About Bishop Albert Jamison
Few would have imagined that, ten years after the tragic loss of gospel music’s greatest ambassador – Rev. James Cleveland – the Gospel Music Workshop Of America (GMWA) would actually thrive to new heights with thousands of new gospel fans, international chapters abounding and industry players and recording artists all making the mandatory trip to the annual music convention.
But that’s exactly what has unfolded under the meek and mild leadership of Bishop Albert Jamison, Sr. who’s assumed the enormous task of steering this organization into new frontiers. And what a remarkable job he’s done. Providing a sense of newfound energy, integrity and spirituality, Bishop Jamison has rekindled the organization from its roots up and the fruit is already beginning to bear.
Bishop Jamison reflects, "Rev. Cleveland was the first one to share with me that I had the ability to become one of the nation’s greatest leaders. When he said that I laughed at him, I thought he was playing. I was in Washington , D.C with the late Warren Andrews and we went to meet Rev. because the chapter was given to me. I asked Rev. Cleveland, “Are you sure” and he said, “Yes.” So I said, “Fine, I’ll do the best I can with it.” Now I knew I wasn’t an organist or a piano player; I was just a director and singer. He told me on several occasions I was going to be one the people to bring the convention to the level it needed to be at. I laughed at him again because when I saw who he already had sitting around the table and then looked at myself, I laughed at him. He said, “Don’t worry about your incapability; playing isn’t everything. You have the ability to lead people, you have a love for people; when you have a love for people that makes a lot of difference.”
When asked, as an overseer of GMWA what would you like it to represent to Christians, the African-American community and, of course, to the emerging gospel music industry? Jamison replied, "We have grown so much, we don’t even look at ourselves as one of the largest African-American convention; we look at ourselves as the largest gospel convention in the world. This year we had over 1,500 people who came from outside the U.S. ; from the Soviet Union, Bahamas , Japan , etc.
This year we had 150 delegates from China and Japan - the largest we’ve ever had. We had over 5,000 quartets this year, over 1,000 gospel rap artists - where can you go and have all of this in one house? We recorded 5 albums from the different departments – men, women, James Cleveland Chorus (for the first time), the youth, and the mass choir - all recording under one umbrella, one convention. We hit every facet - where else can you go and see over 5,000 people attending classes? We also look at gospel music as an art form.”
In addition to his leadership of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, his mentorship by the late Rev. James Cleveland, Jamison is well known for his acclaimed recordings alongside the Tri-Boro Mass Choir. He is best known for 1979’s Grammy-nominated LP In God’s Own Time, My Change Will Come with the Rev. James Cleveland & the Tri-boro Mass Choir.
Show Yourself Mighty, recorded live before a standing room only congregation on June 15, 2007 at Brooklyn , NY ’s Pleasant Grove Tabernacle with the New York State Mass Choir was released in September 2007. It's an album that trails a blaze of its own as it reflects where the minister presently stands in his own personal, musical, and pastoral quest.
Show Yourself Mighty is a top-to-bottom gospel delight; an elegant, Sunday-morning extravaganza like there’s few in today’s contemporary gospel landscape. Jamison and Light Records spared no expense in lining up the stars to make the proceedings a reality, bringing in seasoned producers David Caton and Jules Bartholomew to man the boards and provide a balanced mixture of old-time traditional stunners and just enough current elements to create an atmosphere both timeless and up-to-date.
As far as church-based recordings go, it simply doesn’t get better than this: From the opening strains of the declaratory “Just Your Name Alone” and the life-affirming “Born Again” to the gripping testimonial of “Not My Will,” Jamison is intent on taking listeners to church…and leaving them there. The true centerpiece here is the title track, a worshipful, corporate feast with a high melodic quotient, escalating dynamics, and an accessibility that are bound to make it a favorite in the Body-at-large.
Adding to his portfolio of ‘good-work’, Bishop Jamison launched the evangelical Pentecost At Any Cost ministry, while finding time to serve as the Financial Overseer of the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship and a board member of the African-American Religious Connection. His charitable work also includes offering his time as a member of the ministerial board for the Leukemia Society and as a director for the People United To Save Our Children.