He’s become one of he premiere Praise & Worship leaders in the gospel music genre and James “J.J.” Hairston and his choir, Youthful Praise were among the first to fuse worship music with a traditional gospel sound.
For his latest recording, “I See Victory,” the Connecticut-based gospel star has evolved his sound yet again by recording a fresh batch of songs at a live CD/DVD recording at the First Cathedral Church in Bloomfield, Conn. The 30-piece Youthful Praise featured special guests like Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark Sheard, VaShawn Mitchell, Deon Kipping, Jason Nelson, Lowell Pye and Elder Fondrea Lynn Lewis. Kierra Sheard, on hand to support her mother, also adlibbed on the end of the song her mother recorded for the session.
Additionally, Youthful Praise is made up of dynamic soloists in their own right. Among the group members who showcased in song included David McClure, Brittney Wright, Greg Kirkland Jr., Leah Clark Leach, Marc Britt, Melissa Bethea, and Minon Bolton. One of the night’s highlights came from group member Tiffany Andrews, whose foot-stomping churchy number electrified the thousands in attendance.
In addition to the various guests featured on the CD, many industry luminaries were on hand for the live recording. Coko of SWV, Jonathan Nelson, Ted Winn, James Hall, Anthony Brown, Melonie Daniels, Charles Butler, Craig Hayes and several other artists, industry executives and radio personalities were in attendance.
Hairston & Youthful Praise’s seventh CD, “I See Victory” should continue to offer the Sunday morning anthems and chart-topping hits that his previous efforts have rendered. The CD, slated to be released sometime next year, is a collection of church-friendly choir music ideal for all aspects of service. A single, not yet determined, should be serviced to gospel radio outlets will be serviced first quarter 2014.
PHOTOS: Check out images from JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise’s live CD recording below.