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HarleyCOVER1a AAPOBackground1
Robar Interiors
Gibson Wilbanks
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Cover story
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Where people share and discover artistic talent and more

Where people share and discover artistic talent and more

There are many singers in the world of popular music that are able to capture the essence of a moment or simply, bring out all of your emotions to the point of a tear, but none so effortlessly as one that comes to mind, Harley!

Harley has a voice that is pure velvet, both smooth and rich that will woo your heart and take you on an emotional journey reminiscent to an almost near perfect sound of Luther Vandross. Audiences are simply amazed and stunned from the moment he begins to sing until he finishes the last note and cannot believe what they just experienced.  He will tell you there are differences between both voices but does agree very close in timbre and style.

Harley grew up in a musically talented family, realizing his own potential at the age of four. Like most young children, he began singing in the church while his mother accompanied him on piano.  His mother is a classically trained pianist/singer who saw the talent at four years old and taught him various songs at that age.

He began his musical journey performing in various venues as lead vocalist with the R&B/Funk Band "Pride" while in college at South Carolina State University.  His formal training includes music and vocal study with two most well noted vocal Professors in the nation, Dr. Uzee Brown (Ret.), Morehouse College and Dr. Ronald High (Ret.), Benedict College.  "Harley has a unique sound, very warm, a voice going somewhere," raved his high school choral director, Caroline McCauley.

Harley's voice allures musical listeners who find something complexingly intriguing about his sound and style.  You will see it on the faces of those who sit in an audience trying to figure out how and where did he come from and where has he been.  While at South Carolina State University he earned the accomplishment ‘Most Outstanding Vocalist’ with the South Carolina State Jazz Ensemble three years in a row from his peers and band director.

Harley's versatility as lead or backup singer is used in the studio and on stage. The strong, smooth tenor won audiences over after his 1988 appearance on Showtime at the Apollo in Harlem, NY where he won Amateur Night on live television. He performed in the 1988 musical theatrical production of: "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope" by Micki Grant.  He performed as singer in the 1994 gospel sound track music production of "River Dance" directed by Gospel Singer/Producer James

Producer James Bignon; and the 2004 production of "Soul Food, The Ultimate Sacrament".

In 1996, Christopher Records released the revised cover tune, "Can I Change My Mind," as performed by Harley Griffin and produced by Trammel Starks that led to his acclaim in many venues, such as being featured artist with the Fat Kat Players at the famous Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998. At the passing of Luther Vandross in 2005, he blew fans away in a musical tribute to Luther Vandross at the Crowe's Nest, in Atlanta, GA.

Harley has performed for ‘The Archives & New Vibes of R&B Soul’ in 2005; the annual Sweet Auburn Festival 2006, Atlanta, GA; opening for renown saxophonist Najee in the Atlanta "Got Jazz" series with the Teddy White Band in 2006 and opening for noted Violinist, Ken Ford at the Southland Jazz Music Festival in Stone Mountain, GA. Harley has opened for Saxophonist Eric Darius at Sambuca Super Club formerly of Atlanta, GA.  He has opened for Comedian Mike Epps at Soldiers Auditorium in Chattanoga, TN and continues to perform locally at Taboo II, Acostix in Atlanta and abroad.  Harley has performed with Jazz Legend’s Joe Sample, Dizzy Gillespie, Betty “Bee Bop” Carter and Max Roach. A milestone in his performing career, Harley performed with the original Luther Vandross Band at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Los Angeles, CA on July 11, 2007 in a special tribute show to Luther. This noted the first time the band had rejoined to perform since Luther’s stroke in 2003 and subsequently his passing in July 2005.

Truly, this was a night to remember as Harley performed three of Luther’s biggest hits with the band, “Stop To Love”, “Superstar” and “A House Is Not A Home”.  Nat Adderly, Jr. and the band were truly pleased with Harley’s performance and care with each song and Tommie Davidson said to Harley, “Man everybody needs to know about you and we were not expecting this to happen.”

Harley is currently working with new contemporary Christian Artist Scott Jacobs on his upcoming CD performing background vocals and arrangements for this debut release.  He has been involved with other writers and producers at Edgewater Records working with executive producer Jimmy Lefever on an array of projects.  Harley is currently writing and producing his music scheduled for spring 2013 CD release.  Harley's Single "Truly" will debut early 2013 displaying more of his talent as a 'moving' singer.

Overall, Harley Griffin has a strong track record, and is a steady, well-versed artist whose vocal athleticism and charisma rivals that of legends. Give him 60 seconds and you'll agree – Harley is, well… "Truly, So Amazing"!

Founded on February 12, 1988 by John T. Peek, his wife Carrie Whaley Peek and musician Tommy Stewart, the African American Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra (AAPO) was formed to provide a showcase for professional musicians and composers of African American descent in the Atlanta area. According to a 1986 article by the Rockefeller Foundation, there were only 186 black musicians in the entire country who were qualified to participate in major orchestras. At the time the AAPO was founded, there were only 4 all black orchestras in the country and at least one or no more than two black musicians r

at least one or no more than two black musicians were playing in most major orchestras.

The AAPO provides a performance venue for the presentation of musicians that would otherwise be denied the opportunity to perform in fully staged orchestra concerts. The musicians are experts on their respective instruments. Each member has been auditioned and carefully selected to build an orchestra, which exhibits a complete range of artistry on the featured contemporary, classical, jazz, and gospel works. It was founded under the umbrella of Music South Corporation to respond to the musical needs and interest of the Metropolitan Atlanta community. For bookings or to learn more about AAPO, visit their website at:

James' love for people, beautiful interiors and attention to detail define his passion for interior design and decorating.  People anxiously secure his services to employ his creative and unique sense of style and integrate it into their own.

His work has been showcased in numerous homes along with articles featured in several newspapers and home publications. He believes the keys to a mutually rewarding experience and relationship are good design and carefully tailored services that fit his client's needs. His commitment to excellence, coupled with his client's vision of creating surroundings that are both aesthetically and functionally pleasing, help make their dream a reality. Visit

When Carly Gibson and BJ Wilbanks first began collaborating

collaborating musically during the summer of 2011, it was like milk chocolate meeting peanut butter … a beautiful and tasty combination! Up to that point, they had each been pursuing separate solo singer/songwriter careers. Pairing up as Gibson Wilbanks (often performing with bass and drums behind them), they have combined their considerable songwriting and musical skills to create the unique and popular Southern bluesy sound that helped them to win the coveted songwriter’s open mic at Eddie’s Attic in December of 2011. Think Gregg Allman meets Bonnie Raitt meets Michael Hedges with a dash of Al Green–in short, an entertaining and joyful experience not to be missed! Checkout their music at the link below. For event bookings visit the website at

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