Beginning April 5, 2011 and running through May 31, 2011, people across the US will have a chance to participate in the “Voice of My Beautiful Country Contest” by visiting www.voiceofmybeautifulcountry.com and uploading their entries. One grand prize winner will be awarded a trip for two, including airfare and hotel, to Washington , DC to see René Marie in concert on July 6, 2011 at Blues Alley. Two runners up will each receive a signed gift set of four René Marie CDs plus tickets to a René Marie show in the city of their choice along the tour.
The idea for this contest sprang from the center piece of Marie’s CD, a patriotic suite of Marie’s signature arrangements of “America the Beautiful”, "My Country ‘Tis of Thee" and the controversial co-joining of the lyrics of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing" to the melody of "The Star Spangled Banner," which brought national attention to the singer. The Wall Street Journal calls the album “a brilliantly conceived package of Americana."
“These arrangements are a straight up reflection of specific facets of American music - jazz, gospel and blues,” says Marie, “the songs of the suite itself retain the same patriotic lyrics that I learned as a child in my segregated town of Warrenton, Virginia - 40 miles from our nation’s capital. Despite having grown up in such an environment of Jim Crow laws and racism, I love this country, its citizens and its music, and wanted to express that love in the "Voice of My Beautiful Country Suite" – a collection of songs on the new album. And as I recorded the songs I got to wondering: what is the experience of other Americans, how does the ‘voice’ of their country speak to them? So with that in mind,” adds Marie, “we thought it would be fun to set up a contest where people could express themselves and have a chance to win a trip to the nation’s capital.”
To enter the contest and for more details please visit www.voiceofmybeautifulcountry.com