The Fisk Jubilee Singers

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are students of Fisk University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee. The Fisk Jubilee Singers has made a major impact on representing Negro Spirituals and their school.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers perform Negro spirituals originally sung by slaves. The American Missionary Association founded Fisk University in 1866. Their challenge was to obtain funds for new buildings, equipment, and instructors. The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced ‘slave songs’ to the United States in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals. The Fisk Jubilee Singers continue the tradition of singing the Negro spiritual around the world. They do many public appearances and have recorded a CD of traditional spirituals in the style of the original group. The earliest recordings of the Fisk Jubilee Singers are available on a series of four CDs. After they began to perform old slave spirituals handed down from the originals, the singers became a resounding success, eventually touring Europe and England.

The contributions of the original Jubilee Singers with their success in growing the school and the establishment of the spirituals as authentic musical expressions are immeasurable. The singers have proved themselves to be intelligent and accomplished people. The Fisk Jubilee Singers have accomplished many awards throughout history. 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • In 1872 they sang at the World Peace Festival in Boston and later in the year for President Ulysses S. Grant at the White House.
  • In 1999, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were featured in The American Experience, a PBS award-winning television documentary series in a program titled “Singers: Sacrifice and Glory.”
  • In 2000, the singers were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
  • In 2006, the group was honored on the Music City Walk of Fame.
  • In July 2007 at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy, the Fisk Jubilee Singers traveled to Ghana for the first time and joined the Ghanaians in celebrating their nation’s 50th anniversary of independence.

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