Jess Tee Entertainment

by Tonya Dixon | September 10th, 2014
Jessica Williams and Tee Walden (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

Jessica Williams and Tee Walden (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

JessTee Entertainment is the Triad’s up and coming source for quality concerts, events and promotions that uplift, inspire and encourage. Business partners, Jessica Williams (Evangel Fellowship C.O.G.I.C.) and Tee Walden (Minister of Music at FaithStep Ministries Church), came together in 2013 to form their budding, breakout, entertainment and promotion company, JessTee Entertainment.”

The name JessTee (a combination of ‘Jess’ica and Tee), is simply the duo’s response to their desire for providing events and opportunities in which God is celebrated and worshipped in a fun, joyous and excellent atmosphere.

“We both love Jesus and want to make sure people really know that ‘ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop’,” Williams and Walden said.

Nevertheless, the two had to endure a process before they began to see the vision for their business venture manifest itself. There were many hardships and low points, but they both remained steadfast, faithful and determined.

By all accounts, Williams was living a decent and prosperous life. Her position as a registered nurse afforded her the opportunity to maintain a fairly comfortable lifestyle. However in 2011, everything began to fall apart at the seams when she lost her job. Everything began to spiral out of control from that point. The bills were piling up, her car was in jeopardy of repossession and her home was in foreclosure. She found herself in a position she never anticipated.

“I went through a very tough time. As a nurse, you would think it wouldn’t be difficult finding another job, but it was. I went from one lifestyle to another. I wasn’t far from being on the street. I had never been in that desolate place before,” she says. “However in 2012, God began to turn things around. I got a job, and things began to look much better. I was so grateful that the Lord brought me through all those situations.”

At the same time, Walden wasn’t fairing much better. Many of the choices he made in his past cost him dearly later in life as he found himself often homeless and living by whatever means he could find. Through his faith and lifestyle changes, he was doing well and was on the path to graduate from college, but he ended up dealing with a blow that nearly shook him to his core. He was diagnosed with cancer. While it took a minute for the news to settle in, he resorted to what he knew—his faith in God. There was a process, but today he stands cancer free and graduated with the esteemed President’s Medal Award (the highest honor for the entire class).

“I’ve eaten out of trash cans; I’ve gone behind restaurants and in hopes that someone would throw some scraps out. So my level of trust in God is different–I trust God implicitly. There is no loophole for me; I have crazy faith. If HE said it, it’s coming to pass; I don’t care what it looks like; you can’t tell me any differently,” Walden says. “I might have to sleep in the car again and that’s fine; I know God will sustain me. I don’t put a lot of substance in material or monetary things. It’s nice to have but I know that’s not where my help comes from. God carried us through our desert experiences, and that’s why we began JessTee Entertainment.”

Williams and Walden’s enormous gratefulness to God ignited the fire behind JessTee Entertainment. The company’s first official event in 2013, “Prelude to Homecoming 2013,” was their way of saying thank you to GOD. JessTee produced the event during the week leading up to the renowned North Carolina A&T’s homecoming. Last year’s production proved to be enormously successful. The event has grown this year to feature more artists including Grammy Award-winning producer and Stellar Award winning artist, JMoss, as well as gospel artist Christopher Lewis, neo soul songstress Avery*Sunshine and gospel jazz artist Rae Ellis.

“We both love and participate in music, and we knew we were going to be celebrating [North Carolina A&T] homecoming, so I wanted to give something back to God. I didn’t want to spend all the money He blessed me with without first celebrating him. I wanted that to be my first priority,” Williams said. “We want to continue “Prelude to Homecoming, every year.”

The events that JessTee produces will always feature uplifting and encouraging artists and messages. Patrons can expect to leave the company’s events feeling better with a more positive attitude. As Walden puts it, “we provide an atmosphere to celebrate! We praise and worship God because he deserves to be celebrated. What we do, we do it in a grand fashion. I feel like I’ve gotten a second chance in life–music saved my life. I went through suicidal tendencies and thoughts. I have a desire to use music as therapy to help others in the same situations I have been in.”

Although neither Williams nor Walden have been officially trained in promotions or event and entertainment planning, they have successfully navigated the often murky and unknown waters of promotion life. They have expertly learned every aspect of the business from dealing with booking agents, mangers, publicists and riders, to venue selection, set-up, sound management, sets, lighting, musical equipment, advertising, seating and power source management. The task has often been difficult and daunting, but with each event, the company has grown and expanded. JessTee often fields calls and e-mails from various artists interested in working with the company simply because of the good name and reputation they have established throughout the Gospel promotions industry. In fact, last year’s headliner, Christopher Lewis, complimented and noted, the company’s excellence and preparedness.

The future looks absolutely remarkable for JessTee Entertainment. The company plans to showcase more talent, including local and nationally recognized artists. The goal is to produce awesome events every three months for the community to enjoy.

“Above all else, we make sure we respect and honor God. We want to see a change in people’s lives when they leave our concerts and events,” Williams said. “We want to be able to reach this generation. We don’t want to focus on the things they can’t do, but tell them the things they can do and have fun doing it.”

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