Jubilee Quartets

The Start

Jubilee Quartets sprouted from negro spirituals and did so in the early 1900s. Jubilee quartets are organized from high to low in the order of 1st tenor, tenor, baritone, and bass. The baritone singer is usually the lead singer. There are also various different types of jubilee quartets, University, Minstrel, Community Based, Barber Shop, and Sharp Note quartets. An example of a well- known university quartet is the Fisk University Quartet. Another example of a well- known jubilee quartet is the Golden Gate Quartet. Jubilee quartets eventually turned into minstrel shows with white men in black face preforming in quartets and even black men in black face preforming in quartets. Black women who were featured in minstrel shows were exempt from wearing black face and they were almost seen as a prized possession in these shows. Jubilee quartets got exposure for white people with the minstrel shows but exposure for talented black jubilee quartets didn’t come until they were introduced on the radio. Jubilee quartets later go on to influence the genre of blues.

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