Wilkes com­ing home to Cedar­town stage this week­end

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - From press re­lease

Ja­son Wilkes re­mem­bers well the first time he stepped into the spot­light at the Cedar­town Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter.

He was in sev­enth grade and he had a bad case of the stage jit­ters. He was used to singing at church, in front of peo­ple he knew, but this was a game-changer for Wilkes.

He laughs as he re­calls the but­ter­flies in his stom­ach that day. “That was such a dif­fer­ent thing for me, singing in front of a bunch of peo­ple. I was so ner­vous. It was awk­ward.”

But that first-time per­for­mance for Wilkes led him to step on that very stage many more times over the years. “I was in va­ri­ety shows and one-act plays in high school,” he said, paus­ing for a mo­ment. “I was in the Mr. Big Dawg com­pe­ti­tion in 2003. In fact, both me and Sam Hunt were in it and we both got beat out by Will Mink.”

Hav­ing long since re­cov­ered from his mid­dle school awk­ward­ness and his crush­ing de­feat in vy­ing for the Big Dawg crown, Wilkes has never re­ally stopped per­form­ing.

His tal­ents have taken him all over the na­tion, but on Oc­to­ber 27, he’s com­ing home. He’ll step onto the same stage as he did when he was a pre-teen, but this time, with more than a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence to help calm his nerves.

Wilkes is mak­ing a stop in his na­tional tour at the Cedar­town Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter on Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Though many Cedar­town res­i­dents know him al­ready, he was cat­a­pulted into the na­tional spot­light dur­ing sea­son 14 of the NBC hit show, “The Voice.”

“The Voice,” fea­tured Wilkes as a blind au­di­tion con­tes­tant on March 6, 2018. He sang “One Head­light” by The Wall­flow­ers and his per­for­mance re­sulted in mu­sic su­per­star judges Adam Levine and Blake Shel­ton giv­ing Wilkes an op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance fur­ther in the show. With Shel­ton as his guide, Wilkes pow­ered through the bat­tle round singing “No­body to Blame” by Chris Sta­ple­ton. Dur­ing the live play­offs, Wilkes was elim­i­nated from the com­pe­ti­tion – much to the dis­may of his strong Cedar­town fan base -- but im­me­di­ately be­gan book­ing con­certs across the United States.

But even be­fore “The Voice,” Wilkes was us­ing his voice to in­spire, en­cour­age and en­ter­tain. He started small, in Cedar­town of course, as the front man for Chris­tian rock band, High Flight So­ci­ety. The band’s pop­u­lar­ity grew, spilling out across the U.S., as they trav­eled from the east coast to the west coast. The band also pro­vided sup­port early on in coun­try mu­sic star Sam Hunt’s ca­reer. Dur­ing this time, Wilkes played gui­tar and sang back­ground vo­cals for Hunt. High Flight So­ci­ety dis­banded in 2012 af­ter drum­mer Scotty Lock­ridge’s sud­den pass­ing.

Wilkes later joined the band Dis­ci­ple, and helped re­lease their al­bum, “At­tack,” world­wide. Af­ter tour­ing with Dis­ci­ple, Wilkes be­gan his solo ven­ture with the help of Shane Cole and other mu­si­cians. His first solo EP was re­leased on March 14, 2017 ti­tled, “No Fil­ter - Part I.”

“It feels re­ally good and I am ex­cited about com­ing back to Cedar­town, “Wilkes said. “It’s one thing to play for groups of peo­ple that like your mu­sic be­cause of what they’ve heard dur­ing cer­tain times along the way, but it’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent feel­ing know­ing that I will be play­ing for these folks that have been with me since I was born ba­si­cally, that have been on the train with you since it’s been run­ning. I can be my­self, I don’t have to live up to some goofy stan­dard from some­one else.”

Wilkes is pleased to be bring­ing along a few friends he’s met on his jour­ney as well. Kaleb Lee and Pryor Baird, both from “The Voice,” will also take the stage in Cedar­town, per­form­ing prior to Wilkes. “They are both awe­some, these guys are great. A lot of the folks sup­port­ing me dur­ing “The Voice” were also big sup­port­ers of Kaleb and Pryor.” Coun­try artist Gar­ri­son Ray will also per­form.

Wilkes has a cool sur­prise planned for con­cert-go­ers. “I’ll be per­form­ing a new song, one that tells the story of grow­ing up in Cedar­town. I am look­ing for­ward to shar­ing that in front of a home­town crowd.” There will be plenty of other songs as well. Wilkes is known for his orig­i­nal cre­ations, but he’ll be sprin­kling in a few cover songs that most folks will rec­og­nize as well.

“We are re­ally ex­cited to have the op­por­tu­nity to have Wilkes re­turn to his home­town to per­form on a stage he’s fa­mil­iar with, said Os­car Guz­man, Cedar­town Per­form­ing Arts Di­rec­tor. “We have a great op­por­tu­nity to see Wilkes con­tinue his rise to fame right in his home­town along­side other artists that are mak­ing a name for them­selves. I can’t wait for our com­mu­nity to cheer him on that night.”

Tick­ets are still on sale at www.Cedar­town­Shows.com or by call­ing the box of­fice at 770-748-4168! This is a star stud­ded show you def­i­nitely don’t want to miss.

Ja­son Wilkes

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