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Ramona Smith Benefit Concert

By Stephanie Smittle

7 p.m. White Water Tavern. Donations.

“Ramona is a Queen.” Those are the words Katrice “Butterfly” Newbill, the organizer of this benefit concert, used when we asked her to describe her connection to Ramona Smith, and you’re not likely to find a counterargument among Little Rock’s soul and R&B community. Smith is a powerhouse vocalist with an easy onstage charm and a quick laugh, and she’s turned her experience (touring with R&B pioneer Johnny Otis, notably) into a toolbox for mentoring and supporting up-and-coming singers in Central Arkansas. “She is a true professional and a Mentor and is always willing to encourage, motivate and give advice to other singers,” Newbill wrote of Smith. “She is a Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Friend … Walk in your purpose, live in your destiny, be professional and aim for the Stars. This sums her up.” Smith’s struggled privately with health issues — I watched her hold every ounce of an audience’s attention in the palm of her hand during a concert at South on Main, despite the fact that she was singing from a seated position among the crowd, her vision and mobility impaired — and a robust roster of singers and musicians are taking the stage at White Water Tavern Sunday night to help with her medical expenses. Don’t take my word for that “robust” part, though; here’s the list of performers for Sunday night’s benefit: Tonya Leeks, Keith Savage, Rodney Block, Nicky Parrish, Tawanna Campbell-Berry, Charlotte Taylor, Crissy P, Haywood King, Tim Anthony, The Big John Miller Band, Genine LaTrice Perez, Dino Davis, Jeron Marshall Isbell and Katrice Butterfly Newbill, with Sonta Jean “The KOKY Queen” as emcee.


July 1, 2019
12:00 am - 3:00 am
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