Kambri Williams
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Kambri Williams

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"Musicians Celebrate with the Community"

Musicians Celebrate with the Community
By: Elizabeth Hodge


The Legacy band and several volunteer artists performed on the Trace in an attempt to raise spirits and reach out to the community.

With their listeners humming along, local musicians hosted a night of music and celebration at the St. Tammany Trace in an attempt to rejuvenate the community and lift the spirits of those still reeling from Hurricane Katrina.

”This is a time of renewal and rejoicing. Music is rejoicing in itself, and we want to share it with the community,” said Bernie Cyrus, a local musician and one of the original board members of Legacy Music, which staged the performance Friday night in conjunction with the St. Tammany Arts Commission.

”It all started with an idea by Willie Paretti, Chair of the Legacy Board, who wanted to celebrate all the things we [the community] have been through in the last year,” said Robin Rorie, President and Founder of Legacy Music, L.L.C., a non-profit, faith-based organization.

Legacy turned to the St. Tammany Arts Commission for help organizing and promoting the “uplifting and family-oriented” event that was recorded by Channel 10, Access St. Tammany, and will air this upcoming weekend, Dana Lafonta, Arts Coordinator, said.

”Our mission is to change the world one song at a time,” Rorie said and they strive for this day-in-and-day-out in three ways: building artists, mentoring and non-profit partner projects.

With the development of the artists and musicians being the main goal, Legacy believes in finding “ways to provide the tools and guidance they need to be successful,” Rorie said. This is accomplished through encouraging lessons and focusing on the positive, uplifting aspects of faith.

”I felt the need to start something that would benefit the artists and pay them more money for their work,” Rorie said, explaining that many modern production companies make money off of the artists, while the artists don’t make substantial incomes and feel mistreated.

As a non-profit organization, Legacy relies heavily on grants and donations and, with no investors to pay back, more money returns to the artists from CD sales.

”I believe our artists feel it is a blessing that they can be involved in the organization and help change lives and bring people in [through their music],” said David Heintz, Project Manager and co-producer at Legacy. “Every one of these artists you saw on stage volunteered their time. They chose to be here. It provides them with an outlet for their songs and a chance to be involved with the community.”

Kambri Williams, one of the featured artists at the event, said, “We came here tonight to help bring the community back together after Katrina and show people that we care.”

Williams said she feels her participation with Legacy has been a blessing and that she “knew it was God that brought me to them.”

”Legacy really is about the artist and the musician,” Rorie said. “We spend a lot of time developing the artists, not only as singers, but as songwriters too.”

Legacy offers XPM, or "Experiencing Music," classes for aspiring musicians of any age. These classes act as VIP passes to special workshops and lessons provided in the area. They focus on helping the students understand the process of recording, organizing jam sessions, working with other musicians, and bringing the actual components of music together.

”We try to provide any tools we can to make them reach their full potential and be successful,” Rorie said.


- St.Tammany.com


"Local Singers and Musicians Find Home at Legacy Music"

Local singers, musicians find home
at Legacy Music
Publisher: Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
By: Kelli Moore
First published: September 10, 2006

When local singer-songwriter Dalila Seruntine joined a Covington record company called Legacy Music five months ago, she hoped the decision would lead to a positive change in her musical career.

Working as a musician for the past five years in the New Orleans nightclub scene, the married young mother instinctively knew she was not in the best place to develop her talents and career goals.

Now, after signing on with Legacy, she is singing and composing faith-based lyrics to her heart's content, and is recording her own album of original works.

"It's like a dream come true. I don't have to act like something I'm not," Seruntine said.

Seruntine is just one of several talented musicians living in and around St. Tammany Parish who are developing their musical careers with Legacy Music, a nonprofit Christian recording company.

With a new office and recording studio on Columbia Street in downtown Covington, the organization's goals are to help build and develop musicians, mentor children and youths through music workshops, and collaborate with other nonprofit groups to produce recordings that raise money for worthy causes.

In these ways, Legacy Music aims to achieve an even larger goal: to become a catalyst for positive change in the world.

"It was definitely God-inspired," said Legacy Music President Robin D. Rorie of Covington, an experienced record producer, writer and arranger who came up with the idea in 2002.

