Music Ambassadors October 2013 Preview: Speech

Music Ambassadors welcomes Speech to Macon on Monday, October 28, when he will play a historic home in the College Hill Corridor, located at 618 Arlington Place. The house show will also feature the art of Heatherly Wakefield, beatbox artist HeaveN Beatbox and catering by Moonhanger Group. Tickets for the house show go on sale today at musicambassadors.org. Availability is limited.

Speech poster 2Speech founded the band Arrested Development, which earned two Grammys and Rolling Stone magazine’s Band of the Year with its multi-platinum-selling first album in 1992. That album featured the hit singles “Tennessee” and “Mr. Wendal.” After its second album, the band broke up, and Speech would release five solo albums, spawning sold-out shows, multiple Top 10 hits, gold albums and awards abroad. Arrested Development has since reformed, releasing Standing at the Crossroads on its 20th anniversary. The group describes their music as “Life Music” which respects women and promotes family, spirituality and “male responsibility.” In addition to his busy performing schedule, Speech is an ordained minister with the Churches of Christ, produces a weekly radio show, hosts a bi-weekly industry mixer in Atlanta and, with his family, owns and operates a corn business, a juice business, and an African-American newspaper in Milwaukee.

“I am excited to bring Speech to Macon,” said Tim Regan-Porter, creator of Music Ambassadors. “He continues to produce wonderfully eclectic and catchy music, and he’s always displayed a thoughtfulness and social consciousness that is all-too-rare in popular music. Speech has also given back to the community, with his time and money, since he started performing.”

HeaveN Beatbox opens for Speech. This young beatbox artist represented the United States in the World Beatbox Championship in Germany, was hired by the American embassy and Indian government for a tour through India, and was featured in a Converse commercial.

Heatherly Wakefield is a Wesleyan graduate with a studio art degree and spent a couple of years in study abroad programs in Italy. She draws upon her extensive studies and continued learning from peers to create a wide variety of work in different media.  She has recently started exploring non-conceptual abstract two-dimensional work and ceramics, which you can find at her studio in the Contemporary Arts Exchange.  Professionally, Heatherly’s art related jobs include director of fine art at Macon Arts Alliance, assistant inker to Ray Snyder with DC Comics, and restoration painter at the Grand Opera House.

Music Ambassadors brings musicians from around the world to Macon to play intimate shows and to experience all that the city has to offer. The series features seven concerts in historic homes. For the Speech show, Music Ambassadors is providing a small number of free tickets to disadvantaged youth.

Regan-Porter, director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University and co-founder of the national music title Paste magazine, created the series to bring national attention to Macon’s music scene. “Macon has a music history to rival any in the country, an artist-friendly cost of living, rich architecture, strong colleges and Southern charm with an international flair,” Regan-Porter said. “That’s a combination perfect for a fresh music scene, and we want to help spread the word.”

Music Ambassadors is funded by a grant from Knight Neighborhood Challenge, a project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and administered by Historic Macon. Proceeds from the series go to Historic Macon, Macon Arts Alliance and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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For more information or to schedule interviews, please call Tim Regan-Porter at 404.429.2643 or email him attimreganporter@gmail.com.

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