Green Festival Speakers

Rickie Byars Beckwith

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www.rickiebyars.com

Rickie Byars Beckwith, Music and Arts Director for Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California, composes and performs moving, melodic music to inspire deep feeling in the heart and to bring joy to the earth. She has produced six CDs that are favorites to thousands. Her most recent project, Supreme Inspiration, was produced by her daughter, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and led to her first music video, AlleAlleluia.

Rickie's extensive body of work inspires spiritual communities around the world. Spirit encourages me to be a voice of inspiration and to bring 'water to a dry land,' she said. Described as an intuitive channel of healing music, Rickie has performed at five sessions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama twice in India and three times in Italy. In addition, she has facilitated women's retreats for more than 11 years with Mary Manin, founder of LifeSoulutions.

As Director of the Agape International Choir for almost two decades, Rickie has composed, arranged and directed music for a group that began as 30 voices and has grown to more than 200. The Agape Choir brings joy to my music and to my life, she said. The choir has performed at New York City's Lincoln Center, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the John Anson Ford Theatre in Hollywood Hills, the United Nations and other distinguished venues.

Very much in demand, Agape Choir delivered an incredible performance in 2007 to more than 20,000 people attending a Twilight Dance Series concert at Santa Monica Pier, sharing the evening with famed hiphop legends Arrested Development. The choir performs this May in concert with Fabien Maman and other artists at the Global Sounds Conference in Marina Del Rey. The choir also is preparing for its next great Love Train adventure a tour that will take them to Georgia, Florida and Cuba in February 2009. With Rickie as conductor, rest assured that everyone who gets on board will be lifted.

A headline solo performer in concerts across America, Rickie is planning an upcoming concert tour to celebrate all the beautiful songs that inspire those who love my music. A recent composition aired to 15.9 million viewers on the debut of Oprah Winfrey's new TV show, The Big Give. Her songs also have been featured on The West Wing, Strong Medicine, and, most recently, TV One's Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors.

Rickie loves to collaborate with her husband, friend, and Agape founder Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith. Together, this powerful partnering developed a workshop combining transformational content with Rickie's healing music, recently presented at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado to unanimous acclaim. They also are among an eminent faculty presenting at the Omega Institute's Being Fearless conference scheduled for April 1113 in New York City. Rickie looks forward to future creative endeavors with her husband and other likeminded seekers.

Whether composing music, directing the Agape Choir, performing solo in concert, facilitating retreats, or bringing prayerful vibrations of sound to an Agape service or her immediate family, Rickie is comfortable with her calling and generously shares her recipe for success: The ingredients for a great and meaningful life must include joy, gratitude and service to humanity. It is no wonder that so many who know and love the music that comes through Rickie Byars Beckwith affectionately call her the Angel of Joy.

Rickie was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and spent formative years in Atlanta, Georgia as well. She is the sixth of 10 children. I love my family and the beautiful foundation for growth they provided, she said. I love God, I love serving the world, I love making new friends, and I love to eat good vegetarian food.

A natural and selftaught musician, Rickie started singing at age 3 in Miss Anita Stroud's Tots Choir in Charlotte and has been singing ever since. Early influences include Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, the music of Motown, Liverpool and Stax Records, and the early gospel music of the Soul Stirrers with Sam Cooke.

Before her introduction to Agape, Rickie was lead singer with the New York Jazz Quartet, Pharoah Sanders Ensemble, Ronald Muldrow Ensemble and many other bands. Since Agape, her path has been one of spiritual inspiration: I have found my niche and my divine vocation.