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Sounds of Blackness


       From its origins as a student group at Macalester College to the top of the gospel charts, the 30-member ensemble known as soundss of Blackness has explored the breadth and continuity of the African-American experience. "My goal was to establish a legitimate black music ensemble that performed the entire spectrum of African-American music in it's proper context," says founder and leader Gary Hines. "I wanted to do everything from West African music to field hollers, work songs, spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, reggae, ragtime, r&b, hip-hop, jazz, rock 'n' roll -- the full spectrum. Because it's all a family of music that emanated from an experience: You can't understand the 'Glory Hallelujah' of the gospel without knowing about the pain of the blues. And that's the meaning of the name: Each style of the music is a unique sounds of blackness, and collectively they are the soundss of Blackness."
       Hines has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. After years as a popular group in the local community, known for its annual shows on Christmas and Martin Luther King Day, the group teamed up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, producers of everyone from Prince to Janet Jackson, and immediately hit both the gospel and r&b charts. Since then, every album has made the charts and the soundss have toured all over the U.S., as well as to Europe and Japan. Along with their tight choral arrangements and smoking rhythm section, the members bring a message of African-American pride and self-reliance, doing their best to give something back to the community that originally produced their music.

Related Links

       Visit the Sounds of Blackness Website

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