|December 18, 2016|
|Dimitriou's Jazz Alley|
|Click for directions|
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes Grammy Award nominated and globally renowned a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock®: Celebrating the Holydays! Sweet Honey members are Rochelle Rice, Carol Maillard, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Barbara Hunt (American Sign Interpreter) and guest bassist Romeir Mendez. Show times Thursday – Sunday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS is a rare fusion of traditional American holiday spirituals, hymns and inspirational songs, as well as songs from other cultures and religions from around the world. The special presentation, which offers a celebration of good tidings for the season has been presented over the past several years.
The program often features several popular classics including “Jesus, What A Wonderful Child,” and “Silent Night, which was released as their first holiday single ever last season. It also features notable and popular Sweet Honey tunes such as, “We Are,” “Let There Be Peace,” and “Chinese Proverb.” All songs are subject to change.
Sweet Honey In The Rock® remains among the most vibrant, versatile and ever relevant musical collectives in music today; both as a performance ensemble and as an ambassadorial African American organization founded on the triumvirate missions of empowerment, education and entertainment. Currently consisting of members Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, American Sign Language interpreter Shirley Childress (who continues the group’s distinct and long-standing commitment to the deaf community), 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. Thus, the theme of the group’s 24th recording, #LoveInEvolution, Sweet Honey In The Rock’s first studio album in nine years and most contemporary project to date.
#LoveInEvolution (released on Appleseed Recordings, in partnership with the group’s own She Rocks-5 label and distributed by Entertainment One) 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 at 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 literally ripped from the headlines of today’s world news, railing against systemic injustice as it pertains to people of color—past and present—police brutality, gun control and the Black Lives Matter movement. Lest one begin to think that all of Sweet Honey In The Rock’s music is heavy, #LoveInEvolution is also abounding 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).