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Yoshi's San Francisco
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LAWRENCE BEAMEN: From Renaissance to The Struggle of Paul Robeson

February 17, 2013


A Black History Program

Touted by Piers Morgan as the next Barry White, America's Got Talent top five finalist Lawrence Beamen combines a rich, bass baritone voice and smouldering stage presence with small town Mississippi charm. In the words of Sharon Osbourne, Beamen is “one class act."

Sunday, Feb 17

  • 7pm $20


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Powerful. Soulful. Moving. Sensual.

These are just some of the words people use to describe a performance by Lawrence Beamen. When Beamen takes the stage, he doesn’t just sing... he captivates hearts, ears, and eyes with his rich baritone voice and smoldering physical presence.

Lawrence was one of 40 contestants selected to compete on NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent, and made it to TOP 5, which garnered over 44 million viewers, Lawrence’s powerful rendition of “Ole Man River” evoked powerful emotions in viewers, and brought the studio audience to their feet. He won the hearts of the judges and received millions of votes from fans across America and around the world - Lawrence made it to the final round of competition and toured in Las Vegas on America’s Got Talent Live, hosted by Jerry Springer.

But the road that led him here wasn’t always a smooth one. Lawrence Beamen was born in a small town in Vicsburg Mississippi, and began singing in the church at the tender age of six, where it was quickly apparent that he had a remarkable gift. He moved to California with his family at the age of twelve.

At sixteen, Lawrence was approached by a woman at his church in oakland CA who asked if he wanted to sing for Rosa Parks. He was deeply moved by the request, and the event caused him to believe that he could turn his love for music into a career. Determined to rise above his humble beginnings, Lawrence pursued his passion with an intense focus. He undertook classical vocal training and earned his masters degree in psychology. He sought out the top talent in the music industry, working in every capacity, from acting to singing to songwriting to producing. He viewed each opportunity as a chance to become a better artist.

In 2001, Lawrence founded the his own custom Recording Studio in Walnut Creek, CA to work more closely and recorded with renowned artists, including Andra’e Crouch, Chuckii Booker, Narada Michael Walden, and many others. It was there that he recorded his first CD, which sold over 180,000 copies with no formal distribution.
Lawrence’s journey from the deep South to the bright lights has been a long one, but along the way he never lost sight of his dream: to be a major recording artist known across the U.S. and around the world.

Now more determined than ever, Lawrence pours his heart into every song he sings; whether it is Classical, Adult Contemporary, R&B, or a Negro Spiritual, he moves his audience to their core. Says Lawrence: “I want to bring back the depth of Barry White, the soul of Mahalia Jackson, and the honesty and rhythm of Bill Withers.”

Is Lawrence Beamen the real thing? Just listen. You’ll know in an instant.

LAWRENCE BEAMEN on his show "From Renaissance to The Struggle of Paul Robeson":

The “Paul Robeson – One Man Musical Show” has been an evolving vision of mine for many years and facets of the “Show” have taken shape in venues throughout my career.  As a RnB artist the history of Mr. Robeson is very important for ALL ARtIST  being that Mr Robeson fought and walked picket lines for artist right and simple human dignity... And won in the end.
I’ve performed the singularly most popular Robeson song ‘Ole Man River’ so many times that it has become a powerful mantra and metaphor with a deeper meaning depicting the inevitable continuum of life.
I was twenty two old when I began my immersion in the study of the life and times of Paul Robeson. Mentored by A SF teacher Johnny Land - I was captivated by the man Mr Robeson, his character, his life’s trials and tribulation.  I was impressed by his accomplishments during an era in this country when African Americans were disenfranchised infants born to their newfound freedom.  Robeson believed fate had drawn him to the "untrodden path" of drama and stressed the only "original" American culture was African American culture and stated the measure of a culture is its artistic contributions while reinforcing and uplifting the importance of the culture of ancient Africa. 
I could relate my own experience as an undeniably strong Black man to many of Robeson’s challenges and equally so to his intrinsic significance as an unsung hero. Robeson has left an inheritance, a legacy of hope, faith and courage for humanity.  In accepting this inheritance and investing it in my life I find places where I can pay it forward as I grow in knowledge and strength.  I have learned to stay true to my dream and that I must not compromise to be recognized.
As a performing artist since the age of six, I have grown in my understanding of the debated consensus defining Robeson’s legacy, excerpted from his words, “The artist must take sides.  He must elect to fight for freedom or slavery.  I have made my choice.  I had no alternative.”  Robeson maintained the integrity of his beliefs throughout his life.  He demeaned himself for no one and stood for those who were degraded.  I have come to recognize the enormous responsibility.