By Helena Rodriguez
There’s many ways to praise God, and musicians will be doing it with jazz, gospel hip-hop and Mexican cumbias during the “Reason for the Season” concert.
The diverse night of Christian music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Lyceum Theater, 411 N. Main in Clovis. The lineup of entertainment will include: Jazz music by preacher David Dawson, who will also be ministering; the Christian rap sound of T.E.S.T., of Las Cruces; Divine Destiny of Portales; and the Mexican-inspired music of teen singer Lucero Davalos of Floyd.
Tickets for the show are $5 and are on sale at Master’s Books & Gifts in Clovis. They will also be available at the door on the night of the show.
“This will not be your average Christmas concert per se. We want people to realize that every day is Christmas,” Dawson said. “And we want them to focus on the reason for the season.”
Dawson said the diverse group of musicians is likely to appeal to a mix of age groups.
“We are all performing together, making a stand on when we get to heaven. There will be a diverse group of people there who love Jesus,” Dawson said.
As for the Christian rap groups, Dawson said, “Their music might appeal to you. It is designed for whoever loves Jesus, because we can all get a groove on.”
The group T.E.S.T. is based in Las Cruces and features lead singer, Ray Ontiveros, a former Clovis resident. T.E.S.T. stands for Through Eternity Standing Tall.
“My music is gospel hip-hop. It is not your typical, preachy type of Christian music. I just talk about things young people go through and can relate to,” Ontiveros said.
T.E.S.T. has recorded a new CD called “From the Ground Up” which he peddles from the trunk of his car. The CD also includes songs such as “Show the World” and “More Than Friends,” a song he performed live when he proposed to his now wife.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without God,” Ontiveros said. “Before, I had a little affiliation with gangs. I never got too deeply involved with them or with drugs and alcohol. But one night, I went to a church camp and they were talking. It was funny because they asked me to pray for a dude who was having the same kinds of problems as me. That was in 1997, and I decided to change right then. There was no turning back.”
He added: “A lot of people are turned off by gospel rap. Not me. I stay on the streets a lot and talk to people about God, building relationships.”
Divine Destiny is a Portales trio of Christian rappers who formed in August and are working on a CD. Members include Micah Short, Eddie “God’s Child” Moreno and Taro (Kar2N) Brown.
Lucero Davalos is a senior at Floyd High School and has recorded a Spanish Christian CD called “Eterna Gratitud,” meaning “Eternally Grateful.”