GJCF ends week with TobyMac in concert

Posted March 21, 2013 at 11:39 am


PHOTO: TobyMac & DiverseCity Band

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PHOTO: Capital Kings


By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

The Great Jones County Fair and Food Fest has announced the final entertainment act for the 2013 Fair season: TobyMac. The group will perform on Sunday night, July 21, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Opening for TobyMac will be artists Jaime Grace and Capital Kings.

This contemporary Christian concert is something new at the GJCF. TobyMac is one of the top Christian groups touring the nation, performing to sold-out venues from coast to coast.

Jones County Fair Manager John Harms first saw TobyMac perform at the Iowa State Fair and was blown away by their presence on the stage and the production they put on for fans.

“Their name came up for us to consider,” said Harms of the booking. “Everything just worked out to bring them here.”

TobyMac, lead singer Toby McKeehan, also includes the Diverse City Band. They’ve sold 11 million albums and won five Grammy Awards.

“I’m really excited for their show,” commented Harms. “It’s what our fair needs. They have something for everyone.”

Harms said the fair wanted to offer something “out-of-the-box” for those who enjoy coming to the fair.

It also helps that TobyMac’s guitar and trumpet player hails from Monticello, Tim Rosenau! Harms said that was an added bonus.

According to his bio, TobyMac “remains passionate about his desire to write songs at the intersection of where life ands spirituality collide.”

He inspires his fans and audiences “with words of conviction, hope, empowerment and the redemption found in his faith in God.”

With 10 albums, the songs are all either co-written are written by TobyMac himself. Many of them are personal to him as well.

In performing across the country, TobyMac has played in front of more than 2 million people. “His energy on stage has set the bar for what it means to be a touring Christian artist.”

For TobyMac, “Music is a labor of love that I create for people to enjoy, and hopefully be inspired by; it’s not a self-indulgent thing. It’s my way of serving the listener.”

He sees faith-based songs breaking into the mainstream music industry.

“The wall is coming down for sure. I’m watching bands that have these delicate, wonderful messages of hope and faith in their music. There is real purpose in that. Gospel/Christian artists are an important part of society and our voice needs to be heard, for all the right reasons.”

TobyMac’s Diverse City Band is comprised of: Rosenau on guitar and trumpet, Byron Chambers on talkbox and percussion, DJ Maj on the turntables, Brian Haley on drums, Nirva Dorsaint Ready on vocals, Dave Wyatt on keyboards, Gabe Real on vocals and Toddiefunk on bass.

After leaving a group to go solo, TobyMac wanted to surroiund himself with a great, diverse group of people, each talented in his/her own way. Hense, the band’s name “Diverse City.”

Their website states, “The result has been a musical fusion that radiates with an unquenchable energy and penetrating message.”

TobyMac was quoted as saying, “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart. I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart.”

With each album since 2001, TobyMac’s sales increase and increase, evident by the award recognition.

Aside from writing, recording and performing, TobyMac also has his own record label, Gotee Records, which started in 1994. In facts, the openings acts at the GJCF are both Gotee Records’ recording artists!

In a Billboard Magazine interview, TobyMac stated, “At the time, there were very few labels, if any, focusing on music that will affect our generation. I wanted to do a label that focused on a generation.”

The label uses a distribution model, introducing new artists digitally, reserving the traditional CD release for established artists. “The idea is to create demand through radio and Internet sufficient for the release of a physical CD in retail outlets later on.”

Jamie Grace is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter. She was discovered by TobyMac on YouTube.

Grace comes from Georgia. At age 11, she was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. She travels the U.S. sharing her songs, her story and her faith through music.

The Capital Kings is an electronic-pop duo comprised on Jonathan White and Cole Walowac from Washington, D.C. The duo infuses elements of pop, rock, electronic dance music, hip-hop and rap into their songs.

Tickets for the July 21 concert go on sale Monday morning, March 25, at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets online only by going to the fair’s website at www.greatjonescountyfair.com. You won’t want to miss the final night of the fair!

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PHOTO: Jaime Grace