Starting this weekend, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay presents the biggest names in contemporary Christian, gospel and Christian rock music for Glory at the Gardens, a jam-packed festival of music and fellowship, in Gwazi Park.
The festival kicks off on Saturday, May 1, with Dove award-nominee Matthew West as well as Brandon Heath, who won the 2009 Dove Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year, and Jonny Diaz.
Matthew West is known for his music that connects with the whole family. Matthew catapulted onto the Christian music scene in 2003 when his debut single, "More” spent nine weeks in the No. 1 spot and was the most played Christian AC song of 2004. He is a mainstay at Christian radio with memorable hits like “Only Grace,” “History” and “Next Thing You Know.” “You Are Everything,” the debut single from new record Something To Say (2008), spent four weeks in the #1 spot and was followed up with the single “The Motions,” which spent 14 weeks at No. 1.
Community is at the very core of who Brandon Heath is, both as a private person and as a public figure. He shares this idea with friends and followers alike, both of which have grown considerably since the release of his 2006 debut project Don't Get Comfortable, which produced a national tour and multiple radio hits, including the No. 1 blockbuster song “I'm Not Who I Was.” The success of songs like “I'm Not Who I Was” also generating the steam that earned him multiple Dove Award nominations in 2008 and the trophy for New Artist of the Year. He was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year for “I'm Not Who I Was.”
Jonny Diaz's debut album, Shades of White, released in August 2003 as he entered his sophomore year of college and is a project that continues to impact thousands of lives each year. He released the follow-up CD, Everyday God, during his senior year of college. For his third CD, Jonny traveled to Nashville to record with producer Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay, Bebo Norman). They Need Love released in March 2007 and immediately caught the attention of radio stations across the country, thanks to his song “Hold Me,” which hit the top 40 charts in 2008. Jonny released his latest CD, More Beautiful You, in 2009.
Next weekend, Grammy-nominated group Skillet and Building 429 rock Busch Gardens on May 8. On May 15, Grammy and Dove winner Kirk Franklin - who is credited with being the leader of urban contemporary gospel - and 2010 Grammy nominee and former American Idol finalist Mandisa wrap up the series.
Showtimes are 4 p.m. each weekend, and a VIP package, which includes lunch and reserved seating at the concert, is available.