Macon, Georgia – August 21, 2023– The Otis Redding Foundation is proud to announce the inclusion of distinguished honorees and renowned talent for its highly anticipated 2nd Annual King of Soul Music Festival taking place on September 8th and 9th in the heart of Macon, Georgia. The Festival is a celebration of the timeless legacy of the legendary Otis Redding, who rose to prominence rooted in the heart of Macon. The festival aims to honor Otis Redding’s influence on soul music and his profound impact on the world, while also supporting the Otis Redding Foundation’s mission to empower and uplift young musicians through music education.
The Foundation recently announced they will be honoring songwriter, producer, DJ and entrepreneur, Jermaine Dupri, with the prestigious Otis and Zelma Redding Award of Respect for his profound contributions to the world of music and entertainment.
“In addition to Jermaine, we are excited about honoring Roderick Cox with The Otis Redding Foundation DREAM Award. We have known Roderick since he was a young man and he continues to follow his DREAM and is sharing the journey with others,” stated Karla Redding-Andrews, Vice President, and Executive Director of the Foundation. “Our entire family is proud of him and his musical accomplishments.”
“Benjy Griffith does more than just care about his community. He helps to move it forward by supporting and encouraging youth throughout Macon-Bibb County,” continues Karla Redding-Andrews. “He will be the first recipient of The Otis Redding III Award of Philanthropy in honor of my brother, who recently passed away.”
Roderick Cox – The Otis Redding Foundation DREAM Award:
Roderick Cox will be honored with The Otis Redding Foundation DREAM Award for his outstanding dedication to nurturing the next generation of classical musicians through scholarship funding and mentorship. Cox’s work with the Roderick Cox Music Initiative has been deeply inspired by the support and encouragement he received from the Otis Redding Foundation, and he is committed to continuing his journey of uplifting others.
In recognition of this prestigious accolade, Cox shares his gratitude with the Macon community, stating, “I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Otis Redding Foundation for the 2023 Otis Redding Foundation DREAM Award. My musical journey would not have been possible without the foundation’s belief in me. My work with the Roderick Cox Music Initiative, to nurture the next generation of classical musicians through scholarship funding and mentorship, was inspired by my positive experience in Macon and by local angels like the Redding family. I am motivated to continue to ‘lift as I climb’ and I thank the Macon community for their enduring support.”
Benjy Griffith – The Otis Redding III Award of Philanthropy:
Benjy Griffith will be honored with the inaugural Otis Redding III Award of Philanthropy, recognizing his exceptional philanthropic efforts and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on communities.
The mission of the Griffith Foundation, founded in 1993, is to inspire, encourage, and empower the citizens of Central Georgia by cultivating education and the arts, creating economic opportunity, and developing compassionate leaders. They support initiatives that best exemplify their understanding of social justice based on 3 strategic priorities: capacity building, individual and community empowerment, and creating opportunity.
“Mrs. Zelma Redding is and remains a mentor to me,” stated Benjy Griffith. “I worked for her as a college student and learned so much from her business savvy techniques and classy style. She has instilled in her family to be proud of their family legacy and most importantly, give back to the community that gives to you. That is also what the Griffith Foundation believes in as well!”
An “Evening of Respect” will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023, at the Macon City Auditorium. In addition to honoring Jermaine Dupri, Roderick Cox, and Benjy Griffith the following talent will pay tribute to the King Of Soul with their exceptional performances:
Orchestra Noir awarded ‘Best of Atlanta: Classical Meets Contemporary’ by Atlanta Magazine, will join forces with the Otis Redding Foundation to celebrate the life of Otis Redding through their innovative orchestral interpretations. As advocates for music education, Orchestra Noir has inspired countless young, minority musicians through their educational-centered concerts, collaborating with esteemed brands and artists including Atlantic Records, Lionsgate, YouTube Music, BET, and more.
“Otis Redding is a legend, and we are honored to team up with the Foundation to reimagine his music through our orchestral lens, ” stated Maestro Jason Rodgers, Conductor of Orchestra Noir. “We are truly looking forward to the innovation stemming from this rewarding, yet herculean feat.”
American music artist Jac Ross, known for his distinct sound and creative style, will captivate festival attendees with his powerful performance. With multiple Grammy nominations and a repertoire of songs advocating for cultural, social, and political issues, Jac Ross embodies the spirit of iconic voices that have shaped culture throughout history. His soul-stirring music draws from personal experiences, delivering riveting and engaging performances that resonate deeply with his community.
“Performing at the 2nd annual King of Soul Music festival is an honor,” commented Jac Ross, “The Redding Foundation, family and of course Otis have had such a profound influence on my career.”
A celebrated Blues musician, Taj and Otis Redding became close friends when Taj opened for Otis in 1966. Taj is a very talented musician who plays the guitar, piano, banjo, and harmonica. Currently on tour only Taj has done much to reshape the definition and scope of Blues music by fusing it with sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Hawaii, and the South Pacific. He is a three-time Grammy winner and has had 10 Grammy nominations over the course of his career as well as performing in numerous films, televisions shows and documentaries.
“I will always remember opening for Otis on tour in 1966 and we became great friends,” stated Taj Mahal. “His music continues to inspire me and musicians around the world. “I want to thank the Redding family for inviting me to participate in the Soul Music Festival this year. We’re going to have an amazing time.”
Grammy-nominated for “All On My Mind,” singer/songwriter, musician Anderson East hails from Athens, Alabama and is known for his classic Americana sound which fuses R&B, Gospel, and Country.
“Thank you for inviting me to perform at the Festival,” commented East. “I have deep respect and admire Otis Redding and paying homage to him is an honor.”
Rebel Rae, a talented R&B/Soul artist signed with Sony Music’s Orchard, is excited about performing at the King of Soul Festival. Hailing from the DMV, she has gained global acclaim as an emerging artist. Her EP, “Take All My Tears,” is set to be released on September 8, following her successful collaborations with renowned artists and remarkable live performances at various events and tours.
The DREAM Team, composed of talented young singers, songwriters, and musicians from the Middle Georgia area, will perform at “The Evening of Respect”.
Tickets for “The Evening of Respect” can be purchased at: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E005EF3A9272FCF.
The “Big ‘O’ Homecoming Show “will be held at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, September 9 with two soulful artists sharing their incredible talent:
There is something undeniably out-of-time about soul-singer, songwriter Kendra Morris and her indelibly cool new album, I Am What I’m Waiting For, release date August 25, 2023. It combines rough -hewn powerhouse vocals with arrangements that betray both an extensive record collection and a whimsical instinct for joyous noises. It’s vibrant and varied and packed with personality. Kendra is currently on tour in the United States with upcoming Fall dates in Europe.
“Alanna Royale makes beautiful, soulful music that urges you to dance, with deep lyrics and a rich voice full of emotion and power that can’t be ignored. She is the epitome of independence, strength, and confidence. Her music represents who she is as a person – someone who is more than aware of the necessary changes to our system but appreciates her place in life as a musician.” (What’s Up! Magazine)