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Tramaine Hawkins 

When: Fri., June 21, 7 p.m. 2013
Price: $15, $20

Unlike some gospel singers who dazzle audiences with complex curlicues and leaps of register, Tramaine Hawkins cuts straight to the core of her Christian odes with the rich quality and sheer strength of her mezzo-soprano pipes, an urgency in her delivery, and clarity in her enunciation. Born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, Hawkins made her initial mark with a female group called The Heavenly Tones, which was renamed Little Sister after Hawkins dropped out to sing gospel with Edwin Hawkins' Northern California State Youth Choir of "Oh Happy Day" renown. She went on to become the star soloist of her then-husband Walter Hawkins' Love Center Choir and a gospel diva in her own right. Now living in Sacramento, Hawkins will make a rare Bay Area appearance at her aunt Ernestine Cleveland Reems' Center of Hope Community Church (8411 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland). With Priesthood Nation and Derrick Hall & Company.

— Lee Hildebrand

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