August 7, 2008
Joe Jackson Celebrates 80th Birthday Party Chicago Style
at The Joynt and is Given Key to the City of Gary, Indiana
By Laura Phillips
Photos by Steve Wolf
Joe Jackson (Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson) and his business partner Rick Neville (President/CEO of Chi-Coast Entertainment) gave a press conference on July 22, 2008 in the former Jackson family hometown of Gary, Indiana; and Jackson was given the key to the city by Mayor Rudy Clay. The former Jackson family home of 2300 Jackson Street was rededicated to become The Jackson Family Blvd. of Gary, Indiana. A pre-celebration birthday feast was organized by Rick Neville and Michael Parker (General Manager of Dusties) and his staff at the tasty hip soul food restaurant “Dusties Southern Style Buffet” in Gary, Indiana where artists from Chi-Coast Entertainment performed with the event being hosted by Erika Kristine. Joe Jackson, known as the father of the Jackson family rock stars including Michael and Janet, isn’t close to retirement. Along with being known as the Father of the Jackson Musical Empire, Joe Jackson is making his own waves with Rick Neville, as they co-own Chi-Coast Entertainment (Record Label and Management Company that’s branching out into clothing and film) based in Chicago with branches in Las Vegas where Jackson currently resides and Los Angeles where their artists often record.
Rick Neville in association with Stan Wozniak and his staff at The Joynt put together an 80th birthday party celebration with Tatianna Barnett and Erika Kristine (both Chi-Coast artists) hosting at the lush A-List club in honor of Joe Jackson on July 24, 2008. Ace Bakeries of Chicago donated a gigantic magnificent cake with nearly a dozen tiers that included eatable photos on the cake’s sides honoring the Jackson family. 3 Gents Limousine Service, limo to the stars, provided Mr. Jackson’s transportation. Stephen Alan Salon of Sycamore, Illinois (the official stylist of CCE artists and experts in hair and make-up) also provided services and has been a devoted sponsor of Chi-Coast Entertainment events. Joseph Walter Jackson, Born July 26, 1928 in the down to earth town of Fountain Hill, Arkansas to Samuel Jackson and Crystal Lee; Joe Jackson ended up in Chicago in his late teens boxing where he met and married the lovely Katherine Scruse on November 5, 1949. The newly-weds settled down in Gary, Indiana, and Joe Jackson worked at Gary’s U.S. Steel to make ends meet for his growing family that today consists of 9 living adult children (including Michael and Janet) and a baby that died in infancy. Joe and Katherine Jackson are blessed with 25 grand-children (including Tito’s children that created the band 3T along with Rebbie’s famous musician children Stacee Brown, Yashi Brown and Austin Brown along with the popular artist DealZ), and Joe and Katherine are blessed with 2 great-grandchildren. Joe Jackson and his brother Luther Jackson had an R & B band, The Falcons, but Joe became so busy working to support his family and launching, developing, and promoting his children’s musical careers, that as they became a Motown sensation in the early 70’s Joe had no choice but to send brother Luther solo. Luther Jackson stayed in the musical business as a performer for over 50 years, and he’s now in The Loose Cannons Chicago Style Blues band while Joe switched gears to management and producing. Today Joe Jackson keeps busy with Chi-Coast Entertainment and promoting and managing aspiring hip hop, rock, and other musical styles of artists, and Chi-Coast artists were show-cased at Joe Jackson’s 80th Birthday celebration that also featured touch-notch local talent as well as the LA elite flying in, including jazz artist James Whitney, for the velvet-roped festivities. Fran Allen-Leake (LJet Productions) and Danny Leake (sound engineer for Stevie Wonder) were there along with Paul Loaiza who owns Monsignor Murphy’s in Chicago. Malik Yusef was in attendance and has the honor of being part of Kanye West’s new album, “Graduation” that’s being dropped September 11, 2008. Celebrity photographer and executive music producer Steven I. Wolf was also there.
