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CONTACT: Denise Lamott
(415) 235-6458, Denise@DeniseLamottPR.com

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The GLIDE Annual Holiday Jam: Keep On Returns to The Masonic, San Francisco on Thursday, November 9

Celebrating Reverend Cecil Williams’ 60th Anniversary at GLIDE And the Music of Ashford and Simpson
With Special Guests Valerie Simpson, D’Wayne Wiggins, Goapele, and Martin Luther McCoy

San Francisco – GLIDE is thrilled to announce this year’s GLIDE Annual Holiday Jam: Keep On, a

live benefit concert on Thursday, November 9, at The Masonic in San Francisco. The GLIDE Holiday Jam will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Reverend Cecil Williams’ arrival to GLIDE with an all-star gathering led by illustrious songwriter and performer Valerie Simpson. Alongside the nationally renowned GLIDE Ensemble and the Change Band lead by Vernon Bush and Zoe Ellis, Simpson, and special guests blues guitarist, producer, composer, and philanthropist D’Wayne Wiggins (from Tony! Toni! Toné!); prolific R&B and soulful visionary Goapele; and captivating soul singer Martin Luther McCoy will share meaningful tributes to Cecil featuring the legendary music of Ashford & Simpson. KQED’s Priya David Clemens will be the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.

Reverend Cecil Williams has dedicated his life to creating a movement rooted in liberation, justice, and, above all else, love. The Holiday Jam will honor Cecil’s incredible legacy and look forward to the next 60 years of GLIDE committed to his vision of unconditional love and a beloved community.

Valerie Simpson and her late husband, Nick Ashford, are among music history’s most successful singing and songwriting duos. Ashford & Simpson’s hits included “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “I’m Every Woman.”

“I am proud to have built a legacy at GLIDE that begins with love, liberation, justice, and freedom,” said Reverend Cecil Williams. “We all have to keep on keeping on and continue to work in unity and lead with love!”

Each year, the GLIDE Annual Holiday Jam raises funds for GLIDE’s comprehensive services that provide opportunities to help more people off the streets and support policy reform and advocacy efforts to disrupt cycles of intergenerational poverty to realize a more equitable city.DuringCOVID, GLIDE expanded services, including greater mobile outreach across San Francisco,COVID testing and vaccines in theTenderloin, more than10,000 free, nutritious meals weekly, and expanded access to health, housing, legal, and other resources for individuals and families.

For tickets, more information, and to sponsor the event, please visitglide.org/holidayjam, call 415.674.6180, or emailfestival@glide.org.


GLIDE Annual Holiday Jam:Keep On —a live, in-person benefit concert celebrating Reverend Cecil Williams’ 60th Anniversary at GLIDE and the music of Ashford and Simpson with Valerie Simpson, D’Wayne Wiggins, Goapele, Martin Luther McCoy and The GLIDE Ensemble and the Change Band.

The Masonic, 1111 California Street (at Taylor), San Francisco

Thursday, November 9, 2023; Doors, Reception: 5:30 p.m.; Stage performance: 7:00 p.m.

WHO: Reverend Cecil Williams

In 1963, a young pastor named Cecil Williams from San Angelo, Texas, arrived at GLIDE in San Francisco. Together with his wife, Janice Mirikitani, they created a church, a movement, and a community built upon unconditional love and radical inclusivity. Sixty years later, we are honored to celebrate the incredible legacy of Cecil and the beloved community that he and Janice built.

Valerie Simpson

Valerie Simpson is half the songwriting/performing/producing duo Ashford and Simpson. Their award-winning collaborations began four decades ago, and she, along with her late husband Nick Ashford, have penned classic hits such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Solid,” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” She

serves on the board of the ASCAP Foundation and owns and runs a popular New York Westside Music Club and Restaurant called The Sugar Bar.

