California Rocker

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And Now Here’s a Truly MAJOR Nominee for Outstanding New Artist by the NAACP Image Awards

The California Rocker Q and A with The Musician Known as MAJOR


DB: How does it feel to be recognized as a nominee for Outstanding New Artist by The NAACP Image Awards?

MAJOR: It feels amazing. I’m thankful.

DB: Do you think it takes more than talent to make it in music today? 

MAJOR: Absolutely, it may sound cliche but ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. The talent may get you there but good character can keep you there.

DB: When did you first know you had what it takes? 

MAJOR: I’ve always believed I had “IT” (not perfect but great) from a young age … I just learned not everyone will get it at the same time – so I kept it excellent and just gave it time. Now more of the world is taking notice and I’m thankful for that.

DB: What role has the church played in your musical growth and inspiration? 

MAJOR: The essence of church is at my core. I learned the power of faith, belief, and unity from the church. Got NOTHING but love for the church. Always will.

DB: Who are your mentors? 

MAJOR: I get inspiration from any one who’s WINNING. I’m always taking notes. But the most recent heroes of my today are Elvin Ross (film composer) and Stevie Wonder (the legend). Mr. Wonder for obvious reasons including his recent public support of my career and Elvin Ross for all of the wisdom he gives me. I’m grateful. Like for real.

DB: What advice would you give a young musician today?

MAJOR: Keep it champion. That means excellent in every way possible. The world won’t be able to deny you.


NAACP Image Awards FAQ: The two-hour awards ceremony will be broadcast live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 9 P.M. ET PT tape-delayed on Saturday, Feb. 11 on TV One.  A live 90-minute red carpet pre-show, co-hosted by Terrence J and Nischelle Turner, will begin at 7:30 pm.

LeBron James will be presented with the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Award, and Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.

Other presenters are yet to be announced, as is this year’s NAACP Entertainer of the Year. Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin are the executive producers. Co-executive producers are Kimmie H. Kim and Byron Phillips. Tony McCuin is the director and Robin Reinhardt is the talent producer.


Jonathan Butler and Gerald Albright Kick off the 29th annual Long Beach Jazz Festival in Grand Style

LONG BEACH – Legendary musicians Gerald Albright and Jonathan Butler launched the 29th annual Long Beach Jazz Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach Friday night.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday. It features top jazz performers and a range of vendors co-mingling to celebrate beautiful music under clear skies.

Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler – Photo by Donna Balancia

Other headliners performing throughout the weekend include Jeffrey Osborne, Dave Koz and David Sanborn, Side by Side, The Rippingtons, Michael Lington and Kenny Lattimore. Attendees can also expect appearances from world-renowned speakers, authors, innovators and celebrities for A Healthy Taste of Jazz, bringing Music, Health and Wellness together. The activities are brought to you by Rainbow Promotions LLC, Benoit Entertainment Group LLC in partnership with McDonald’s and other sponsors.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival hosts top global brands for a weekend of great music, rich cultural experiences, celebrity meet-and-greets and more. At this year’s event, attendees will have the opportunity to experience their favorite jazz musicians who will be on full display each day. In addition, attendees have a chance to purchase official merchandise and for those with VIP access, an opportunity to engage with celebrities and personalities backstage.

Long Beach Jazz Festival - Photo by Donna Balancia

Long Beach Jazz Festival – Photo by Donna Balancia

“We are excited to bring new and exciting experiences to complement our music programming,” said Kimberly Benoit, president of Rainbow Promotions LLC. “With more than several thousand attendees visiting Long Beach throughout the weekend, we’ve created unique experiences and entertainment tailored to our audience with the help of our sponsors. This will truly be a celebration of how far we’ve come in the last 29 years.”

The Long Beach Jazz Festival, along with our sponsors, will offer fans unmatched consumer engagement experiences each day, including health and wellness programming at the Vendors’ Pavilion.  For tickets or more information go to the Long Beach Jazz Festival website.

Jazz Fest marketing pro and interviewer extraordinaire, Ms. Blair and opening act, Major share a moment at Jazz Festival - Photo by Donna Balancia

Jazz Fest marketing pro and interviewer extraordinaire, Ms. Blair, and opening act, MAJOR, share a moment at Long Beach Jazz Festival – Photo by Donna Balancia

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