|REBECCA ST. JAMES: PASSION TO ROCK WITH A MESSAGE REACHES EUROPE THIS WEEK
22 May 2006
REBECCA ST. JAMES today departs the U.S. for Europe, where her concerts are more intimate, more acoustic, giving her an opportunity to really meet her audiences. It's a setting best described as a real ‘mission of the heart.'
This weekend Rebecca will re-launch her live performances overseas with concerts in the UK--including a much anticipated appearance this Saturday (20th) at Alton Towers--Britain's top amusement park where the outdoor staging of the "Ultimate Event" is expected to draw a crowd in excess of 10,000 concert-goers.
The Grammy Award winning singer is, in fact, bound for 11 European countries over the next three weeks, and with her comes a real passion for performing for her international audiences. As an ‘international' herself (she was born in Sydney, Australia) Rebecca is the rare U.S. Christian artist that has consistently toured worldwide with a key emphasis on her global audience in general--and European audiences in particular. She notes:
"We've visited Europe quite often now and have a real enthusiasm for touring there. I grew up in Australia which hardly ever gets any international performances. I know what it's like to live in a country where you read magazines and see all these tour dates-and I remember as a kid getting all excited with ‘Oh...when is this tour coming to us!'...only to realize ‘Oh it's only in America!' Or...‘how cool is this band!'...and again they were only touring in America! So I can relate to how so many young Christians feel in Europe. We have invested a lot of time in coming over to Europe- and I feel very passionate about the importance of continuing that. The audiences have proven to be very appreciative each time I've come over to tour -and now getting to come back and establish a bit more of a relationship with the people there is going to be wonderful."
Behind her is one of her busiest spring schedules to date.
Included was a very recent high profile opportunity on May 4th to perform at the White House for President George W. Bush-this as part of Rebecca's role as national spokesperson for the U.S. observance of National Day Of Prayer.
Rebecca termed the opportunity "a tremendous honor to get to meet President Bush and to represent the importance of God and prayer at such a high level." The White House performance capped a sixty day period that found St. James: Visiting orphaned children in Rwanda for both on the ground ministry and filming of a television special for Compassion International; headlining Australia's biggest outdoor rock festival; hosting her own nationally broadcast one hour "Freedom" television special in the U.S; co-hosting America's top Christian Awards telecast,the GMA Awards, and wrapping a highly successful forty day tour with fellow girl rockers, BarlowGirl. The If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something tour, a sell-out in many U.S. markets, was the biggest to date for the Aussie singer, who talks about her music more for its ministry value, than for the major opportunity it brings her to be a ‘name' international artist.
Ministry is literally the heartbeat of this beautiful young woman. Through her work as an international spokesperson for Compassion International her awareness campaign for the organization from concert stages all the world, has been directly responsible for the sponsorship of more than 30,000 of the world's neediest children. A tour artist since the age of 16, after more than a decade in music and virtually every award won, it's now the creative hands-on opportunity of connecting the dots from her audience to God through her music that seemingly gives Rebecca St. James the fuel that propels her forward.
Her latest album, If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something has been critically acclaimed for its' return to her ‘rock roots'-and a hearkening back to her groundbreaking 1996 God album which initially brought her into the national music spotlight. Released by EMI/Forefront, sonically the album embraces Rebecca with a symphony of diversity-from classically trained cellos to classic blazing rock guitars. Early reviewers have described the new music alternately as ‘raw,' ‘passionate,' ‘urgent.'
Much of the inspiration for the album was, in fact, born in Europe where Rebecca came for a much needed month long sabbatical in the fall of 2004. She flew to Geneva, took the 11.5 hour train ride to the town of Aigle, followed by a twisting bus ride up the mountains to Heumoz. There at a Christian study center Rebecca sought renewal and inspiration. Much of what she found is translated in her new music-and it's a message she hopes will go far beyond entertaining to truly impact the listener.
Rebecca St. James' desire to keep moving, to keep growing, makes her a committed, consistent leader and innovator-in music as in life. She has chosen throughout her life to breathe and feel deeply, think creatively and be fully present in the moment with her music and message-whatever comes.
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