Today was full of learning new things. Our campers went through vocal warm ups where Coach Jayme taught them to breathe with intention followed by music theory with Coach Ted. We were fortunate enough to host, Calvin Cooke, who taught us about the Sacred Steel Guitar. Keep reading to learn more!
Presenter of the Day: Calvin Cooke
Nashville country steel guitarists have dubbed Calvin Cooke the “B.B. King of gospel steel guitar.” Calvin was born in 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio into a musical family that belonged to the Church of the Living God, Jewell Dominion, which had a strong steel guitar tradition. Calvin first picked up the guitar in 1955 when a member of his extended family bought him a six-string guitar, but his fingers were too small to play it. To achieve the sound he wanted, Calvin used a knife as a slide. In time his mother purchased a steel guitar at a local pawn shop. He continues to use the same instrument on stage today as well as a ten string pedal steel instrument which he plays in a unique tuning that came to him in a vision. By 1958 Cooke had brought the influence of Jewell music, which is characterized by slower tempos and boogie rhythms, to the Keith Dominion. Bishop Henry Harrison was so impressed by the young steel virtuoso that he took Cooke on the road with him to preach the Gospel. Harrison was a carpenter and together they helped build churches by day. By night he played and sang while the Bishop preached. Calvin is hailed today as the most influential living pedal steel guitar master within the Sacred Steel tradition.
Georgia Artist of the Day
Superstar entertainer Jennifer Nettles is one of the most admired and animated performers. ASCAP has honored her songwriting prowess with five awards, including the emotionally charged, No. 1 PLATINUM hit “Stay” that also earned Jennifer GRAMMY®, ACM and CMA Awards. As the first female artist to be the solo songwriter on an ACM Song of the Year winner since 1972, Jennifer was acknowledged with the Crystal Milestone Award. Leading with her powerhouse vocals and vivacious energy, Jennifer hit high notes throughout 2016, releasing two critically-acclaimed Big Machine Records’ albums – PLAYING WITH FIRE and TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS – in addition to back-to-back headline tours as well as holiday-themed dates.
Coaches of the Day: Dawn & Joiterious
Dawn Jackson is one of our first year coaches. Her family builds pedal steel guitars and other stringed instruments (Jackson Steel Guitar Company). She also writes, records and produces music, and has a publishing company / indie record label called Sho-Bud Music. Her non-profit organization, Shine On Haiti, helps donate instruments and establish music schools in Haiti.
Joiterious Marshall has been with the Otis Music for five years, three as camper and two as a coach. The Central High School honor graduate, is a Singer/Songwriter and Worship Leader residing in Macon, GA. Marshall began his start in music singing in church and community choirs around the Middle GA area. In 2015, he was a camper in The Otis Music Camp which has led to countless opportunities singing around the Southeast doing backing vocals for artist like Andra Day, Fantasia Barrino, and local artist.