D’Wayne Wiggins
D’Wayne Wiggins is a blues guitarist, producer, composer, philanthropist, and founding member of a multi-platinum rhythm and blues group, Tony! Toni! Tone! with brother Raphael Saddiq and their cousin Timothy Christian in 1987. The group released five albums, had 14 Billboard-charting R&B singles, including five number-one hits, three top ten pop singles, one gold album, two platinum albums, one double platinum album, and over six million albums sold. Since Tony! Toni! Toné!’s last album, D’Wayne, has successfully produced and developed documentaries and independent films and released a solo album featuring Carlos Santana, Darius Rucker, and Jamie Foxx. In 1996, D’Wayne established Grass Roots Entertainment, which signed and produced Destiny’s Child. His other producing credits include artists such as Jody Watley, Too Short, E-40, India Arie, Keyshia Cole, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys, Poplyfe, H.E.R., Kehlani, Seun Kuti, Toshi Kabuto, and Yaa Pano.


Goapele is a singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, actor, and activist who has solidified her position amongst the most prolific R&B and soulful visionaries and creators of our time. Creating soulful art has always been Goapele’s gift since she stepped onto the scene in 2001 with her iconic megahit “Closer,” which changed her life and garnered lifelong fans. While the industry was saturated with “neo-soul” and “progressive-soul” artists at that time, Goapele’s creativity and dynamic artistry made her stand out from the rest. That’s because she makes music that touches the heart and stirs the soul. For Goapele, songwriting and creating music is therapeutic, making her entire catalog authentic and rich. Outside of her music career, the Oakland native has been a passionate activist and philanthropist for years — always finding time to give back to her community.

Martin Luther McCoy

Martin Luther is a soul singer with an un-compromised vision. He uses his second tenor voice to captivate audiences from small, intimate nightclubs to the big screen via his unique brand of rebel soul music. Recognized as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere talents, McCoy has always presented a distinct blend of jazz-funk fusion. More recently, he served as lead vocalist for the SFJazz Collective. Fiercely creative, he curates a multi-genre platform for black excellence through a cinematic art ensemble called Moon Medicin. As a producer and songwriter, Luther has remained focused on recording new music, including a suite of jazz standards and his anticipated fourth studio full-length, BLK WNDRFL (2023).

The GLIDE Ensemble and the Change Band
From its humble beginnings on Christmas Day, 1966, when it was only ten singers and jazz legend John Handy, the GLIDE Ensemble and Change Band has grown to include more than 100 voices and eight musicians. Beginning with the first choir director, Faith Winthrop, the GLIDE Ensemble and Change Band has benefitted from the direction of such talented leaders as Donnell Hickman, Ronald Sutherland, John F. Turk, Jr., Clifford Coulter, and Vernon Bush and has teamed up with a host of notable musicians like Sammy Davis Jr., Leonard Bernstein, Marvin Gaye, Bono, Bobby McFerrin, Maya Angelou, and Joan Baez. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the GLIDE Ensemble recorded ‘Say Their Names’ remotely during the pandemic in 2020.

Tickets are $75. Sponsorships start at $500.
For tickets, more information, or to sponsor the event, please visitglide.org/holidayjam, call 415.674.6180, or emailfestival@glide.org.


Joan Baez | London N. Breed | Renel Brooks-Moon and Tommie Moon | Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. | Dori Caminong and D’wayne Wiggins | Tianne Tsukiko Feliciano | Roberta Flack | Michael Franti and Sara Agah Franti | Alicia Garza | Chinaka Hodge | Jeannine Kay and Michael Rugen | Alonzo King | Maja Kristin | Susan E. Lowenberg and Joyce G. Newstat | Senator Scott Wiener | The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Emerita and Mr. Paul Pelosi | Del Seymour | Valerie Simpson | Kathy and Pete Sittnick |Albert Williams, Jr. | Kimberly Williams


Joe Binder | Emily Cohen | Nicole Foley | Mary Glide | Lauren Jamiolkowski | Divya Kaushal | Jeannine Kay | Allison Magee | Bob Nibbi | Bill Nothman | Martin Soto | Kelly Thompson | Laura Thompson | Brittnay Tobin | Mia White

About GLIDE:
GLIDE is a nationally recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives. Through our integrated comprehensive services, advocacy initiatives, and inclusive community, we empower individuals, families, and children to achieve stability and thrive. GLIDE is on the forefront of addressing some of society’s most pressing issues, including poverty, housing and homelessness, and racial and social justice. GLIDE’s mission is to create a radically inclusive, just, and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

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