Liz Mc Comb
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GOSPEL SYNERGY (December 2000)

Liz Mc Comb, #1 Gospel Artist in Europe
Paris, France… Here in the United States, we recognize that Gospel music now commands an impressive platform among the various genres of music. Birthed in our country, its appeal now transcends cultural, political, and racial boundaries. In addition, this historically Black art-form, through advanced public relations campaigns, has at some time or another placed this music we love so well, in the face of those who don't customarily follow sacred music. As a result, people are beginning to embrace the positive message found in these songs celebrating everything from prayer, life, and victory. After years of appreciating this Black oriented music style, the International community has begun opening the doors of major venues to feature this music form that ranks up there with our beloved Jazz and Blues. In Paris, France, known for its love of the arts, the Gospel presence has been increasing in popularity over the last few decades. Aiding in this newfound popularity is the world renowned Liz McComb. A native of Cleveland, Ohio but long-time resident of Paris, McComb has over the years emerged to be Europe's first major Gospel "superstar". As a testament to her popularity, the historically famous Theatre du Chatelet in the heart of Paris, was the site of two sold-out concerts featuring the lady herself and America's "Father of Contemporary Gospel" Edwin Hawkins. Working her magic, McComb captivated the audience with her repertoire that includes a little of everything from spirituals and classics, to her own originals that are quickly becoming staples around the globe. Ministering for over two hours, the venue that customarily entertains a more "classical" offering, mirrored the type of concerts we find in churches here in the States. With an audience that was overwhelmingly French, she ministered, sang, danced, and played the piano, creating an evening of sheer excitement through "praise."
The daughter of one of the first women Pastor's in the Cleveland, Ohio area she has dedicated her life to sharing this musical treasure of the Afro-American church, with the world. In the early eighties, she made her entry into the European circuit as a member of the famed Jean Austin Singers. From there, she began making appearances throughout Europe, appearing at massive festivals such as : the International Festival of Montreux, the El Jem Festival in Tunisia, the Munich Jazz Festival, the Barcelona Jazz Festival, the Saint Louis Festival in Senegal, the Vitoria-Gasteiz Festival in Spain. As well as most of the major festivals of France ! She has shared the stage with such industry greats as : the legendary Bessie Griffin, the mighty Clouds of Joy, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rev. Clay Evans, Dr. Bobby Jones, Ray Charles, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, and James Brown. In addition to the Chatelet, she has played : The Casino of Paris, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, the Opera of Lyon, the Opera Comique of Paris, the Acropolis Theater in Athens, Milan, Sicily, Montreal, the Ivory Coast, London, Barcelona, Switzerland, Lebanon. And the Olympia in Paris where her free concert for the homeless, held yearly, was recorded "live" and reproduced on her fifth album : Olympia 1998 Live. She also appeared in the Millenium Celebration in Bethlehem. Travelling from continent to continent, she has delighted people everywhere with her "jubilating Gospel music", thus her phenomenal success is a direct contributing factor in the renaissance of Gospel music among nations that are beginning to embrace it more and more. When asked if being away from the States has been an asset to her music she replied, "It's been good for me. Somehow I feel freer over here" A devout believer, she seizes every opportunity to share the goodness of the Lord. Beginning all concerts and rehearsals with a word of prayer, she is very focused on representing Gospel "in the best manner possible." "I just move with the spirit" she states ! "And that she does !"
From her entrance with a New Orleans style Brass Ensemble, to her finale with Mr. "Oh Happy Day" Edwin Hawkins, McComb gave the ticket holders all and more then they expected. At points in the concert, the entire audience was singing and clapping ! Her rousing rendition of "Oh When the Saints Go Marchin In" had people rushing the aisle to get to the stage ! Later joined by Hawkins, the two brought the house "down" with their medley that included along with "Oh Happy Day", "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and "I'm On the Battlefield". According to Hawkins, this was the first time the two had worked together. He noted that the rapport between McComb and the French community was phenomenal ! "The people literally can't get enough of her."
As previously stated, her concerts for the homeless are a prime example of how she uses her God-given talent to benefit those less fortunate and in need. A perfect example of Christian caring, she strives to be all of the things a good Christian should be, especially with her concern for her man. Although Ms. McComb resides in Paris, she is very concerned with matters that affect the people in the United States. "America needs to redirect her focus. Money appears to be more important than anything else. What about the children ! We must strive to show them that there is another way !" When asked if there were any words of wisdom to share with up and coming Gospel artists, she simply replied, "whatever you do, do it to the glory of God and the rest will be added unto you." Presently in the midst of a world tour which will take her to China on Christmas Eve, she will begin the New Year here in the United States as she appears on the 2nd annual "Take it to the Bridge" mega Gospel-Fest at the Houston Astrodome January 1st. Later that week on January 6th, she will appear at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Theater in New York. This leg of the tour will coincide with the release of the Video and DVD, "Live at the Olympia". Keep your eyes with a powerful ministry that is doing a marvellous work abroad. For more information, visit her website.

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