Song has been an integral component of Black Americans’ struggle for freedom, from coded Negro spirituals during slavery, to the explicit demands of the Civil Rights protest songs. Black Freedom songs have not only shaped modern American music across every genre, they have also been adopted throughout the world by countless peoples in their own quests for freedom; protesters from the Chicano Movement to the Egyptian Revolution can be heard singing these Black Freedom songs.
Kim Nalley, widely acclaimed jazz vocalist and doctoral student in American cultural history at UC Berkeley presents this concert-lecture on Black Freedom songs hot on the heels of her performance at the Martin Luther King Institute’s 50 year commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington of which Kim Nalley was also the musical director. Joining her will be Tammy Hall on the piano, Marcus Shelby on the bass and Kent Bryson on the drums. Repertoire will include, songs from slavery, hymns, spirituals, jazz, blues, R&B, folk and acapella songs from the Civil Rights Era such as the ones performed by the SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) Freedom Singers such as “We Shall Overcome.” Audience participation is highly encouraged.
In August Kim performed at Palo Alto’s “Let Freedom Ring” celebration at City Hall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Check out this quick clip of Kim singing “Free At Last”.
A “Dream” Celebration