Legacy Music shared its talent and enthusiasm with the public last week by hosting a free concert, called "Celebrate on the Trace," on Sept. 1 at the trailhead on Koop Drive. More than 150 people attended the event. As children played along the outskirts of the crowd, adults relaxed on blankets and chairs, or stood swaying to the music as the sun descended into the evening sky.

With low humidity and mild temperatures, together with an energetic, polished performance, the outdoor concert was comfortable as well as entertaining.

The response was enthusiastic. "I think it's great. Really great. There's a lot of talent out there. It's so refreshing to see young people out there with this kind of music," said Judy Kramer of Slidell.

"It's awesome," said Brad Buccola, a senior at Fontainebleau High School. "I play in a youth band at my church. This is the kind of music that we're starting to play."

"We've had so much positive feedback from people of all ages," Rorie said.

Legacy Music office manager Sherrie Rorie was beneath a canopy selling copies of Legacy Music CDs and singles. She credited board member Willie Paretti for coming up with the idea to host the outdoor concert one year after Hurricane Katrina.

"She wanted it to be a time when the community got together and celebrated where we've come from," she said.

The repertoire included works from the band's first album, "Legacy Music: The Collection, Volume 1," which was released in August 2005, as well as newer works by the artists, many of whom are producing either single recordings or full-scale albums. Performers included vocalists Jeremy Miller, Krystal Lupo , Kambri Williams, Will Allen and Seruntine.

Accompanying them onstage was drummer Wesley Davidson, percussionist; Dennis Shaikewitz, Will Allen on keyboard; Rob Rorie on bass; and guitarists Eric Holm, Bryan Brewster and Kris Nicholson.

Legacy Music project manager David Heintz served as sound engineer.

Vocalist Laura Ballard kicked off the concert with a rendition of the national anthem, accompanied by her music instructor Dorothy "Jackie" Pennington. Jazz pianist Fred Sanders rounded out the evening with a solo performance.

The music was original and the singers gave polished performances, ranging from Miller's dynamic "Story of God," to Lupo's thrilling, "I Need You." Genres ranged from rock and pop to soul.

Williams, the youngest member of the band, is a junior at Franklinton High School. She was invited to join Legacy Music after officials heard a recording of her performance at the Washington Parish Free Fair.

With a sophisticated presence and lyrics that belie her years, Williams said life itself is a source of inspiration for her songs.

"The anointing of God in my life inspires me," she said.

Allen joined Legacy Music three months ago. Employed at Lakeview Hospital, he said the experience has helped him witness to Christ more than ever through music.

Most of the musicians would agree that besides helping them fulfill their musical dreams and ambitions, becoming involved with Legacy Music has touched their lives and helped them grow on their Christian journey. Allen said Rorie has been a great leader of the group.

"He leads by example; being around him has impacted me spiritually, mentally. He has a great heart and it teaches you to have a great heart, too."

In reflecting on the effect Legacy Music has had upon her life, Lupo agreed the experience has been more than career-enhancing.

"Growing spiritually. Just the experience makes you grow," she said.




- Times-Picayune (New Orleans)


Discography

Kambri Williams Single 2007

Legacy Music Artist Collection Live Concert CD & DVD. 2006-2007

"Speechless" Kambri Williams solo album. 2008 ALSO AVAILABLE at ITUNES!

Photos

Bio

Born and raised in Franklinton Louisiana, Kambri is the product of a musical family with a rich heritage in R&B and Gospel music. She has been singing and playing since early childhood and was destined to be a writer and recording artist.

Her first self-titled single, released in 2007 on the Legacy Music label, was a great success and reached the world via itunes, cdbaby, rhapsody and many other music subscription sites. She also wowed crowds at the Legacy Music Artist Collection concerts and via the concert DVD of the same name, which was broadcast on cable in 2006-2007. The CD single and DVD both showcased Kambri's writing talent as well as she wrote both songs titled "Want You For Myself" and "Word For You Is Love."

Having recently completed her first full length CD album entitled "Speechless"on the Legacy Music Label, Kambri is now focusing on travelling and promoting the album as well as writing and preparing material, for her next future release. "Speechless" was a year and a half in the making and reveals Kambri's maturity as an artist. Most of the songs were written by Kambri and a couple of the tracks were produced by her as well. "Speechless" will also be distributed throughout the world via CD Baby, Super D and be available at itunes and many other online music sites.