The Joynt hosts two levels, with the downstairs being a disco and bar featuring many of the Jackson family member tunes such as Michael’s, “Beat it” along with a VIP room. Upstairs featured a stage and bar, along with a cutting edge musical showcase, awards ceremony, and many of Chicago’s finest local musicians performing. Niccolio Amati got the party started with a powerful energetic performance that featured his inspirational rap comparable to Nas, with an open heart as he was talking to God with the praise of song. $incere (Chi-Coast hip hop artist) followed with an amazing performance dressed to kill as if he could be in position to launch a hip hop fashion line. Wearing his black blazer accented with silver and a white tee dazzled with gold and dark shades, diamonds and matched with dark jeans, $incere danced as he belted out, “I’m new in town…smoke in my eyes…I can relate to our class…here on business...What’s your interest?” In the middle of the rap $incere thanked the birthday man Joe, and then he rapped, “Mama kicked me out had no place to go…I’m good in the street.” Uneek was third up with the tough challenge of following Niccolio Amati and $incere, but he handled the pressure positively as he energetically bounced around in his high profile white tennis shoes enhanced with his great big wide smile and his tribute to Joe that included, “Forty years what’s it looking like?”
It wasn’t all guys, Tiana came up in her little elegant black dress and high black ribbon laced heels looking like she stepped out of Vogue with dangling gold earrings and a fashion sense similar to Beyonce. Tiana flipped the switch from hip hop to classic R & B style as she silenced the audience with Aretha Franklin’s elegance as she hit the highest notes of the night with sweet lyrics including, “Everything I do is for you.”
Kendel Lewis (son of jazz legend Ramsey Lewis) performed a touching jazz number, which was perfect timing right before Joe Jackson was brought up on stage and affectionately toasted with a performance by The Rich Kiddz, and the world famous Chi-Lites were up there along with Rico Chicago’s hottest Michael Jackson impersonator who did the moon walk. Along with toasting Joe Jackson’s 80th Birthday, Mr. Jackson received The Lifetime Achievement Award. Legendary producer Carl Davis received The Pioneer’s Award for Music, legendary radio personality Herb Kent received The Pioneers Award for Media, The Chi-Lites received The Legends of Music Award, and Mayor Rudy Clay of Gary, Indiana received The Award for Public Service. Throughout the party, events were video taped by the film crew from Joe Jackson’s upcoming TV reality show, “Meet Joe Jackson,” with Mark Brown (Executive Producer of Baldwin Hills on the BET network) as the Executive Producer for the Jackson reality show.
After the toasting and awards, Chicago’s reputation as a great jazz and musical city was further justified with Jessica hitting the stage with a classical performance followed by Kelly Lewis rapping. Ta Ta Blaze brought style to Joe Jackson’s 80th birthday tribute, and an all-star jazz band performed several smooth songs that included legendary music producer and guitarist Kevon Smith (Buddy Miles) and the sensational Ruby Harris (violinist known on the high society wedding circuit). Joined at one point by three lovely ladies singing their hearts out, the all-star band continued to play late into the night at The Joynt ending with a loving tribute to Joe. The night concluded with the all-star band accompanied by popular Chicago radio personality Irene Mojica of V103 known as, “Today’s R & B and Old School.” The night ended with a well-attended smashing party at The Joynt and a beautiful evening with great memories for not only the Birthday Man Guest of Honor Joe Jackson, but was a special evening for all those who were on the guest-list. Thanks to Rick Neville who made this all possible along with Stan Wozniak and his staff of The Joynt. Happy 80th Birthday Joe Jackson from AAM with much admiration for all you have given internationally to the music community as a musician, record company executive, talent manager, producer, promoter, and all you have given the international community in musical development with a spirit that will go on for eternity. AAM can’t wait to hear about your 81st birthday party being held July25, 2009.
www.thejoyntchicago.com, www.myspace.com/joejacksonbirthday, www.myspace.com/RickNeville, www.chicoastentertainment.com, www.myspace.com/chicoastentertainment, www.myspace.com/michaeljackson, www.michaeljackson.com, www.myspace.com/janetjackson, www.janetjackson.com, www.myspace.com/3t, www.3t.com, www.myspace.com/dealzmusic, www.DealzInTown.com, www.myspace.com/youngsinsincere, www.myspace.com/kevonsmithsuperproducer, www.myspace.com/tatiannamusic, www.rubyharrismusic.com, www.myspace.com/JamesWhitneyMusic, www.JamesWhitneyMusic.com, www.myspace.com/chilites, www.myspace.com/uneek, www.myspace.com/malikyusef, www.malikyusef.com, www.myspace.com/kanyewest, www.kanyeuniversecity.com, www.forhigherexpectations.org, www.myspace.com/tatablaze, www.howardhewett.com, www.idreamstageplay.com, email@example.com, www.myspace.com/erikakristinemodel.
Photos by Steve Wolf