*For some people, Dawnn Lewis is best known for her feature roles on television’s “Different World,” “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” and many other TV projects. For some, she’s the talented actress in such feature films as “Poof Point,” “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” and “Dreamgirls.” Yet, unbeknownst to a surprising number of people, Lewis is a Grammy-Award-winning singer, as well as the recipient of multiple ASCAP and BMI awards for her songwriting acumen. She even co-wrote the theme song for “Different World,” as well as several other television shows’ theme songs.
Lewis will unleash her vast vocal power, when she joins Kashif & Friends for a special musical event in Los Angeles. Billed as the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration, the event will be held on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 at the Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. There are two shows (7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) each night.
The musical lineup will feature Kashif, his band, and songstress Meli’sa Morgan. In addition to the vocal stylings of Lewis, vocalist Howard Johnson, vocalist and guitarist Ray Parker, Jr., “The System,” and other artists will perform. Lewis will only appear on Friday’s shows.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Lewis emphatically told EURweb’s Lee Bailey recently. “I knew Kashif long before coming out to L.A. to do television. He’s from Brooklyn and I’m from Brooklyn. We have remained friends through the years, and have been supportive of each other and our careers.”
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For people who are surprised by Lewis’ music and vocal accomplishments, Kashif, a six-time Grammy-nominated producer and recording artist, said they really need to check her out.
“A lot of people don’t know that in addition to being a great actress, Dawnn Lewis is also a great singer.” Kashif said, who added that one of the songs that she will perform is ‘Unforgettable,’ made famous by the late, very great Natalie Cole. “The song will be used as we pay tribute and remember the artists who have passed over the last year, including Prince, Natalie Cole, and others.”
Lewis expounded on the singer or actress box that many people attempt to put and keep her in.
“There’s no simple answer to whether I am an actress or a singer,” explained Lewis, who by the way, has recorded or composed songs with such music stars as Vanessa Williams, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Grover Washington, Jr., Patrice Rushen, and others. “I am a performer; that’s what I do. I’m an artistic creator. When you are an artist, you work and thrive in the creative realm. You have a personal passion about what you do and it’s not about how many people know, or what kind of celebrity status it brings you. By the grace of God, the need to create is organically in me.”
Therefore, Lewis continues to work with uncanny regularity as a complete artist. Following her opening and only night of singing (June 17) with Kashif & Friends, the next night she performs at the San Diego Jazz Festival. Additionally, she is preparing for another season on TNT’s “Major Crimes.” The new season begins Monday, June 13.
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Lewis also stays busy doing voiceovers for animated productions, which has included “The Cleveland Show,” “King of the Hill,” “X-Men,” “Spiderman,” and more.
“I’m grateful for all the fan support that I get,” Lewis said. “They encourage me. Whether they see me singing, acting on television, in films, doing voiceovers, or stage productions, the fans make my reality of being a complete performer worthwhile. I love that I can show up where I show up and those who enjoy and love me come along for the creative ride.”
Lewis is inviting everyone along for the ride on June 17 & 18 to enjoy Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration at the Catalina Jazz Club.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to see some talented singers and musicians together for a good cause at a great venue,” she said. “And when you have a quintessential figure and incredible performer like Kashif as the organizer, it’s really going to be special.”
To purchase tickets for the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration, log on to catalinajazzclub.com, or call 323.466.2210. For more information about the multi-dimensional Dawnn Lewis, log on to www.dawnnlewis.com.