Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Full slate for Ardenne alumni fundraising virtual telethon

Published:Saturday | July 31, 2021 | 12:07 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Isha Blender
Isha Blender
Richie Stephens
Richie Stephens

It is all systems go this Saturday for the Ardenne Alumni Association Atlanta Chapter (AAAAC) Summer Concert Fundraising Virtual Telethon, that will seek to raise money to support the scholarship programme, which is a four-year scholarship for two current Ardenne students. It will also assist with funding for the lunch programme, which, for some students, is the only meal of the day.

The telethon will be headlined by music ambassador Richie Stephens. The event will also feature performances by father-and-daughter singers Anthony and Tiffanie Malvo. Anthony, a veteran singer and producer from the 1990s, rose to prominence with hits Come Back To Me featuring Tiger, Not On My Level and Take You To The Dance. He recently released a collaboration with Buju Banton titled Baby Come Take It, while his daughter Tiffanie is building her own catalogue with singles Love You with Wayne Wonder and Good Love, featuring Busy Signal.

A spiritually riveting performance is expected from 11-year-old prodigy Janessa Smith, who a few months ago landed on the Christian Billboard charts with her gospel single, He’s Able. Janessa was subsequently nominated for several awards, including the prestigious Stellar Awards, in the Youth Project of the Year category.

A stirring performance is expected from Florida-based rising star Isha Blender, daughter of 1990s roots veteran Everton Blender. Isha first made her mark in 2016 with her début EP titled Epiphany. Brooklyn-based CK Pragmatic is making a name stateside, with strong performances this year at the New Jersey Spice Jerk Festival.

An interesting addition to the line-up is Tanzania-born gospel DJ Barnaba Nyirenda. His father, being a gospel minister, was called to serve in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in 2007. Barnaba moved with his family and quickly learnt the Jamaican dialect. He adopted the Jamaican culture and is glorifying God through creatively composing and remixing gospel songs while staying relevant to his African culture.

Other performers include gospel singer Joan Myers, dub poet Diandra Harrison of Ardenne High, Habba Bash, saxophonist Fred Robertson, among others. Master of ceremonies will be alumnus Andrew Lawrence.

AAAC president, Uton Henry, appealed to Ardenne, past students and members of the Jamaican diaspora to support the telethon.

The four-hour telethon will be streamed live via Zoom beginning at 8 p.m.