UP CLOSE WITH JEANIE by Jeanie Summerville
Whatz up, babies?
I want and need you to know, you are so beautiful to me and I’ll sing it from the mountaintops and from the widest seas that, you are so beautiful to me and exciting! And I love it, just love it. I also love it, when you contact me to shine the spotlight on someone that you know because when I make that initial phone call to them and share the purpose of my call, the love and the fun begins. On that note, let’s have some more fun together as you read about The super band Last Call so you can learn more about them and what they stand for, as we travel on our journey of love, to get to know one another better. So at this time all we want you to do is sit back, relax and enjoy. Or, stand and jump and shout if you want to, you can do that because Frost Illustrated is gonna take you there and this is what Jachell has to say:
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Jachell Tolbert and it pleases me to introduce myself and the super band, Last Call, to you. I’m the band’s manager, CFO (chief financial officer) and lead vocalist. Officially, our first debut as Last Call, was Feb 1, 2013. However, last September in 2012, we started off as being a variety show that was called, Ken Tolbert Presents, that consisted of different artist, bands and musicians that came together to showcase their music. Then our director of music and my husband, Ken Tolbert, said he got a vision from GOD of actually having a solid band that could play any and all genres of music and from his vision that’s how we developed the official band Last Call.
“Last Call, will consist of 12 members total and our whole foundation is biblical. We’ll have 12 members because Jesus had 12 disciples and they together, changed the entire world. So, our band of 12 members is to change the whole entire music industry. Our name, Last Call, actually stems from the Bible verse Mark 9:35 which says, the first shall be last and the last shall be first and we are all musicians that were called into the music industry.
Last Call band members consist of, the CEO/director of music and on keyboards, Ken Tolbert, Jamont ‘Monte’ Simmons on drums, Nat ‘Nati Ice’ Crawford on bass, Chuck ‘Chuck Diesel’ Rogers on guitar and T-Bone on horn alto sax. We also have three other vocalist than myself, Breaun ‘B Smooth’ Scott who is our only male vocalist and he’s the velvet voice, of Last Call, April ‘Celeste’ Cotton who is our soulful songstress, Cherelle McGee our mega voice and I’m ‘Lady J.’ Our sound and crew technician is Andrew Woodson aka Deacon Drew. And, currently at this time, we are seeking two serious interests for our horn section to complete the 12 positions.
“We are all active in local churches and we’re all church musicians but we all have a love for other types of music. We believe that music doesn’t have to be all racially profiled, it doesn’t have to be women bashing, selling drugs or street and gangster life. We just felt like, this is our opportunity to bring back good, clean and wholesome music to the secular system such as R&B and the soulful side of music, from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that we grew up on, like Earth Wind & Fire, The Commodores, Marvin Gaye and etc. We’re tapping into that type of music and bringing it back because we want to get rid of the negative vibes that some music has taken on today. We also perform gospel, jazz, clean hip-hop, classical oldies, clean soft rock and blues, show tunes and fusion.
“And yes, we all started in the church but we know that the word says, your gift will make a room for you and the room does not contain four walls or any building. We know that Christ lives inside of us and He gave us gifts to change the world. So therefore, we’re giving good, clean entertainment to people, in hope that they see GOD in that as well and to respect the gifts and the talents that He’s given us. Actually, our band has led quite a few people to Christ because they tell us, they see the excellence in us, they see the spirit and wholesomeness in what we’re doing. So we’ve got a great response from the community in regards to us being able to be versatile with our musical abilities and we‘ve been booked every weekend since we began.
“But, even though, the majority of the community and local businesses are very welcoming, supportive and encourage us to keep performing great music that is clean, classy and fun, the way we do it, there are honestly some church leaders and their members who have painted a very negative perception of us, what we do and where we perform. With them starting this confusion, it has caused many to question our personal relationships with Christ and has alienated us from being a part of or even employed for local ministries or church-related events. Sadly, most of these naysayers have never even been to a show and are clueless but yet, they still brand us as ‘UNGODLY’ and have turned their backs on us when we truly are a ‘Band of Believers!’
