Piano Prophet Coming to Tuskegee

Piano Prophet Coming to Tuskegee captures the essence of the “Instruments of Praise” concert, scheduled to take place on April 28th. In this blog David Banks explains how this production evolved and why it is so important to him.

The upcoming show “Instruments of Praise” featuring Ben Tankard seems to have taken on a life of its own.

I met Ben at an event in Opelika and asked him if he was interested in experiencing Tuskegee. He quickly responded, “yes, I would.” Shortly after that, I saw an opportunity to bring him here. While making arrangements, I found Ben Tankard to be a very “down to earth,” warm and responsive person.

Ben Tankard has been a musical idol of mine since my days as the director of the Auburn University Gospel Choir. In those days, the early ’90s, music was sold in a cassette format, a generation before CD’s. For those of us who remember, that if you played a cassette too much, it would stretch and hang up in the cassette player, especially in your car or truck. I liked his music so much and listened to it so much that I wore out three of his cassettes. One of them stayed in my car so long that I could hardly get it out of the player after I had worn it out.

Any musician will tell you, that there is no real musical distinction between the different styles of music. As Tankard puts it “…a Christian ‘C’ note sounds the same as a non-Christian note.”

Having played in many different types of musical organizations myself; R & B, Top 40’s Dance, Gospel, Jazz, Country and even Classical, I can attest to the inexplicable transcendence of music and musicians.

As the event developed I found out more and more about Ben Tankard. First of all, he is indeed a man of God. The gift of music can to him directly from above all at one time with no formal training. Known as the “Quincy Jones” of Gospel Jazz and with 14 Stellar Awards, multiple Grammy  & Soul Train Award Nominations,  Ben Tankard is the best-selling Gospel Jazz artist of all time. A “hit-maker,” Ben discovered a then third grade teacher named Yolanda Adams and has produced several top records for her.  He also has collaborated with Take-6, Fred Hammond, and many others.

Ben Tankard is much more that a musician, he is also a pilot with his own fleet of aircraft. His organization “Urban Eagles” has a two-fold mission to expose young Black children to the world of aviation and to encourage other musicians to explore the world of flight and aircraft.

Additionally, Ben Tankard, who is a former basketball player, is a scout and spiritual advisor for the National Basketball Association.

Instruments of Praise on April 28th promises to be and exhilarating musical event. The concert roster includes a student singing group from Tuskegee University, The Golden Voices Band and the David Banks Gospel Jazz Experience with a myriad of artist and musicians. Please come out relax and enjoy.

“Instruments of Praise” will be held at Tuskegee First United Methodist Church at 202 South Main Street in Tuskegee.

For tickets,  click here.

To watch a performance video featuring Ben Tankard, watch the video below.