Delicious food, great family and community fun are guaranteed to crown this year's 3rd annual "A Taste Of Soul." This year, the Sentinel add a new feature to the festival. We will open up our offices for our "A Taste of Jazz and Comedy." Among the stellar acts that will be performing are a Los Angeles based group, Dante's Inferno.
Dante's Inferno has been performing together in and around the Los Angeles area for more than 14 years. Lead singer Dante Chambers describes how they came together "I was working on the World Stage , which was an organization that was based in the Leimert Park area and I met Billy Higgins who encouraged me to study voice with Phyllis Battle, who was a phenomenal voice teacher. Through her vocal instruction, I gained the confidence to go out and start performing. I met a great guitarist in Phyllis' class and we decided that we should work together and call ourselves Dante's Inferno, after the movie, and because we sounded hot together."
Dante's Inferno began performing at Venice Beach and Santa Monica Beach. One year later, Dante Chamber's incorporated a keyboard player and a drummer into the group and together they began playing local venues, which included a homecoming performance at The World Stage.
"It was so extraordinary to me , to see how far I had come in such a short time, explains Chambers. The group also began to get noticed by some religious circles as well. "We began playing with The Voices of UNC. which was directed by Dwight Tribble. I loved singing with them, it awakened my spirituality. Through that experience, Dwight became one of my mentors as well."
It was not long before Dante's Inferno began performing at major venues such as the House Of Blues and BB Kings Club in Universal City and the "Taste of Soul" which was held in 2000 at the California Science Museum in Exposition Park. "I had an opportunity to put together a show through Maxine Water's organization, a show that include music on every floor of this event. We included a jazz band on the first floor ,a blues band upstairs on one side and a Latin band on the other side of the second floor. I loaded the venue up with music. It was a great success."
After that event, Dante's Inferno began performing outside of the Los Angeles area, they found themselves being booked in venues that were not previously opened to them. "We began to do shows in Orange County, Malibu, San Diego, all over southern California and even in Northern California as well. We even have done shows outside of California. It was great that we were getting recognition for our stellar musicianship."
At the urging of a friend Chamber's decided to attend the 2nd annual Los Angeles Sentinel's "A Taste Of Soul," that was held last year on Crenshaw. "I absolutely loved it and I decided that I would do whatever it took to be apart of this great event. A couple of weeks ago, I met with Brenda Marshall Mitchell, and I explained to her that I thought that my band would do well at the festival. She told me that she would listen to my music and get back to me, which to my surprise she did and the rest is history. I cannot wait to be apart of this wonderful festival, not only this year but for years to come."