“My hope is that people who truly understand and know GOD for themselves, know that HIS gift of the use of music through us transcends beyond a ‘Sunday morning service’ to an ‘Any day, any time, soul filled experience.’ Last Call has not ‘left the church’—we love ministry! All of us are willing and able artist/musicians who want to serve but unfortunately are not welcomed. But thank goodness, it’s only a handful of limited thinkers. We will keep moving forward with the “call” on our lives till the very “last” of it is used!
“Tycoon’s, is one of our favorite venues to perform because they have supported us every since they opened and they have nothing but loving arms for us. And, we’re helping to build their business as well because we’re like two babies in the entertainment business, so we kind of partnered up and decided to help each other. They also give us kind of a house band home feel when we perform there and we perform there at least twice a Month. We also play in other venues in Fort Wayne such as the new Bar & Grill downtown that’s located right in Parkview Field House, home of the Tin Caps, at the Restaurant O’Reilly’s and we’ve performed there quite a bit.
“However, we’re open to any other venues as long as they are clean and we like to do the family settings and more of the bar and grills. Not so much just nightclubs because we like to have a variety of venues, so that way all ages can come out and hear our music. To check us out visit our face book page at www.facebook.com/superbandlastcall, like our page and you can find out where we are, what we’re doing, the history and foundation of the band and all booking info. We also do weddings, funerals, sweet 16 parties, open houses, which were really exciting and different, retirement parties and we do private venue or community related functions. We love to do community events, so anytime the community needs any musical needs, for whatever situation, Last Call is here to serve you.
“We’re loving this and we’re having so much fun. We really are a great encouragement to each other and we’re very close and we hold each other accountable and every member is contracted with Last Call, so we’ve all signed a committed document saying that we’re committed to the group, that we know there are ethics and guidelines that we have to stay within and we practice our craft at least twice a week whether we have a gig or not. We’re just sticklers on having the standard of excellence and just showing that you can do multiple things with the gifts that GOD gives you. Our future focus is on going forward, traveling the Country and doing great cover tunes and we also want to get into doing original music and writing, so that way, we can put our own music out there that GOD has given us.
“As far as, my musical background, I was basically born in a pew because my mother was the choir director for my home church, where I grew up at and my father being a Sunday school teacher, deacon and singer. So I come from a musical family and I’ve been singing and dancing probably since the age of five. I did praise dancing in the church and then I was also on an International dance team and I traveled a lot around the country. I’ve been to Spain, Europe, Jamaica and Africa at the age of 12. Then I got into the more musical aspect, singing and dancing, so I did a lot of things at the Civic Theatre downtown and have received awards for Civic Theatres musicals. I also danced jazz, modern jazz, tap, ballet, a little hip-hop and just about anything.
“From there, once I got into my adulthood, I starting teaching dance and I was a teacher at the Old Fort YMCA for about 20 years. And, the singing thing, I was always in the church choir and my husband said, ‘it’s time for you to come out from among them and come out front and help me with this vision that GOD has given me.’ He has been my vocal coach, my trainer and he has really pushed me to the limit where my singing ability has really grown under the direction of my husband and I love him and we all love GOD.”
Now in closing I say, Great job Last Call and I truly enjoyed watching you perform, it was fun and I think that as a group, you should go far because through GOD, love and dedication all things are possible. And, please don’t allow anyone to discourage you because you have the courage to do what you feel GOD wants you to do, in the name of love. Also, I want you to know that maybe those handful of Church leaders and members are treating you the way they are is because they believe that you must give all of yourself to the church or nothing at all, since there is no in between. And, if this is truly what they believe, that’s sad because this is GOD’s world and HIS love is everywhere, not only in HIS churches. So hang in there because you‘re different and I love it, just love it! So until next week, you’ve been up close with Jeanie. Bye, bye, babies.
P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from ya.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 11 print edition.