Great Hall Concert Series – Sweet Honey in the Rock®
March 9 @ 8:00 pm
Sweet Honey In The Rock® remains among the most vibrant, versatile and relevant musical collectives in music today. They are a performance ensemble and an ambassadorial African American organization founded on the triumvirate missions of Empowerment, Education and Entertainment. Their current membership includes Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, and featured musician Romeir Mendez on upright acoustic bass and electric bass.
Sweet Honey In The Rock is a powerful and unique concert entity that fuses the elastic 360 degree possibilities of the human voice with a theatrical flair that keeps avid audiences returning for more year after year. Kinetic, cultured and connected, this internationally renowned, Grammy Award® nominated, female a cappella vocal quartet has a history of over four decades of distinguished service. They have created positive, loving, and socially conscious message music that matters as it pertains to spiritual fortification, and consistently taken an activist stance toward making this planet a better place for all in which to live.
Their most recent album, #LoveInEvolution, crackles with energy and innovation as Sweet Honey In The Rock® meshes its finely honed a cappella, world, gospel, and folk roots with elements of hip hop, jazz and Rhythm & Blues in the service of the group’s most arresting collection of original material and timeless covers. Beyond solo-derived pieces, the quartet also writes as an ensemble developing new material through their improvisational work. The strongest songs on #LoveInEvolution come from the headlines of today’s world news, but also abound in messages of optimism, faith, pride in self, and romantic love.
Since its 1973 inception in Washington, DC (founded by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon as part of the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company with Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson and Mie), Sweet Honey In The Rock has continuously evolved into international ambassadors of a cappella vocal and lyrical excellence and musical missionaries of equality, empowerment and education, peace, love, solidarity and nondenominational spirituality. Revered most for their live performances, the ladies have recorded 24 albums, several specifically for children. Their most recent double CD, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: A Tribute…Live! Jazz at Lincoln Center (2012), paid homage to their kindred sisters: vocalists and activists Abbey Lincoln, Odetta, Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone, and found the group singing with a jazz trio of “Honey Men” (Musical Director and pianist, Stacey Wade; acoustic and electric bassist, Parker McAllister; and drummer and percussionist, Jovol Bell).