SHARON IRVING with Lonnie Leo
Uncommon Ground Presents an intimate dinner performance by
Sharon Irving and Lonnie Leo.
"I take a deep breath and step out on faith. Do it afraid."
Those words have been a mantra for South Side of Chicago Native, Sharon Irving, songstress/songwriter/spoken word artist, worship leader and actress, since she was a little girl, performing in front of the congregation at the south side church in Chicago where her grandfather was pastor. Her first tenous steps as an artist were shaped by the influences of his powerful baritone singing and eloquent sermons, and the mind blowing artistry of her father, famed jazz musician and composer, Robert Irving III. With loving encouragement from her mother and grandmother, Sharon has cultivated and shaped her own creative persona. She is an inspiring voice for the voiceless , a passionate wordsmith spewing truth and inspiration, singing songs of life and love motivated by her personal experiences, and undergirded by her Christian beliefs.
Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois for several years, has contributed songs and words of hope before thousands at liturgical and corporate events, youth conferences, including the popular CHIC, ( Covenant High in Christ ),in small clubs and intimate settings all over the country, at the Angola Prison in Angola, Louisiana, and even entertained millions while a participant on Season Ten of America s Got Talent, where she received the coveted Golden Buzzer at her first televised audition, and was chosen by America to compete in the Semi-Finals.
We are all walking art, Sharon has stated as she fuses her love of fashion and music into a whimsical symmetry of sound and visual esthetic. She also lends her talents to the popular Chicago-based band, Pocket Radio, which blends soul, hip hop, funk and fusion. Over the past two years, Sharon has poured her spirit into her debut album, Bennett Ave.
"I like to blend different art forms when Im writing songs and, with this album, I've drawn inspiration from every genre and I mean every genre. I have a passion for shaping words and everyday phrases to melody. 'Bennett Ave is an expression of my thoughts on issues of justice, love and redemption in the darkest situations. It's about what it means to be human when were at our lowest and highest points. It pays homage to the South Side of Chicago home and street I grew up on. Its been challenging, but my heart is to pursue new methodologies in worship music, and reach people through mainstream music. Life is messy and broken. So many people are hiding, living for others, dying on the inside, holding onto unhealthy narratives out of fear but Gods strength is made perfect in those messy places. I'm learning this, daily. There's an unlikely and beautiful story of redemption waiting to unfold in our lives. I want my art to be transparent, raw, uplifting, bold and healing."
Lonnie Leo fell in love with great songs at a very young age. Via 90's radio country artists like Shania Twain, Martina McBride and John Michael Montgomery, LL was immersed into a world that would eventually prove to have had honed his instinct and equipped his heart for a lifetime of writing. He played guitar leisurely in high school, even though he was forming his own taste in music finding artists like Wilco, Bob Dylan, Parkway Drive (one of these things is not like the other...lol), but didn't really dive into learning music until his sophomore year of college in Chicago. Surrounded by proficient gospel musicians and the Chicago scene as a whole, those first years were so formative and after a year of living the barista/musician life out of college, Lonnie was able to make music a full-time career. He recorded his debut album "Painted Things" in 2016-2017 and is releasing singles off it now. LL moved to Nashville from Chicago in June of 2017 to pursue songwriting and is booking solo acoustic and full band shows in both cities while writing his next album.
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