Meet our Entertainers
Wali Ali is no stranger to the Music World. He is legendary. Through his music career he has accomplished many things and worked with many well-known artist. He helped as lead Guitarist with The Temptations, Eddie Hendricks, Marvin Gaye, Teena Marie, The Jacksons, Aretha Franklin and more. He was dubbed the “Minister of Music” while he was the musical director of the world famous “Cotton Club”.
During his run with Wheel Records they ran out of money which gave him the opportunity to form D-West Records which was inspired by W.D. Mohammed. His first single to that release was “Images” which produced over 10,000 copies. Wali has had many other opportunities backing as a vocalist, doing guitar work, writing songs for others. His life time achievement in the Music Industry as been phenomenal and continues to do great work today.
Jarrien D. Dixon also known as Jazzin J is a saxophonist and independent music producers who is an Alumni of Cedar Grove High School. He played in the band throughout high school and is a current student at Georgia State University.
Jarrien has been playing the saxophone for about 10 years and one of his most recent accomplishments was being invited to play for two celebrities.
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Rodney NAO Barber
Barber’s dreams are as big as his voice. He wants to write books and screenplays and songs. He wants to start businesses and go on mission trips. He wants to make millions. He wants to buy property in Belize and move there.
All of that is far removed from Barber’s earlier years, which he describes as marked by drug dealing and violence. He says he was shot twice in the chest, spent time homeless, was married and divorced, all before finding his footing singing on the streets of uptown Charlotte.
At one point in his life, doctors told him he’d never sing again. That was after he’d been shot nine years ago in South Carolina. He sees that as a pivotal moment. He likens his life since then to an athlete overcoming an injury and hopes others are inspired by the example he sets.
He thrives on the street, but he doesn’t want to be a person of the street. He’s done that already, back when he was dealing drugs, and he says he left that life behind because he grew tired of looking over his shoulder. He has his own place and can see his future unfolding, a future in which he sings and writes and entertains and leaves smiles and happiness in his wake.
He gained local fame with a tryout for American Idol in early 2013 and the subsequent coverage of that. He’s a popular figure uptown. Valets and baristas know him. When he doesn’t show up to sing in his usual spots, restaurant managers search for him with their eyes and ears.
Barber started singing as a boy on his porch in rural South Carolina, in the middle of the night sometimes, driving his mother crazy. Now, as a man, singing in the middle of uptown has brought him stability.
“I try to be an open book because I feel like a lot of people’s lives can be changed,” he says. “I didn’t lose hope. Why should you lose hope?”
He’s an open book and a mystery at the same time.