Sweet Honey in the Rock to perform Dec. 1

The Grammy-winning gospel-flavored Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego.

The all-woman a cappella ensemble combines the sounds of traditional gospel hymns, blues spirituals, rap, reggae, African chants, hip hop, lullabies and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey in the Rock mixes the sacred music of the black church with songs of struggle for justice.

Sweet Honey’s Oswego appearance is presented by SUNY Oswego’s Artswego Performing Arts Series and Student Association Programming Board, with additional support from the college’s Office of International Education and Programs.

The SUNY Oswego Gospel Choir will make a special appearance for the evening.

The group was described as “soulful, spirited, sumptuous and stirring” by the Washington Post. “Each of the singers is blessed with a distinctive vocal gift,” the paper added, as “they infused an extraordinary collection of songs with deep emotion and poetic grace.”

Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey in the Rock aims to provide both fresh and timeless sounds, including songs inspired by the American civil rights movement and the distinctive “call and response” style of African and African-American composition and performance.

“We are African-American women. We have the impact of the experiences of all of our ancestors residing in us, and we want to be the voice of those experiences and people,” group member Ysaye Barnwell told the New York Times. “One of the things I’ve learned from being in Sweet Honey is that when you are as specific as you can be about who you are, you are the most universal.”

Sweet Honey in the Rock tours in support of the group’s most recent recording, “Experience . . . 101.” The ensemble has recorded more than 20 albums and had their work chronicled in Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s documentary “A Song for Everyone” which aired on PBS.

Support for the appearance of Sweet Honey on the Rock comes from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s American Masterpieces Artistry and Influence Tour.

The event also will have an interpreter for hearing-impaired visitors.

Tickets cost $15 ($12 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu.

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CONTACT: Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581 or artswego@oswego.edu

(Posted: Nov 07, 2007)

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