Back to All Events

Black History Month - THE SLAVE SONG OR SPIRITUALS by James Weidman

La Maison d'Art is honored to host a very special evening of Improvisations & Impressions of the Slave Songs by the James Weidman Quintet accompanied by a photo exhibit of Ruth Naomi Floyd's photography work whose theme centers around the Civil War.

James Weidman - piano
Ruth Naomi Floyd - vocals
Anthony Nelson - reeds
Harvie S - Bass
Steve Williams - Drums

The Slave Songs or Spirituals were a genre of music created by enslaved Black people during the turbulent period of the 19th century. This poignant music was both an expression of devotion to their God and an expressed
longing for freedom from the state of bondage. These two concepts were not mutually exclusive. Just as in the scriptures, where God delivered the Israelites from Egypt-land and Daniel from the lion's den, surely this same
God would deliver every man, woman and child from the inhuman servitude that existed in the south.

The Spirituals is music whose tones and rhythms range from the jubilant to the mournful from song to song. In the 20th century Black church, these songs were often included as part of devotional services that preceded the
actual Sunday Service. They were often sung during communion and baptisms.

They were sung by choirs in arrangements by Black composers trained in the European classical music tradition. The musical testaments that evoke from
these collections of songs serve as windows of not just an exclusive history of African-Americans but indeed, part of the shared history of all Americans.

Event's Photo