Guest Artists & Bands

Janelle Lake

Chicago-based harpist JANELLE LAKE has played harp on trains, boats, planes, and horse-drawn dreys (Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island).  The collegiate atmosphere of Chicago gives Janelle many opportunities to perform steadily at Madame Zuzu’s, the Drake, the Langham, CDPeacock, Jimmy Choo, Harry Winston and others. Last year, Janelle played on stage with Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Billy Swan, and Perry Ferral (Jane’s Addiction). 

Janelle created the Southwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra to unite traditionally classically trained musicians of the north side of Chicago with traditionally gospel trained musicians of the south side of Chicago.   

Janelle holds principal harp positions with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra and Southwest Symphony Orchestra. Janelle loves to travel and has lived on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef, camped in the Serengeti, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, dived with sharks in South Africa, swam in the world’s largest rooftop pool in Singapore, traveled by train across Europe, zip lined in Honduras, and has been to all 50 US states.  Besides her passions of harp playing and travel, Janelle delights in being a wife and a mother of two young girls.

Wole Oni

Irewole Samuel Oni, better known by his stage name Wole Oni, is a United Nations International Ambassador for Peace and a Yahama Ambassador to Africa. He is also a jazz musician, synthesizer programmer, multi-instrumentalist, scriptwriter, songwriter, director sound engineer, and Multi-award winning music producer. He is the founder and CEO of Instinct Productions and Wole Oni Music Productions (WOMP).

He started playing music at the tender age of seven, with the bass guitar as his first musical instrument but later learnt how to play the Keyboard. He graduated as an organist in his father’s church in Akure Ondo state and has remained in music ever since. Today he has become a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian music industry having produced well over 7,000 songs, both within Nigeria and the international circuits. He has recorded several notable hit songs such as ‘Olomi’ (Tosin Martins), Igwe (Midnight Crew), ‘If It A’int’ (Silver Saddih), ‘Hallelujah’ & ‘Ijoba Orun’ (Lara George) and the centenary Theme Song, `mama peace etc.

As a seasoned and talented pianist, Wole has been in the jazz and classical music scene in Nigeria for decades. He has been privileged to share music platforms with many great musicians such as Yinka Davies, Brycee Bassey, Sammie Okposo to mention just a few. The founder of Jazzville (Mr. Muyiwa Majekodunmi) extolled the virtues of Wole Oni and described him as having a rare but astonishing talent. His musical influence as a Keyboardist came mostly from his parents, as music was part of his upbringing. His father used to play the organ and his mother was a singer in the church choir. This inspired him to go into music production.

Wole Oni documents the secret of his successes over the years in the word narration of his first single “Cover me Lord”, and attempts to pass that information across, the motive being to give back to anyone who is willing to listen. Wole Oni says “My Source” has always been God, and His mercy and grace alone has been my cover. His influence extends beyond the studio; he is a loving husband and a father, who considers his family the bedrock of his success. They share in his triumphs and inspire him to scale new heights in his pursuit of musical excellence.

Osby Berry

Osby Berry, born in Cincinnati, OH, has been a Christ-follower and gospel singer since the age of 4. Osby has received worldwide acclaim with the group, Cross Worship, and their release of “So Will I” in 2018. Since its release, he has traveled the world, and has shared the stage with some of gospel’s greatest, such as JJ Hairston, Tye Tribbett, Smokie Norful, DOE and Maverick City just to name a few. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a worship leader at Transformation Church, where Pastor Mike Todd is the lead Pastor. He is a faithful husband to Shélea (pronounced Shay-Lee-uh) Berry and loving father of four beautiful children and one on the way! He’s set to release new original music next year. His new single “Miracles” is available on all digital outlets right now!

Bidemi Olaoba

Minister Bidemi Olaoba whose full name is Abidemi Ayodeji Ogunmolu, is a Nigerian gospel singer, songwriter and music composer. He is known for singing Gospel HighLife music in a Fuji Style. Minister Bidemi Olaoba has been into music from a young age, a talent that grew up with him as far as his student years in the Civil Engineering department at the Yaba College of Technology. From there, he proceeded to the University of Lagos to study Economics at the Master’s Degree level and graduated in 2021. Olaoba was born in a Christian home in Lagos, Nigeria into a family of six. He comes from Ikale Okitipupa, Ondo State. Bidemi studied Civil Engineering at the Yaba College Of Technology, Lagos and Economics at the University Of Lagos, Nigeria.

