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The Kendrick /Ross Affair

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The Kendrick /Ross Affair
Page 3

A Convergence of Soul, Wit & Spirit

By Tamm E Hunt

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RHONDA ROSS

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RODNEY KENDRICK

Baltimore, MD ~ A majestic ball room – theatre filled with paintings and walls covered with red tapestry under a coffered plastered ceiling of French design. Frieze decorated with paintings in regency frames was slowly filling with anxious guests all waiting with bated breath in anticipation of seeing the “Love Child” of Motown music legends Diana Ross and Berry Gordy at Baltimore’s Engineers Club in Mount Vernon.

 

The 1st annual Convergence where fashion and entertainment meet presented by Blu Vintage, (Lateef and Lenore Harris) was produced by Wynton Marsalis’ New Orleans: Rebuilding the Soul of America television production partner Lisa Marie Hoggs.  

 

Promising the talent of Song Teller, Poet Rhonda Ross and jazz composer/pianist/producer Rodney Kendrick together with the extraordinary bass baritone Eric Greene. The phantasmagoric Convergence event was a creative and social success, however it that did not magnetize the sold out audience that it projected with it’s VIP and general public tickets. Perhaps a more strategic promotional campaign and corporate and media sponsorship may have increased the awareness in Baltimore of what was an exquisite presentation. A theme executed with excellence, Convergence was reminiscent of the 1960’s fashion book.  Reign Models Management Live Mannequins draped in Blu Vintage fashions sparkling with sequins and long legs covered in opague stockings accentuated by mini dresses and six inch pointed toe high heel designer shoes and hair by Stevon were strategically placed throughout the candle lit court yard as objects de art.  Camera lights flashed and danced as the models morphed into performance artists and posed and postured while photographers freeze framed their Nikky painted faces among the guest sprinkled through out the glass and brass dome ceiling room where Banquet waiters served Swedish meatballs  and tiny fried wraps of chicken hor duerves washed down with drinks from the cash bar. 

 

Opening the elegant evening was the mesmerizing American Bass-Baritone Eric Greene offering his fine musicianship and smooth, resonant voice. Mixing Jazz and Opera, from Gershwin to Loesser, Greene took the audience on a Broadway whirlwind swinging and singing  “I’ve Got Plenty of  Nothing” and he showed he has plenty of something when he swung the Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls show stopper “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” arousing thunderous applauds and inspiring his 2 year old godson  to call out in glee “God Daddy!”

The prize winning Julliard School Of  Music graduate is the recipient of the Leonytine Price Vocal Competition winner in Maryland, Rosa Ponselle's All Marylanders Competition and he is the 1992 first place winner in the NAACP ACT-SO competition, Maryland State Scholarship, and the Gluck Foundation scholarship. Greene co-starred with Denyce Graves as  Robert Garner in the world premier of Margaret Garner in Detroit in 2005. His signature roles include Porgy and Jake in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Marcello in Puccini's La Boheme, King Melchoir in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Father in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel and Count Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Now the moment has arrived that we have all been waiting for. The band is lead to the stage by The momentum builds as  WEAA producer Crystal Jackson walks nervously to the stage front and center and dishes out a heaping helping of Diana Ross appetizers when it is fact that her progeny needs no sugar coated introduction. A force of unto her self Rhonda Ross has a fierce and unique presence that needs no crutch called her mother or father’s fame. Her identity is strong and her independent personality and style makes the fact that her mother happens to be Diana Ross incidental. More than a singer Rhonda Ross is a renaissance woman who is blessed with her father Berry Gordy’s gift of song writing and his acumen for business. Blessed with the genetic blue print of a uber diva in the shadow of her own bright light. The Brown University graduate is a an Emmy Award winner for her television portrayal as  police woman Toni Burrell on the afternoon soap opera

 

who playwrite, screen writer, film producer, journalist, wife, poet, singer, real estate broker and CEO/director of Ross Realty International, a boutique  real estate brokerage that offers multi-million dollar properties. The woman can stand on her own

 

Pianist/composer /musical director/co-writer and Rhonda’s mate of 15 years  leads the four member to the stage

 

"[Rhonda Ross] pieces together the portrait of a woman who understands herself and the complicated world in which she functions...she's clearly her own woman." - BACKSTAGE MAGAZINE

 

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If someone other than me has written an article, I'll be sure to include a byline at the bottom.

This article contributed by Jane Turner.

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