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Anita Wilson 

When: Fri., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $40
East St. Louis-born, Chicago-based singer-songwriter Anita Wilson is one of the most refreshing gospel stylists to have emerged in recent years. Formerly featured with Donald Lawrence & Co., as well as having done background vocals for such gospel stars as Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Wilson stepped out on her own in 2012 with a remarkable album titled Worship Soul. Unlike many gospel singers who holler and break syllables into seemingly endless curlicues — and there’s nothing wrong with that if done right — she delivers her Christian odes with consummate grace, letting her gorgeously rounded alto pipes, perfectly placed sustains, and jazz-imbued phrasing build them to reverent peaks of passion. Her treatment of James Taylor’s “Shower the People” is particularly touching. Wilson, who at times brings the late Bay Area gospel singer Danniebelle Hall to mind, will perform at Beebe Memorial Cathedral (3900 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on a bill with Tennessee vocalist Wess Morgan.
— Lee Hildebrand


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