Thursday, April 23, 2009

Star Search Champion Set to Perform in D.C.

Local high school student Brandon Bailey will perform at the 2009 Jefferson Awards for Public Service Gala Dinner and National Ceremony. The event will held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 15. Bailey, 17, was extended an invitation to perform after winning the Orpheum Theatre’s 6th Annual Star Search competition in October of last year.

Co-founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. They began in 1972 to create a Nobel Prize for public service. Local winners are chosen in communities across the country, and one of these recipients is selected by the Awards Board to represent their community and be honored at the National Ceremonies. As many as 60 U.S. Senators attend the event and present the winners with their Award. The event concludes with the selection of a National Award winner in four categories.

This won’t be Brandon’s first time in the spotlight. On October 18, 2008, he wowed the judges on his way to being named 2008 Orpheum Star Search Champion. His blues harmonica rendition of “Whammer Jammer” by the J. Geils Band was a favorite of the audience who turned out to watch the Mid-South’s best young talent. Bailey’s heartfelt and inspired playing served as an appropriate warm-up act for special performances by recording artists and American Idol alums Kimberly Locke and Justin Guarini. In January of 2009, Bailey competed against Blues musicians from around the world at the International Blues Challenge.

Check out some footage of Brandon out on News Channel 3's Live at 9:

More on Brandon Bailey .
Brandon began playing the harmonica when his grandmother told him that his great-grandfather used to play train songs on the blues harp. He has performed at the Mid-South Fair, the Helena Blues Fest, Cooper-Young Night Out, and on Live at Nine. Brandon has played with some of the best performers in the country, including Adam Gussow of Satan and Adam, Jason Ricci and the New Blood, Blind Mississippi Morris, and Vince Johnson and the Juke Joint All-Stars. Brandon plans to go into the medical field to become a pediatric neurologist.

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