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Marshella Griffin

George Vlahakis

Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2002

IU Soul Revue to celebrate 30 years of performing with April 20 concert

NOTE: Publication-quality photographs of current and past IU Soul Revue ensembles and music by the group are available on the Web at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On April 20, the IU Soul Revue at Indiana University Bloomington will present its 30th anniversary concert. The concert will culminate a weekend of activities involving alumni, friends and former directors of the IU Soul Revue, who will return to Bloomington for the anniversary reunion.

"One Nation Under a Groove" -- based on the funk tune recorded by George Clinton and Funkadelic in 1978 -- is the theme of the concert and anniversary weekend.

Under director Tyron Cooper, the IU Soul Revue has become noted for its high energy, impeccable musicianship and soulful delivery. The concert will feature a wide range of selections from the group's repertoire of traditional rhythm and blues, soul, funk and contemporary black popular music styles. Members begin their association with the group as students in a class offered by the IU Department of Afro-American Studies.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington. General admission tickets will be $5 for children under 12, $10 for students and senior citizens, and $15 for adults. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at the African American Arts Institute office, 812-855-5427.

Founded in 1971, the IU Soul Revue is one of three performance ensembles of the African American Arts Institute, located in the new Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at 275 N. Jordan Ave., the corner of Jordan Avenue and Seventh Street.

Over the last three decades, the IU Soul Revue has maintained its reputation as one of the finest collegiate popular music ensembles in America. IU Soul Revue performances feature original compositions, along with arrangements of works recorded by Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind & Fire; Patti Labelle; DAngelo; Mary J. Blige and more.

Several Soul Revue alumni have gone on to professional careers in the music industry. They include Crystal Taliefero, former backup singer and instrumentalist for both Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, now with Billy Joel; Keith Mitchell and Kevon Edmonds of After Seven; recording artist Georgia Jones; and James Strong, bassist and band leader for L.L. Cool J. Many other alumni have gone on to successful careers in business, education, law and other professions.

The talents of the IU Soul Revue have not gone unnoticed. Michael J. Powell, producer of popular recording artists such as Anita Baker and Patti LaBelle, said of the ensemble, "I was pleasantly surprised at the cohesion of talent, professionalism and quality centered within the Soul Revue."

Reunion activities are co-sponsored by the IU Alumni Association and the African American Arts Institute.