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Philly’s own Norman Connors Honored


Philly’s own Norman Connors Honored

Valray Productions Celebrates 30 years live entertainment Honoring Philly’s own Norman Connors 

On June 3, Valray Productions Reunion and Anniversary Celebration will honor 30 years of live entertainment with a night of jazz, R&B, blues, gospel blessings, and poetry. The night will acknowledge Philly’s own International Record Producer Norman Connors, Local/International Vocalist Sherry Wilson Butler, Songstresses Celebrating Sisterhood Reunion and Recording Artist Meli’sa Morgan will wow the crowd with memorable tunes at the Philadelphia Convention Center, Michael Nutter Theater, 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia, PA. Show starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. 

Valray has brought the sound of soul to the main stage with shows that are always richly theme featuring critically acclaimed artists including international and Grammy Award winning artists like Gloria Lynne, Billy Paul, Rochelle Ferrell, Roy Ayres, Norman Connors and more. 

“My very first production was 30 years ago, featuring Philly’s Norman Connors who tore the skin off the drums that night.”  He is a legend that brought music to us in the 80s that will never be forgotten with songs like “Valentine Love,” “You are my Starship,” and “Betcha by Golly Wow’ remake.” 

Sherry Wilson Butler will also be honored for her strong commitment to the arts and education. A well-respected veteran in the music industry and arts education community, “Sherry is a triple threat: an educator, performer and recording artist,” explained Valray. 

Joining the stage will be 12 artists who will shine the spotlight on legends with performances by: Jazz Artist George V Johnson, who stops through from Washington DC with a musical lyrical tribute to McCoy Tyner; Tanqueray Hayward: Glady Knight; Michal Beckham: Nancy Wilson: Cubby St. Charles: Billy Paul; Mary Cross: Phyllis Hyman; Brenda Smith, is flying in from Atlanta, GA to pay homage to Roberta Flack. A Gospel Blessings will be led by Katrina Draghn along with “20 feet Away,” and Nikki Powerhouse will enlighten the audience with poetry and dance. Val explained, “The layout for the show mimics what I started some years ago,” 

In 2000, Valray Productions created Songstresses Celebrating Sisterhood (SCS). This ongoing festival of magnificent music presented the top notched female artists residing in Philadelphia, with their exceptional voices paid tribute to some of the greatest singers of our time like: Nina Simone, Gladys Knight, Billy Holiday, Etta James and more. 

The night will be hosted, in part, by Comedian Tu Rae and will includes a special performance by Recordings Artist Meli’sa Morgan, best known for a string of hits in mid 80’s to mid 90’s most notable for her song “Do Me Baby” and “Fool’s Paradise.”  

This event is being sponsored by Marriott Hotel and Lawton Associates, Accounting Services, 7226 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19138. For ticket info go to www.ticketleap.valrayproductions or call 267-979-3940.  

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Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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