Damien Sneed To Perform at WHBPAC for the Holidays - 27 East

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Damien Sneed To Perform at WHBPAC for the Holidays

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Damien Sneed

Damien Sneed

authorStaff Writer on Nov 17, 2022

Damien Sneed Brings ‘Joy to the World’ to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Damien Sneed will perform “Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey” at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach, on Saturday, December 17, at 8 p.m. Sneed has brought this holiday celebration to venues across the United States, featuring his own original arrangements of gospel and jazz on classical favorites like “Silent Night,” “O Come, Emmanuel,” and, of course, “Joy to the World.”

Sneed took some time to talk about what inspires him about the holiday season and how music has the power to unite us all.

Express: “Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey” features your own original arrangements of traditional Christmas songs, backed by a cast of 10 singers and musicians. What inspires you about holiday music?

Sneed: Holiday music has always been a huge inspiration to me, because it reminds me of times with my family and fun childhood memories.

Express: Growing up, what were some of your favorite holiday tunes or albums?

Sneed: Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, the Jackson 5’s Christmas album and Bing Crosby’s Christmas album.

Express: How were you first introduced to music? What inspired you to become a musician?

Sneed: My first introduction to music was watching television around 4 years old and playing piano along with all of the commercials and television shows. I was inspired to become a musician at my home church, the Good Shepherd Baptist Church, growing up in Augusta, Georgia.

Express: Wynton Marsalis once called you “an ambassador for classical and gospel music” and said you use your artistry “to make our world a better place.” Can you describe the power you believe lies in gospel and classical music as a means of positivity or change? How do you use art to make the world a better place?

Sneed: Music itself is a universal language; gospel music has a message of love, unity and hope, while classical music continues to build upon the innovations of the generations before us. I try to use my art to make the world a better place by using my platform and voice to give voice to those who don’t have a voice.

Express: Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is in many ways a community center in Westhampton Beach. This concert series will have taken you cross country — from Malibu to Westhampton. What are you looking forward to experiencing with audiences in New York?

Sneed: I always love performing in New York, as I am currently a resident of New York State and have been for over 20 years. When I first moved to New York as a graduate student at New York University, I actually lived in Suffolk County, Long Island in Bellport. It was quite a commute back and forth to school each day, but I grew fond of the Hamptons.

Express: Any requests of Santa this year?

Sneed: My hope, prayer and desire is that we will continue to love and understand each other regardless of our differences and disagreements.

For tickets or more information, call the WHBPAC box office at 631-288-1500 or visit whbpac.org.

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