MIAMI – September is Gospel Heritage month. Gospel music is a beloved art form with a key presence spanning decades, generations, and races. Additionally, this genre of music is one that achieved pop culture and historical relevance. Gospel Music, born in the Black church, is a foundational American art form with a legacy that continues to inspire popular culture as strongly as it does churchgoers.
Who is Pastor Marc Cooper?
Pastor Marc Cooper an award-winning and key pillar in South Florida’s vibrant Gospel music scene. He is well known for his leadership within the Gospel music community both in South Florida and with national and international artists. An award-winning artist in his own right, he is also the founder and director of the stellar, award-winning, Grammy-nominated Miami Mass Choir, a songwriter, keyboardist, arranger, and producer.
As a well-known and well-respected artist, Pastor Cooper has relationships with and has worked with many top industry professionals in South Florida and beyond throughout his career.
He has big plans for the next iteration of his Gospel Jam series that will take place on Sunday, October 9th, 2022, at the Miami Beach Bandshell. This mega concert is presented by Live Arts Miami and The Rhythm Foundation.
After a two-year hiatus, the renowned Miami Mass Choir, which Pastor Cooper founded, will grace the stage along with some of South Florida gospel music’s heavyweights, including; Christian Rap artist J. White, songbird Gia, Singer/songwriter Jalisa Faye, Danielle Davis, and Revolution Community Choir, and other special guests. The host is South Florida’s beloved radio personality Paula White from Sunday Morning Joy on Hot 105.
Five Questions with Pastor Marc Cooper
Q: Tell us why you are excited about your Gospel Jam happening on Sunday, October 9th.
A: I’m very excited to perform with some of my friends, gear wire, Julissa Faye, JK White, Danielle Davis, and Revolution, but I’m mostly excited to be back on stage with the Miami Mass choir. We have not performed together until January 2020. So this will be our first performance together since the pandemic.
Q: How has gospel music influenced other genres of music?
A: Gospel music is what I call the foundation of many genres of music. You can look at Elvis Presley and see how gospel influenced him in rock and roll. Most of the R&B and soul singers of the past and even today got their start in the church singing gospel music. It’s the spirit, the sound, and the energy that has influenced many genres.
Q: When/how did you know music would be the centerpiece of your life?
A: My father was a pastor here in Miami, a gospel music lover, and a great singer. He had great relationships with many of the Gospel artists of his day. Many would come to our church to perform and visit our home for dinner. At the age of four, I asked my father to pray for my hands so that I would play the piano. He did, and I began to develop my musicianship, debuting at age five and playing at our church.
Q: Why does gospel music still matter today?
A: Gospel music still matters today because it’s all about the message. It’s good news. Gospel music is Spirit-filled, encouraging, and uplifting. And in the world we live in, That’s what’s always needed.
Q: What advice do you have for young people who want a career in the gospel music industry?
A: Don’t try to be like anyone else, be yourself. Recognize that the gospel music industry is not much different from other genres of music; therefore, you will need a great team of writers, producers, promoters, etc. Lastly, remember gospel music is more about the message than anything else; it’s all about the good news.
Gospel Jam Tickets
Advance tickets for the Gospel Jam are $10 and can be purchased here. Miami Beach Bandshell is located at 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL, 33141