Last modified: Monday, March 17, 2008
African American Choral Ensemble to present its spring concert on March 28
Guests include Patricia Lacey-Aiken of Sounds of Blackness
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2008
BLOOMINGTON -- The African American Choral Ensemble of Indiana University's African American Arts Institute will present its annual spring concert on March 28 (Friday). The concert, which will begin at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, will feature the music of William Dawson, Diane White, Kirk Franklin and others.
Joining the ensemble at the concert will be vocalist Patricia Lacey-Aiken of the Grammy-winning group Sounds of Blackness; saxophonist Nathanael Fareed Mahluli, director of the IU Soul Revue; trumpeter Pat Harbison, a professor in the IU Jacobs School of Music; and bassist Jeremy Allen.
The rich and varied traditions of the African American choral music performed by the IU African American Choral Ensemble resonate with the complexities of the Black American experience -- joy, sorrow, reflection and celebration. The Choral Ensemble features a broad repertoire including spirituals, folk forms, traditional and contemporary gospel music, and formally-composed works by African American composers.
Three contemporary gospel groups were established within the larger African American Choral Ensemble to honor and preserve the vocal traditions of Black gospel music. Soul-ACE, an all-male group, Sojourner, an all-female group, and God's Progress, a mixed-voice ensemble, have opened for such legendary performers as The Five Blind Boys of Alabama and Ray Charles.
The Choral Ensemble is directed by Keith McCutchen, a composer, arranger, pianist and choral director known for his arrangements and compositions of religious choral music. His music has been recorded by the American Spiritual Ensemble and the St. Olaf Choir. McCutchen also is an accomplished jazz pianist. He has performed with Mel Tormé, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Eric Gravatt.
More about the guest performers:
Lacey-Aiken has sung with the Grammy award-winning and Emmy-nominated performing group Sounds of Blackness for more than 10 years. Her touring credits include six years as a background vocalist with the late eight-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Luther Vandross.
Harbison teaches jazz history and improvisation, and conducts ensembles at Indiana University. He has been on the faculty of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Workshops since 1976. Previously, he taught trumpet and jazz at the University of Cincinnati. In more than three decades as a jazz trumpeter and educator, Harbison has performed at major jazz concerts and festivals, and taught aspiring musicians about jazz around the world. He is the author of many articles on jazz and trumpet, as well as several books, including Technical Studies for the Modern Trumpet and Twenty Authentic Bebop Solos.
Mahluli, director of the IU Soul Revue, studied music at Northwestern University, Berklee College of Music and Florida State University. He also has extensive knowledge of the oral traditions of Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. The Chicago Tribune called Mahluli's saxophone playing soul-stirring." Atlanta's Creative Loafing acknowledged, "A new sheriff's in town," during Mahluli's two-year stint leading 'The Mahluli Workshop' on Wednesday nights at Atlanta's premier jazz club, Churchill Grounds.
The African American Arts Institute is one of few collegiate arts program with an emphasis in African American performance traditions through credit-bearing ensembles. In its prosperous thirty-three years, the AAAI has made a vital contribution to the cultural diversity of Indiana University by preserving, promoting and celebrating African American arts traditions. The institute's current executive director is Charles E. Sykes.
Tickets for the African American Choral Ensemble's spring performance are $15 for adults and $10 for children and students and are available at the Sunrise Box Office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., 812-323-3020.
For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, please visit the African American Arts Institute website at www.indiana.edu/~aaai.