*”The Jazzspel” with Eric J. Chambers, a jazz and gospel radio show on Smooth Jazz 98.1 KIFM in San Diego celebrated its 27th anniversary on July 10th. As a part of the month long commemoration, R&B legend Howard Hewett will be featured in a musical tribute on Sunday, July 18, 2021 from 8am – 10am PST on KIFM.com. It includes the world premiere of his newest song.
“I am a firm believer of giving people their flowers while they live,” says Chambers, the host and creator of The Jazzspel. “Too many times once a music legend dies you hear radio stations playing their music as tributes and talking about how great they were. Why not do it while they can hear it and be blessed by it? That’s what I have decided to do: celebrate my friend with his fans worldwide.”
Hewett’s legendary music career began in Ohio as a child singing sensation with his sisters in their gospel group, The Hewett Singers. But it took off as lead singer for the musical group, Shalamar. He would go on and record several albums and dozens of songs with such notables as George Duke, Quincy Jones, James Ingram, Prince and Anita Baker.
Hewett launched his solo career in the mid-eighties with the release of “I Commit To Love” on Elektra Records.
On that project was perhaps his most famous song, “Say Amen,” co-written with his friend Monte Seward. He said he faced opposition from record label executives who didn’t want a “God song” on the project.
He persisted, saying it was his tithe unto God on the album. He became one of the first R&B artists to do such and it has remained a tradition on albums to come.
In 2001, he recorded a full inspirational album called “The Journey” which has received critical acclaim and has remained in rotation on The Jazzspel for the entire 20 years.
“Howard and I met on the Fourth of July in 1998 at the Essence Music Festival in my hometown of New Orleans,” said Chambers, who also produces the wildly popular Jazzspel radio show. “Our late mutual friend Roland Wirt introduced us and we’ve been friends since. He’s one of the greatest singers of his generation and an all-around great guy. I couldn’t be more thrilled for him and honor God for giving me the idea to do this.”
In 2019, Chambers, as a board member of Next Dimension University, a Bible college based in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, recommended Hewett for an honorary doctorate degree in Humane Letters. He received it becoming Dr. Howard Hewett along with other honorees including Dr. Lee Bailey of EURweb, gospel music great Dr. Kurt Carr, and actresses Dr. Marla Gibbs and Dr. Dawnn Lewis.
Chambers hosted The Jazzspel TV show nationally on The Word Network for nine years and 137 episodes. His guests included such names as Beyonce´, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Tyler Perry, Yolanda Adams, Toni Braxton, Tiffany Haddish, Arsenio Hall and his heroes, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Don Cornelius. He is a 9-times Emmy and Golden Mike Award winner formerly of CBS. Additional career stops include Big Brother, The Reelz Channel, DirecTV, ABC and The NFL Network.