Band mixes harmony with poetry readings to showcase variety of talents

The Elevate Project singer Jayson Hemphill of Woodstock rehearses with his band for the upcoming, "Whispers of Love" concert March 22 at the Listening Room at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake. The event will celebrate the releases of "Whispers of Love," the first book of poetry by team member Diana Floress.
The Elevate Project singer Jayson Hemphill of Woodstock rehearses with his band for the upcoming, "Whispers of Love" concert March 22 at the Listening Room at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake. The event will celebrate the releases of "Whispers of Love," the first book of poetry by team member Diana Floress.
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The band plays a wide assortment of music from soul to funk to rock and then some.

Songs include classic covers by artists such as Prince and Stevie Wonder, as well as original music written by members of the group.

The Elevate Project was founded by former worship leader, Jayson Hemphill, who wanted to focus his energy on writing and performing music, as well as provide a platform for artists from genres to showcase their talents.

“The band is really a catalyst for creativity,” Hemphill said.

“We want to inspire people to express whatever their unique gifts are. The core is the music, but the project is really for all artists to create one unique experience for the audience.”

Hemphill, of Woodstock, formed the band in 2012. He plays the keyboard and sings lead vocals.

“It’s my baby really,” Hemphill said.

“We’re not just a cover band, and we don’t just plays music,” he said. “We cultivate an experience for the audience, and they go on a journey with us through high and low points.”

Hemphill said the band’s music is universally applicable and gives its own introspective to life.

Since its formation, the band has booked four major performances a year including shows at the Raue Center and the Starline Factory in Harvard.

Hemphill is excited about the band’s upcoming performance at The Listening Room.

“The intimacy of The Listening Room really lends itself to a performance like this. It’s a beautiful space, acoustically sound, welcoming and has a decent-sized stage,” he said.

The room really focuses on the sound quality and makes it all about the music, Hemphill said.

The room, equipped with professional lighting, sound and production equipment, holds an audience of 100, and Hemphill is eager to fill all seats.

“The focus of that evening will be Diana. We want to celebrate her, and the music and her written work complement each other to make for a great show,” he said.

According to a provided description of the book, “Diana is passionate about writing poetry that points the reader to God. ‘Whispers of Love’ is a book that tells her journey of discovery about her relationship with God.”

The profits from the night’s ticket sales will benefit the Alexander Leigh Center for Autism in Crystal Lake. For information, visit www.alexanderleighcenterforautism.com.

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