Johnny Jackson, Jr., Gospel Is Alive Celebration

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Bishop Rance Allen

Bishop Rance Allen

To celebrate the rich tradition of gospel music in New Orleans the birthplace of Mahalia Jackson, Jazz Fest each year presents an outstanding program of gospel choirs for audiences of senior citizens.

Rance Allen to Perform at the 30th Annual
Johnny Jackson, Jr., Gospel Is Alive! Celebration

Contemporary gospel star Rance Allen will be the headline performer at the 30th annual Johnny Jackson, Jr., Gospel Is Alive! Celebration, a concert that takes place Monday, April 29, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the new Franklin Avenue Baptist Church (8282 I-10 Service Rd., New Orleans, LA 70126). Admission is free.

The Gospel Is Alive! concert is an outreach program for senior citizens in the New Orleans area. The concert is also open to the public. School groups are welcome; for more information call (504) 558-6100.

Also performing will be the Gospel Soul Children and the Council on Aging Community Choir.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation is delighted to salute longtime board member Johnny Jackson, Jr., by naming the annual Gospel is Alive! Celebration in his honor.  Johnny was a dedicated and ardent supporter of Gospel is Alive! since its inception 1990.

Each year, Gospel Is Alive! recognizes individuals and choirs that have made important contributions to the New Orleans’ gospel community. This year’s honorees are:

Rev. Lois Dejean Lifetime Achievement Award: Veronica Downes-Dorsey
Church Gospel Choir: St. Peter Claver Church Choir
Louisiana Gospel Group: Gospel Soul Children

Rance Allen (born November 20, 1948) is an American Bishop and gospel musician, and leader of the Rance Allen Group. Known for his extremely wide vocal range and powerful singing voice, Allen became known as the main lead vocalist and the leader of the influential group.

He has been pastor of New Bethel Church Of God In Christ in Toledo, Ohio, since its July 1985 establishment. In November 2011, Rance Allen was elevated to the office of Bishop in the Church of God in Christ, for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan, to Thomas and Emma Pearl Allen. He has 11 siblings: six sisters and five brothers.

Allen founded the Rance Allen Group in Detroit in 1969 joined by his brothers Thomas and Steve. In 1978, the group had a Top 30 R&B hit, "I Belong to You."

The 2017 Johnny Jackson, Jr., Gospel Is Alive! Celebration is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. Additional support is provided by these sponsors: The New Orleans Council on Aging, the Rhodes Family of Businesses and Peoples Health.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is the nonprofit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more on what we do, please visit us at

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.