Olaoba Started his musical career as a worship leader in the choir at Christ Apostolic Church and became involved in the CAC Music Ministry and Redeemed Christian Church of God. After beginning his official career, Olaoba released his first single, “Final Say”, in 2016. He became known for his popular phrase “The Bible Says”. 

Olaoba was invited to perform Marathon Praise, an event organized by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and then gained popularity. He has six studio singles, two live performance compilations, and collaborations with gospel artists. Olaoba traveled to Europe, America and African nations, he held virtual concerts and is the pioneer of the virtual concert Unrestricted Praise, which started in 2020 and featured gospel artists including Buchi, Evangelist Tope Alabi, Mike Abdul, Pastor Adeleke Adeboye, Minister Eben, and the late Minister Sammie Okposo.

Minister Bidemi Olaoba has performed at various international gospel gatherings, including the Marathon Messiah’s Praise concert by the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, Festival Of Life (Dubai, Dublin, Italy and United Kingdom), MASS, HI-impact Praise, and COZA.

John Olusegun Ajayi, aka S-DEE

John Olusegun Ajayi, aka S-DEE (Curled from initial stage name, Segun Dangote) is a Master of Ceremonies par excellence with industry experience spanning over 16years.

He started out as a Stand-up comedian in Lagos, Nigeria; learning the ropes from the very best in the industry and growing to own his space over the years as a professional Master of Ceremonies. 

A Computer Scientist cum Brand Strategist by training and Media Entrepreneur by practice, S-DEE unarguably distinguishes himself as one of the most sort after Premium Masters of Ceremonies within and outside the African-American Community in North America. 

His demeanor, fashion prowess, witt and sense of occasion stand him out as a class act on stage and at every event as a Host/Master of Ceremonies.

He is married to Makeup artist extraordinaire, Temilade of ‘HOUSE OF OMOGE’ and they presently make Chicago home with their two children. 

MC Attraction

MC Attraction is a Nigerian born, American based standup comedian, event producer, event host, and brand strategist. MC Attraction, also known as Emmanuel Osagie, started his standup comedy career professionally in September 2010.
MC Attraction’s brand has experienced tremendous growth over the years with awards and recognitions tied to his brand. He has continued to soar in comedy and entertainment since he discovered his ability to be spontaneous. The talented comedian is known for his unique voice, style and exceptional performance, he is responsibly funny, well represented with clean jokes.

Mc Attraction has featured in several shows with renowned African comedians and hosted multiple concerts, corporate functions, weddings, and private parties to mention a few. He will be producing his first event in the city of Chicago, “LAUGH AND PRAISE; CHICAGO AFRICAN GOSPEL RECOGNITION AWARDS”, which will incorporate live entertainment, comedy, and gospel music.


Born across the Atlantic in the West African country of Nigeria, music has been a part of this international artist’s life since the very beginning. Music was a vibe that gathered his family of 5 together, and something Bantey quickly grew interested in and fell in love with. Fairly often, Bantey and his family would have early morning devotions that included a lot of singing and playing of instruments. That along with his childhood music lessons sparked his musical journey.

At the young age of four years old, Bantey started learning and playing the piano. Developing a skill for playing the piano, Bantey started playing during church services before the age of seven. Alongside playing in church, Bantey formed and joined several other music groups in an effort to bolster his talents and expand his musical network. Through church and these groups, Bantey was starting to get noticed by professionals, and was granted opportunities to play with multiple established musicians.

By the age of nine, Bantey found himself immersing into the producing side of music. He said, “I would go to the studio just to watch some of my big brothers already in the field.” Bantey treated his time in the studio with his brothers like he was in a classroom for school. There, he was devoted to learning the ins and outs of how to produce and make music professionally. He then went on to record keyboard/bass lines for different records and albums and eventually opened his own production business after college.

