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Nathan Best and the Golden Gate Gospel Train

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2001-07-21

If you love Gospel music, you won’t want to miss Nathan Best as he performs with the Golden Gate Gospel Train 2001 Mass Choir on July 21 at Ashibina Hall in Okinawa City. World renown as a Gospel musician, Nathan Best’s mother started him singing at age 3 and he led a song on his mother’s record at age 5. He has since sang for the well-known Hawkins Family and later joined the legendary O’jays. Since then, he has felt led to become a pastor at the New Beginning Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

With a smile, Nathan shows an article he is particularly pleased about which was recently published in the popular American gospel magazine, Gospel Today. It is about his success and the Japanese gospel movement. “Gospel music is finally starting to take on in Japan and we thank the Lord for that,” says Nathan.

“The gospel movement is increasing in mainland Japan. The more I come back, I notice how much it’s growing in Japan,” says Nathan. “The Lord has put a real hunger in me. Every time I come back it gets more interesting to the Japanese and they want to do more. It’s great!” According to Nathan, “When the Lord has his hand on it, everything works out. This is what the Lord wants me to do.”

Nathan Best has been doing workshops in Japan for 2 years, and each workshop and event is more successful as they have been learning from past mistakes and improving each time. “It gets better every time,” says Best. “We always talk about what we can do next time to make things better.”

Some sixty people have already registered for this upcoming workshop, but Nathan is hoping for about eighty. Nathan notes, “I’ve worked with choirs of 100 to 150 people before but we are only looking for about 80 as this concert should be more intimate of a setting.”

The workshop will take place from July 17 to 20 culminating in the Golden Gate Gospel Train event at Ashibina Hall on July 21. The first stage will begin at 3:00pm and the second stage will start at 6:30pm and will feature the talent of Nathan Best, the Golden Gate Gospel Train 2001 mass choir, the Taiyo-Fu Orchestra, and Parsha Club. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Ashibina Hall Box Office for $20.00 or you can purchase tickets at the event for $25.00.

“People will be very pleased with this concert,” he says. “It’s one I’m very excited about. We’re going to mix things up a bit. We’re gonna go with Parsha Club styles and rhythms, Taiyo-Fu Orchestra styles and rhythms, and my styles and rhythms. Our staff for this concert is the best staff we’ve ever worked with. They know what they’re doing, so I let them do what they do and I focus on music. It feels good to relax and just do what I do.”

One song from this month’s workshop will be featured on Nathan Best’s upcoming album “Nathan Live in Japan” scheduled to be released by the end of 2001. The album will consist of ten live songs recorded at concerts in Japan and seven studio recordings.

Nathan is considering doing a World Gospel Festival next year with some friends in the gospel scene, but says, “We’ll see how everything goes from here.” If you miss the Golden Gate Gospel Train concert but would still like a chance to see Nathan play, come check him out as he performs a piano and vocal concert at the New Life Chapel in Naha on July 22 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. More information on this event can be found by calling the New Life Chapel at 098-857-5570.

Golden Gate Gospel Train
Date: Saturday, July 21
Start: 3:00pm
Location: Ashibina Hall, Okinawa City
Admission: Advance $20, Door $25
Performers: Nathan Best, Golden Gate Gospel Train 2001 Mass Choir, Taiyo-Fu Orchestra, and Parsha Club

Nathan Best at New Life Chapel
Date: July 22
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: New Life Chapel, Naha City
Information: 098-857-5570

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