Art Beat: R&B singer to perform

Stephen Norwood is only 18, but he has packed a lot of living into the last few years.

Norwood is preparing to enter the next chapter of his singing career as he returns from a trip to Los Angeles where he met with a number of potential music producers.

He is also preparing to entertain the home folks. A concert at downtown Duluth's Red Clay Theatre featuring Norwood will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 16.

The concert is an opportunity for fans to hear Norwood offer up his own brand of R&B, one that has been winning him new admirers with each performance he gives. Norwood has a special bond with his Gwinnett area audiences.

"Having been born in Gwinnett County and living there as a kid, I feel a real connection with the community and the 'feel' of Gwinnett and its people," he said. "Plus, whenever I play a show in Gwinnett, the response has always been very positive."

If all goes well, Norwood will not stay in our area long, as the world of entertainment has already discovered him. He traveled to Los Angeles with his manager Jayne Madigan in late July and met with a number of high-powered music industry producers.

"We had meetings with several producers," Madigan said. "Each producer had background on Stephen and wanted to meet him. These were mutual get-to-know sessions, and Stephen sang for each of them. The idea was for Stephen to select the producer he felt most comfortable with, a producer who will create a demo CD. This demo will be shopped to the major music industry labels in order to land a recording contract."

Said Norwood, "My trip to L.A. was very productive. I acquired a production deal with a phenomenal producer and started working with him on some original material. I also had a lot of fun - I went to the beach, rode the roller coaster on the Santa Monica pier, visited Rodeo Drive, and ate some great food."

The big announcement with the name of this high-profile production team will be announced on Norwood's MySpace page when the ink on the contract is dry, sometime this fall.

Meanwhile, he will be performing locally and traveling back and forth to L.A. as he begins working with this producer. Eventually, Norwood hopes to be moving to L.A. full time, and his dreams for the future are limitless.

"I want to be everywhere in 5 years," he said. "Traveling and performing in other countries, my picture in every newsstand, my songs on the radio - the sky's the limit."

Before he flies off into the sunset, Gwinnett fans can enjoy his music with reduced-price tickets. A special $8 ticket offering is available on www.redclaytheatreonline.com for the Aug. 16 show. Regular price tickets are $10 at the door. Stephen will also perform Sept. 17 before the Braves game at Turner Field in Atlanta. A half-price ticket offering for the concert and Braves game, plus all about Norwood's music, can be found on his MySpace location at www.myspace.com/stephennorwood.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@