2020 Unity People’s Convention Musicians
Jan Garrett and JD Martin
Jan Garrett and JD Martin are multi-award-winning singer-songwriters who live and create their music in the mountains of Colorado near Aspen. Together Jan and JD have written and recorded nine CDs of original music, and have won top honors at the Positive Music Awards for many years running. Last year they received the Grace Note award from Unity Worldwide Ministries for their outstanding contribution to New Thought music. Their newest album, Better Angels, is strong medicine for these turbulent and challenging times—fierce harmony, beyond politics and ideologies, an extended family of the heart. Visit Garrett-Martin.com.
Eddie Watkins Jr., born in Detroit, Michigan, was given a piano at age seven by his grandmother who noticed he had musical talent. This rambunctious seven-year-old turned out to be a gifted musician and composer, playing piano, bass, guitar, drums, and saxophone throughout junior high and high school. However Eddie's true love was the bass guitar. By age 17, Eddie was playing bass for Motown, supporting artists like The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and many other Motown artists.
When Motown moved to Los Angeles, Eddie moved with them and made a name for himself as a premier A-list, session bass player. Eddie has laid down his rock-solid bass licks to recordings by Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Herbie Hancock, Santana, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, the Pointer Sisters, James Brown, and a who's who of popular music icons.
Success and the fast life led Eddie to substance abuse, recovery, and a search for deeper meaning in his life. This search led to a spiritual awakening and a call to serve humanity through his music. Eddie has served as musical director at the Center for Spiritual Living Greater Las Vegas, Center for Spiritual Living Seattle, and Unity Church for Creative Living, St. Johns, Florida. Today Eddie is on tour across America raising the vibration of the planet with his music.
Lea is a self-proclaimed child of the universe who has shared the stage with Dar Williams, Mavis Staples, and Odetta. She has performed for sold-out venues in Europe and at festivals, arts centers, and places of worship in the United States. Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Baptist tradition, Lea’s style is often referred to as Soulfolk. Check out her website thisisLea.com and YouTube channel “thisisLEA.”
Representing emPower Music & Arts will be Sue Riley and Richard Mekdeci.
Richard Mekdeci is an ordained Unity minister who has served the Unity movement for over 35 years. Working at both Unity Village and Unity Worldwide Ministries, Richard has been central in creating the foundation we currently have for music resources, services, and events for Unity churches.
Richard is president and co-founder of emPower Music & Arts and currently serves as minister of music at Unity Renaissance of Chesapeake, Virginia, where his wife Paula is senior minister.
As one of the leaders in the genre of “Posi” Music, Sue believes in the power of music to touch hearts and heal lives, and she loves to share her passion for music.
Sue is one of the founders of emPower Music & Arts, dedicated to “Changing the World, One Song at a Time.” emPower Music & Arts provides thousands of songs, sheet music, music licensing, and consulting to our churches and is re-establishing regional music ministry conferences around the country.
Sue was the chairperson of the Music Ministry Team for Unity Worldwide Ministries for 11 years, helping to create a body of music for our churches.
A prolific singer-songwriter, Sue has created eight CDs of original, award-winning, uplifting positive music, including a brand-new songbook/CD of all congregational music entitled Go Out and Shine and has visited hundreds of churches around the country speaking and sharing her music.