October 06, 2016 

By Brian W. Carter 

Contributing Writer 

The StarQuest finalists have been chosen and they are set to perform at the 11th annual Taste of Soul Family Festival (TOS) on Oct. 15. StarQuest is the community’s premier talent competition that gives a platform to local talent. The competition will take place on the StarQuest Stage located at     where only two winners will be chosen from the adult and kids competition respectively.


The StarQuest adult finalists are: Kwame Alexander, Jeriell Laconn Anderson, Vincent Berry II, Darien Fisher, H'Atina Gilliard, Doc Martin, Naorai Michele, Dennis Lorenzo Parker and Skyler Reed. The StarQuest kids finalists include: Jhala Angelique, Lilly Angelique, Chelsea Chism, Kennedy Chism, Sanaa Gray, Chastity LeSueur, Davon Smith-Murphy, Chloe Roston and Kai Wilson.


This year, TOS put StarQuest in the hands of the people via online submissions with two winners being selected based on public votes. Minerva Larry aka DUTCHess and Ryenn Hubbard were chosen as the online winners. Hubbard swept the StarQuest Kids web auditions with over 300 votes and DUTCHess racked in 350 votes in the StarQuest Adult web auditions. Both will perform with the other finalists chosen from the in-person auditions held at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on Sept. 24.


Starquest allows so many people who have finally gotten the courage to get on stage to let their voice be heard,” said Starquest producer Pat Shields.


StarQuest contestants will get the chance at TOS to perform in front of a distinctive panel of judges, many of whom are award-winning artists, record executives, managers, publicists. The winners will join the ranks of past StarQuest winners: Beau Williams and Adrian Battle (2012), Nathan Davis, Jr. and Noah Jay (2013), Mothership and Tim Jr. (2014). In 2015, Tia P. and Terrence Smith were the StarQuest winners.


On October 15, from 10am-2pm, the contestants will perform on the Starquest Stage sponsored by HepCHope. The kids competition winner will perform on the KJLH stage and the adult winner will perform on The Wave stage. From 2pm-6pm, the Starquest stage will turn into the ‘Emerging Artists Showcase’ with local talent will perform as well as a live performance from a band.


Congratulations to all the contestants and good luck!

Category: Arts & Culture