the best-selling guitarists in the Instrumental, Jazz and World Music genres. You hear his songs in film, TV, and recently during the winter Olympics for World Champion figure skater Stephane Lambiel’s routine. In 2018, the holiday album collaboration with Bryan Lubeck called We Three Strings was one of the top 10 holiday albums on Sirius XM's Watercolors channel and continues to be a staple of holiday music radio around the world.
About Selina Albright
Selina Albright is a soulful singer-songwriter with versatility that comes from years of listening to many origins and languages of music. Her angelic tone adds character and emotion to any ballad, yet her powerful wailing and energetic stage presence commands attention. She has become a sought-after performer on the pop, jazz, and smooth jazz live show circuits. In 2017, Albright toured with the legendary Dave Koz as part of his smooth jazz holiday show, and she appears on Gerald Albright's Grammy-nominated projects, dating back to 1997, with such titles as “Live to Love,” “Smooth,” “Slam Dunk,” “G,” and "30." Albright’s R&B/Soul release entitled "Brighter" topped the UK Soul Chart for four weeks, and her sassy jazz original "You and I," was featured on iTunes' "Top 100 Downloads" list for the genre of Jazz in 2010. Her 2017 full-length R&B project entitled Conversations, features Billboard chart-topping, Grammy-considered singles "Eat Something (feat. Kay-Ta Matsuno)" and "Possible."
About Kennedy’s Kitchen
Kennedy's Kitchen has been making Irish music together since 1998, averaging about 80 shows per year playing everything from backyard parties and weddings to pubs, concert halls, and national festivals. From their home in South Bend, Indiana, they have travelled as far as New York and Naples, Florida, recording five CDs along the way. The band is led by John Kennedy, award winning singer and guitar player. Joining in is John's nephew Liam Ladewski, Theresa Kubiak, Chris O'Brien, Rob Weber, and Jacob Turner. Liam, Theresa, and Jacob are award winners themselves having competed in the All-Ireland Fleadh on their respective instruments.
About All God’s Children Community Choir
The All God’s Children Community Choir is a spirited group of talented and enthusiastic children and teens, ages 4 to 18, drawn from many different communities in Southwest Michigan. Under the leadership of co-founders Sandy and Larry Feldman and a team of multiethnic directors, the choir is now in its 19th year, inspiring audiences with its messages of brotherhood and sisterhood, unity, peace, and respect for all people. The choir has performed on more than 150 occasions including at Chicago’s Navy Pier on MLK Day, at a special Habitat for Humanity performance for former President Jimmy Carter, and a special on-stage collaboration with Ben Vereen on the The Mendel Center Mainstage.
Tickets for Rejoice 2018 hosted by Bryan Lubeck start at $24 and are on sale at www.TheMendelCenter.com, and through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans. For information about group rates, pre-show party options, and other special arrangements, contact the Box Office. This performance is sponsored by 98.3 The Coast.
Mix & Mingle Holiday Party
Before the show, patrons can enjoy the Mix & Mingle Holiday Party at 5:30 p.m. in Grand Upton Hall. A sumptuous buffet awaits individuals, couples, small groups, and large groups. The menu includes baked ham with brown sugar glaze, chef-carved beef, garlic smashed potatoes, roasted zucchini mix, mixed greens salad, white and wheat rolls, Texas-style cobbler a la mode, and complimentary coffee and tea service. Guests may enjoy a full cash bar with a wide selection of Michigan wines, craft beers, and mixed drinks throughout the party. Mix & Mingle Holiday Party tickets are $25 per person. They are available at www.TheMendelCenter.com and through the box office.