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Krista Wilhelm
African American Arts Institute

George Vlahakis
IU Communications

Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012

IU Soul Revue celebrates 40 years with concert Saturday, weekend of alumni activities

April 23, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The IU Soul Revue at Indiana University Bloomington will present its 40th anniversary concert on Saturday, April 28, culminating a weekend of activities involving alumni, friends and former directors.

The weekend closes a yearlong celebration that kicked off with the Soul Revue opening for musical legend and IU alum Booker T Jones in concert last fall.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington. General admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children and students (limit two per ID). Tickets are available at the Buskirk-Chumley box office, 812-323-3020.

In 1971, the late Herman C. Hudson launched what would become one of the most unique collegiate course offerings: the IU Soul Revue. Hudson appointed ethnomusicologist Portia K. Maultsby to serve as the ensemble's first director. With a repertoire based in R&B, soul, funk and other forms of urban black popular music, in 1972 the Revue became America's first collegiate black popular music ensemble offered for academic credit.

The IU Soul Revue's spring concert will feature music from the birth of Motown through today, showcasing traditional rhythm and blues, soul, funk and contemporary black popular music styles while highlighting artists such as James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, The Temptations, John Legend, Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé.

The theme of the IU Soul Revue's 40th Anniversary celebration is "Music Is Just a Party," and the concert in fact ends with just that: a party "taking you down Soul Train lane," said Charles Sykes, executive director of the African American Arts Institute.

In a collaborative effort with the African American Dance Company, dancers will lead a Soul Train line that is guaranteed "to pick you up from your seat and move your feet," said Nathanael Fareed Mahluli, the current director of the IU Soul Revue.

IU Soul Revue

The IU Soul Revue in this decade

"We are pulling out all the stops for this," Sykes said. "We have great costumes, music and choreography. The performers really bring this music and these artists to life."

Following the concert, Darran Mosley will host a karaoke session for guests and friends in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall.

The weekend will open for invited guests with the IU Soul Revue 40th Anniversary Banquet, which also serves as the album release of the IU Soul Revue's 1977 recording, "Music Is Just a Party," later this year. Karen Hudson Samuels will present "The Soul Revue Legacy" from memories of her father, Herman C. Hudson.

A performance by the 40th Anniversary Alumni Band will be led by James Mumford, director emeritus of the African American Choral Ensemble. Guests, former directors and alumni will be recognized, including Kevon Edmonds, who will be presented with the Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award. Edmonds, an IU and Soul Revue alum, has gone on to become an accomplished singer and songwriter, with several chart-topping hits to his name. Following the banquet, Guy Lipkins has coordinated an Alumni Jam Session at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall.

Several Soul Revue alumni have gone on to professional careers in the music industry. They include Crystal Taliefero, former backup singer and instrumentalist for Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Billy Joel; Keith Mitchell of After 7; recording artist Georgia Jones; and James Strong, bassist and band leader for L.L. Cool J.

The African American Arts Institute is committed to promoting and preserving African American culture through performance, education, creative activity, research and outreach. For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the African American Arts Institute website or call 812-855-5427. The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.