NASHVILLE, TN — The world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers® will perform at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 7:30pm in a concert celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Ryman. Making special guest appearances will be country music singer Rodney Atkins, The Fairfield Four, Lee Ann Womack, jazz trumpeter Rod McGaha, singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu, Anthony David, and former Jubilee singer MarQo Patton.
Under the direction of Dr. Paul T. Kwami, the concert will feature the Singers’ traditional repertoire and collaborations with guest artists. Shannon Sanders, the GRAMMY® Emmy, and Dove award winning producer, will serve as co-musical director for the concert with Kwami. “I am honored to work alongside Dr. Kwami and the Jubilee Singers again for the Ryman’s 125th anniversary celebration,” said Sanders. “The Jubilee Singers and the Ryman Auditorium are two of Nashville’s greatest treasures and I am excited to be part of this evening of great music.”
The Fisk Jubilee Singers® were organized as a choral ensemble in 1871 and have played an important role in introducing and sustaining the tradition of the Negro spiritual to the world. The ensemble traveled throughout the world in the 1800s, raising money to support Fisk University.
Today, the Singers travel globally, representing Fisk University. The ensemble is comprised of Fisk students, who are selected annually through an audition process. The Fisk Jubilee Singers® have been inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame and the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame. The ensemble was also awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest artistic honor, in 2008 at the White House by former President George W. Bush.
On March 4, 2017, The Fisk Jubilee Singers® will receive Nashville Ballet’s Synergy Award at their annual black-tie event. This music, which has its roots in West African culture, has influenced various forms of American music and continues to be an important part of Nashville’s music culture. “The Fisk Jubilee Singers® performed at the very first gathering of the yet-to-be-completed building in 1891 and many more times in the years that followed. In a tradition that continues to this day, the Singers’ classical renditions of spiritual songs have torn down racial divides in this country and overseas,” said Brian Wagner, assistant commission of marketing for the Tennessee Department of Tourism. “They have given a voice to the spirit of those who constructed the Ryman 125 years ago and bring people together to commune in its pews today.”
Considered a National Historic Landmark, the Ryman Auditorium was built by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892. Ryman Auditorium is an eight-time winner of the prestigious Pollstar Theatre of the Year award. The historic venue is regarded as the Mother Church of Country Music and is the most famous former home of Grand Ole Opry (1943-1974). The Ryman has been featured in numerous film and television projects including “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Johnny Cash Show,” “American Idol,” “Nashville” and more.
While offering a diverse lineup and thriving concert schedule (with over 200 shows per year), the venue has hosted likes of Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons and Tom Petty in recent years.
Tickets for the Ryman 125th Anniversary can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at www.ryman.com