Grammy®-Award winning Austinite blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. will headline Huston-Tillotson University’s Twelfth Annual President’s Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams (MASKED) Gala with his trademark guitar sound and engaging vocal style. The black-tie affair is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the JW Marriott, 110 E. 2nd Street, Austin, Texas, at 6 p.m. In addition, Grammy®-Award winning rhythm and blues singer Chrisette Michele will round out the evening’s entertainment at HT’s signature Gala. The Gala will feature a tribute to President and Chief Executive Officer Larry L. Earvin, Ph.D., who has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2105. Earvin’s vision for the fundraiser has helped to generate more than $1 million for the University during the past 11 years.
Clark won his 2014 Grammy®-Award for the Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Please Come Home” from the Blak and Blu album. His newest album “Gary Clark Jr. Live” features his best live performances on songs such as “Catfish Blues,” “Travis County,” and “When the Sun Comes Down.” Clark, considered “The King of Summer Festivals,” according to Rolling Stone magazine has captivated audiences from Coachella to Glastonbury, Lollapalooza to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, from Metallica’s Orion Festival to Jay-Z’s Made in America. He has performed with legendary rock and roll artists as well as Jimmie Vaughan, Alicia Keys, and Sheryl Crow in venues from Antone’s to Belgium with stops at the White House and the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. With an appreciation of blues, jazz, soul, country, and hip hop, Clark began playing guitar at age 12 and got his big break from the late promoter and club owner Clifford Antone. His talents as an electric guitarist were highlighted on the big screen in the 2007 movie “Honeydripper” that featured Danny Glover, Lisa Gay Hamilton, and Yaya DaCosta. Recently, he was featured in two acoustic blues performances on the “12 Years a Slave” movie soundtrack.
Michele, known for singing broken-hearted love songs, released “Better” with the popular “You Mean That Much To Me, “A Couple of Forevers,” and “Snow.” Her time away from the spotlight included a mind, body, and spiritual transformation for a strong comeback that she will bring to the Gala.
The event will further be filled with music from HT’s Elite Combo, under the direction of Dr. Javier Stuppard, featuring student musicians, performing an array of selections from various genres during the evening that highlights the popular Parade of Masks competition.
Other event spotlights include the Community Tower of Light Award recipient for 2015 to join previous winners Dr. W. Charles Akins; Philip and Donna Berber, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation; The Honorable Ronnie McDonald; and Brian Peierls, Peierls Foundation.
To date, sponsorships are as follows: GSD&M | General Board of Higher Education and Ministry | Greater Texas Federal Credit Union | Housing Authority of the City of Austin | Huston-Tillotson University International Alumni Association | John P. McGovern Foundation | Seton Family of Hospitals | University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) | Gourmet Services/Ala Carte Menu Services, Inc. | Johnson Control, Inc. | Lee Tilford Agency | Larry L. Earvin | J. Winston Krause | C. Mark Melliar-Smith | Rich Oppel | Liz and Duff Stewart | Isaac Vining.
Guests may purchase their admission for $125 or their sponsorship online at http://www.cvent.com/d/y4q6p4/4W.
For more information, call 512.505.3073. A mask is required.
Gary Clark, Jr. is the grandson of HT’s Registrar Mrs. Earnestine Strickland. Mrs. Strickland has been employed at HT in various capacities for 40 years.)
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Posted by Damita Miller-Shanklin