By: Margo Strebig
Chicago (Hyde Park) –The internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award-nominated female African American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock® begins its 2018-19 season residency at the University of Chicago with a wide variety of programs designed to impact the campus, the community, and the city of Chicago. The Ensemble-in-Residence events will be held November 6 through November 10 at venues across the UChicago campus.
Sweet Honey In The Rock is celebrating its 45th Anniversary and performing season in 2018. The current ensemble features four core members: Louise Robinson, Aisha Kahlil, Nitanju Bolade Casel, and Carol Maillard with featured guests, bassist Romeir Mendez and vocalist Rochelle Rice.
Sweet Honey In The Rock has consistently been among the most vibrant, versatile, and relevant music collectives in the country over the past four decades. The ensemble is a powerful and unique concert entity, fusing the elastic 360-degree possibilities of the human voice with a distinct theatrical flair. Their dynamic performances incorporate American Sign Language interpretation for the deaf and hearing impaired. The ensemble seeks to preserve and extend the traditions of African American vocal music and to inspire a multidimensional and intergenerational audience to discover and use their individual and collective voices to address the critical issues of our time and celebrate our common humanity.
The ensemble will participate in four public events this autumn, beginning November 6 with “Artists Live,” an in-depth conversation that reflects on the journey of the powerful women artists and activists of Sweet Honey. Scholar, activist, and author Barbara Ransby will moderate the panel. On November 8, the ensemble will lead a Community Song Circle for individual artists, community members, and vocal groups are invited to gather together to share and sing songs from the folk/gospel traditions. The “Arts & Activism” presentation takes place on November 9, with the ensemble sharing how it has centered its music in the struggle for social justice throughout its four-decade history. The week of events culminates on November 10 in a concert performed by Sweet Honey In The Rock alongside the University of Chicago Chorus and Women’s Ensemble.
For more information about the 2018-19 Ensemble-in-Residence and upcoming events, please visit music.uchicago.edu.
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
AUTUMN RESIDENCY EVENTS
Artists Live: Sweet Honey In The Rock with Barbara Ransby
Tuesday, November 6
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Logan Center Performance Hall
The Artists Live series engages a diverse range of artists, at different stages in their careers, in intimate dialogues to explore their personal and professional paths. This evening will provide a creative space for an in-depth conversation that reflects on the journey of the powerful women artists and activists of Sweet Honey. Scholar, activist, and author Barbara Ransby will moderate the panel. Admission is free.
Presented by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, Logan Center Community Arts, and the Department of Music.
Community Song Circle with Sweet Honey in the Rock
Thursday, November 8
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Logan Center for the Arts
Individual artists, community members, and vocal groups are invited to gather together to share and sing songs from the folk/gospel traditions that have been used to energize people around social justice and community transformation. This musical sharing is free and open to the public.
Presented by Logan Center Community Arts and the Department of Music.
Arts & Activism
Friday, November 9
4 – 5:30 p.m.
Rooted in African American history and culture, this legendary, all-female vocal ensemble has centered their music in the struggle for social justice throughout its four-decade history. Admission is free.
Presented by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture and the Department of Music.
Sweet Honey In The Rock with the University Chorus & Women’s Ensemble
Saturday, November 10
The female a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock has used the power of music to advocate for justice, freedom, and democracy since the 1970s. Their performances of spirituals, blues, gospel, and related world music, have garnered international acclaim. The vibrant and versatile group performs alongside the University of Chicago Chorus and Women’s Ensemble in their very first concert of a one- year residency. Admission is free. Donations are accepted at the door: $10 / $5 Students & Children.
Presented by the Department of Music.