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Raw Talent Graces the Stage at the StarQuest Singing Competition Audition
By Kimberlee Buck, Staff Writer
Published September 27, 2018

This year’s talent ranged from children to adults, a true family competition.
(E. Mesiyah McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)

Bakewell Media closed out the month of September with the annual StarQuest Singing Competition live auditions (as part of the Taste of Soul Family Festival); where over 70 contestants courageously sang their hearts out during the in-person auditions at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

This past weekend, the singing competition welcomed the following entertainment professionals to judge the contestants:

The StarQuest 4 Kids singing competition stole the hearts of the judges. (Kristina Dixon/ L.A. Sentinel)

Assistant music supervisor for Walt Disney Studios Brian Vickers; AEG’s StubHub Center senior director of Community Affairs and the Foundation Tamala Lewis; singer, songwriter, producer and a classically trained musician Lydia Rene; co-manager of performance, branding strategy and day-to-day operations for Kenny Lattimore, Cheryl Stabler; A. Scott Galloway, a journalist who has interviewed thousands of music industry artists, executives and creatives; senior director of project management for Fantasy Recordings Michele Smith; LaShawn Norton, who handles artist development, brand marketing and sales strategy at Universal Music Group and Thump Records; music journalist, stand-up comedian, podcast host and graphic designer Dylan Fleming; comedy department head at Innovative Artists Tamra Goins; executive producer, music producer, and audio engineer Mario Ewell; head of marketing for GPE Records & Media Marilyn Batchelor; Vincent Berry, founder of Playmakers Entertainment and Media & Sports Consulting Firm Inc.; owner of SPIN IT PR, Danielle Lima Holland; on-air personality at Old School 104.7 Josefa Salinas who is also the owner of  “The Power of Voices” an online talk radio station; artist manager Earl Cole; President of Funk Works Entertainment and Funk Mob Music Bruce Peterson; music professional and director of the Central Avenue Jazz Festival Andrea Greene; music executive and associate director of Creative at BMI Cee Barrett; publicist to the stars and owner of Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates, Lynn Jeter; executive member of Bakewell Media (proud parent of the Taste of Soul Family Festival), managing editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and L.A. Watts Times, Brandon I. Brooks; publicist and owner of JL Media PR, Jalila Larsuel.

A local girl group performs during the 2018 StarQuest live auditions at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. (Robert Torrence/ L.A. Sentinel)


This year, judges were able to hear a variety of musical genres from both children and adults. Some of the contestants performed with members of their family, some performed with a group of friends, while others performed solo. Overall, the amount of talent the judges saw from the contestants left them speechless!

As of press time, the six finalists for the StarQuest in-person auditions are still underway and will be announced on Thursday, September 27. However, the winners of the StarQuest online auditions have been released. Congratulations to StarQuest 4 Kids winner Laniyah Garcia and StarQuest adult winner Marcio Donaldson.  Both Garcia and Donaldson have won an automatic slot in the finals and will have the chance to perform live on the Hyundai Soundstage at the 13th annual Taste of Soul on Saturday, October 20.

Be sure to check out the LA Sentinel and Taste of Soul website this weekend to see the six finalists selected from the in-person auditions. See you at the Taste of Soul Family Festival!

Categories: A Taste of Soul | Entertainment | Local | Music | News
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