Bantey went to college and served as an associate producer after graduation, where he finally started producing albums in full. Bantey decided to open up and start his own production company on the side of his artist career. After college, Bantey said, “I also embraced my musicianship,” granting him opportunities to tour locally and internationally to showcase his music and learn from people around the world.

The Nigerian performer, producer, composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Bantey released his first ever professional EP titled “Re-definition” featuring five tracks back in 2014 and has been on the rise ever since. With some heavily anticipated releases on the horizon, Bantey is an artist to keep on your radar.

Sola Allyson

Nigerian gospel sensation Sola Allyson, born Olushola Allyson-Obaniyi in Ikorodu, Lagos State, is a beacon of inspiration in the music industry. Her journey into the world of music began with a soundtrack for a Yoruba movie in 2003, which paved the way for her debut album, “Eji Owuro,” marking her grand entrance into the music scene. Her discography has since flourished with albums like “Gbeje F’ori,” “Ire,” and “Im’oore,” and her voice has become synonymous with hits such as “Eji Owuro,” “Obinrin,” and “Aseye.” Her voice has not only graced numerous religious gatherings but has also earned her a seat as a judge on the prestigious MTN Project Fame West Africa for five seasons. Collaborating with notable artists like Tope Alabi, Adekunle Gold, and Cobhams Asuquo, Allyson has established herself as a versatile and dynamic force in the industry.

Beyond her musical talents, Sola Allyson’s accolades speak volumes of her impact and contribution to the music world. She was a nominee in the Best Indigenous Concept category and for Best Soft Rock/Alternative Video at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) in 2013, and she was honored with the Special Recognition Award at the City People Music Awards in 2018. With seven albums to her name, each brimming with inspirational tracks, Allyson continues to inspire and uplift with her unique brand of music. Her style, characterized by her African-centric attire, and her philosophy that humility is the hallmark of greatness, further endeared her to fans and critics alike. Her life, enriched by her marriage to Toyin Obaniyi and their three children, is a testament to the power of faith, love, and relentless pursuit of one’s calling.

Anthony Jay Houston

MC Attraction is a Nigerian born, American based standup comedian, event producer, event host, and brand strategist. MC Attraction, also known as Emmanuel Osagi

Anthony Jay Houston is a Percussionist in the Chicagoland Area. Not only is he a double-degree holding musician (BA in Music Education, University of Dayton. MM in Percussion Performance, Roosevelt University), but he is a frequent and accomplished performer. Houston’s music is mostly rooted in jazz, but style is not a limitation for him — if you ask him to play something, he’ll either be ready to do so, or he’ll learn how! Houston performs mostly on Vibraphone, and works to incorporate the instrument in as many musical settings as he can. He also plays steelpan and other percussion instruments. At a typical solo performance, Houston will bring his Vibes, his pans (double seconds), and some backing tracks and perform a mix of solo acoustic pieces on either instrument and fully arranged pieces with backing tracks.

For extra fun, he sometimes will even bring along his looping pedal so he can lay down an accompaniment on the vibes, then play a tune on pan to the “live” backing track. Beyond Solo performance, Anthony works extensively with Potts & Pans Steelband. If you want the full Calypso experience, you don’t need to travel to Trinidad, it’s right here in Chicago with Potts & Pans. Anthony can give you a taste as a soloist, or bring out a P&P ensemble for any event. Potts & Pans is THE steelband to hire for ANY event!

Anthony is also a founding member of the Jazz Quartet Totem. Totem grew out of the desire of 4 Roosevelt Jazz Students wanting to continue sharing their music beyond the halls of the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Vibes, Guitar, Bass and Drums come together to play originals, standards, and standards in an original style with Totem. Heavily influenced by the ECM record label, Totem’s favorite artists are Joe Henderson, Joe Locke, Carlos Antonio Jobim, and too many more to count.

Beyond Jazz and Calypso, Houston plays pretty much any percussion instrument. The big ones, Timpani and Drum Set, are ready to go, along with a wide selection of Latin percussion and hand drums from around the world. Of course, if you are looking for something he hasn’t had a chance to learn yet – he’ll learn it for you!