By SEMA Editors
Comedian and SEMA Show crowd favorite Sinbad—along with up-and-coming soul and R&B artist Curtis Harding—will entertain guests at the 2014 SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet. The annual industry celebration, taking place Thursday, November 6, features dinner and presentation of several industry awards, including the SEMA Person of the Year, WD of the Year and Rep Agency of the Year.
Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time, Sinbad has built a loyal following by taking audiences’ painful trials or embarrassing tribulations of day-to-day life, throwing them back in their faces and causing an uproar of comedic hysteria. He can also make it sound profound without being profane. Not that he’s any kind of choirboy, but by being the son of a preacher man, he decided to keep his comedy clean after his father attended one of his early performances. Up to that time, he had been what he self-described as ”semi-dirty.”
Sinbad says he learned that night that “funny is funny,” and that masters of dirty comedy, such as Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce, could all have worked clean without losing a step. Sinbad is internationally known for his starring appearances in hit movies, such as "Jingle All the Way," playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger; "Houseguest," co-starring the late Phil Hartman; and his film debut "Necessary Roughness," where he performed none of his own stunts. He has starred in the television sitcom “A Different World” and his own series “The Sinbad Show.”
Curtis Harding says that soul music, and his music, speak for themselves. It's self-evident on the Atlanta artist's debut, Soul Power. The driving sound of his electrified Stratocaster, the foot-stomping backbeat and the lyrics swimming in reverb—with something this flourishing, it's almost reductive to just dig around the roots.
Harding's style was born in Michigan and bred on the road, a restless childhood spent singing gospel alongside an evangelizing mother, then cultivated in Atlanta, where he sang backup for CeeLo Green and befriended the Black Lips (he plays with Cole Alexander in Night Sun).
There's a foundation to the stirring soul Harding has created. "Gospel is inspiring," says Harding. "From hardship and trials, you make something beautiful. It's the history of black people in America, what happened to us during slavery, it's the foundation of blues, R&B, soul, country, rock."
But he's not just preaching to the choir—Harding's out there on the road, singing alongside everyone else looking for something real.
Information on the 2014 SEMA Show is available at www.SEMAShow.com.