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Martha Dutra

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2003

African American Arts Institute welcomes the Holmes Brothers with reception Friday

The Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Student Development and Diversity will sponsor a reception for the Holmes Brothers, renowned blues, R&B and gospel recording artists, on Friday (Sept. 26) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on the Bloomington campus.

The Holmes Brothers will perform at the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival on Sept. 24-28 in Bloomington. At the reception, the artists will meet with students and faculty and will share their insights on performing with members of ensembles from the IU African American Arts Institute. The event is free and open to the public.

"Hosting the artists at the IU Bloomington campus will be an invaluable learning experience for the students," said Charlie Nelms, vice president for student development and diversity.

The African American Arts Institute's three ensembles -- the African American Choral Ensemble, the African American Dance Company and the IU Soul Revue -- are composed of IU students selected every year through a competitive process. Specializing in African American performance traditions, the institute is unique among collegiate performing arts programs in the United States. The ensembles are offered as courses through the IU Department of African American and Africa Diaspora Studies.

During the reception, some students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their artistry to the Holmes Brothers and others in attendance. The Holmes Brothers will share insights and answer questions from students about opportunities and challenges they face in their musical careers.

"The exchange between the students and the artists is our main goal for this gathering," said Charles Sykes, AAAI director. "Students will be exposed to a broad spectrum of soul, blues, gospel and R&B music offered by the Holmes Brothers."

Originally from Virginia but based in New York City for almost 40 years, the trio of Sherman Holmes, Wendell Holmes and Willie "Popsy" Dixon make up the Holmes Brothers and create some of the most spiritually uplifting and downright funky music today. They have played with Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison and Joan Osborne, and have performed all over the world. The Alligator Records recording artists recently released their debut album for the Chicago-based label, Speaking in Tongues. Previously they had been associated with Rounder Records and Gabriel's label, Real World.

For more information on their performances at the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, go to