Linkin’ Bridge in concert Friday at Leeds

Linkin’ Bridge, an a cappella quartet from Louisville, will share its story and music with Winchester Friday.

Montre Davis, a member of the group, said Linkin’ Bridge first formed after doing a prank in 2015 during which someone had asked to film about four or five African-American men dressed in all black, or as Davis said “dressed like we were from the

hood,” to troll suburban residents and to defy stereotypes.

Davis said while some may have thought they appeared “scary,” they impressed neighborhoods and defied stereotypes with their Christmas caroling.

That video went on to reach more than 5 million views.

And shortly after that, Linkin’ Bridge formed.

Linkin’ Bridge went on to become finalists on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” season 11 after they received four yeses when singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” They finished in the Top 10.

“They have accumulated prestigious accolades while still exemplifying an important, deeper message of inclusivity and hope,” Kaeton Crosby, an arts administration intern at the Leeds Center for the Arts, said in an email.

In the years since competing in the finals of Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent,”  Linkin’ Bridge has performed around the country, served as grand marshals of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade and have become friends with megastar and Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence after singing for her at the Frazier History Museum in 2017. They even starred as a guest musical act on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2017.

Most recently, the group sang the national anthem at the Kentucky Oaks last Friday, which Davis said even furthered their reach. Because of Friday’s performance, members of Linkin’ Bridge met Boyz II Men, Travis Tritt and Marty Friedman, the lead guitarist of Megadeth.

Their success was proof that anything is possible, Davis.

Before Linkin’ Bridge, Davis said he was working at a grocery store, making barely more than $8 an hour. But when their show aired on “America’s Got Talent,” the group reached a level of success they had never before imagined. And now they’re on a mission to link and bridge people and communities for the greater good.

“We want to be a lighthouse to the urban communities and let people who aren’t in urban communities know there is more than negative things that come out of urban communities,” Davis said. “Just because we grew up poor and grew up with nothing … It’s almost like a Rocky Balboa story. We came to (America’s Got Talent), came to the world with nothing but our voices and the gifts that God gave us, and with it, we want to bring something positive to the community.”

Davis said despite members’ pasts of living in foster homes, surviving abuse and more, they have overcome and have succeeded because they did not give up.

“You can make it out of the hood,” Davis said. “You can make it out of poverty.”

Other members include Shon “China” Lacy, Ralph “Big Rome” Kimbrough and Elliot Nicholas.

Crosby said Leeds is excited to bring Linkin’ Bridge to Winchester Friday.

Before the concert at Leeds, Linkin’ Bridge will make an appearance at George Rogers Clark High School to have a concert and a motivational assembly for the senior class.

“We want children to know they can follow their dreams,” Davis said.

“This cross-sectional collaboration is exactly what Leeds is hoping to instill here in Winchester,” Crosby said.

The Winchester community has also been supportive of this project, Crosby said.

“We have multiple sponsors who have made this event possible,” she said. “The excitement for this is widespread.”

The concert will feature a variety of styles of music including acappella pieces, soul, R&B, country and more.

“We just can’t put our music into one category,” Davis said. “We love music in general.”

Davis said Linkin’ Bridge agreed to perform at Leeds after hearing about the continuing efforts to bridge community — such as “I Was Here,” the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity series, On The Table and more — and realizing they could further that mission.

“We are all human beings,” Davis said. “And we all need to love one another and support one another.”

Davis said he’s excited to travel to Winchester for the first time.

“I’m just excited and glad that we are coming there to perform,” he said.

Davis said he hopes Leeds has a full house Friday night.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Leeds. The cost to attend is $15.

“If you love music and you want to have a good time, and you want to be a part of the Linkin’ Bridge experience, then come out,” Davis said. “You’re going to laugh, maybe even cry, we don’t just get up and sing, we tell you our story, how we came from being in the hood to Hollywood and back home and trying to give back.”