Today there will be a one-hour concert with a group of excellent musicians called The Gregory Groover Jr. Group, who are affiliated with the Berklee College of Music. Negro spirituals are at the bedrock of the African American musical experience, providing the foundation upon which many genres that are enjoyed now are built. Although the composers of these spirituals are largely anonymous and nameless, their music named the non-anonymous tragedy of slavery, while also naming a steadfast hope for a better tomorrow - maybe not for them, but for the future generation. The Negro Spiritual Songbook, Volume 1 is a product of that hope from the future generation. It takes the words, melodies, and rhythms of that time and translates it into our current context of the 21st century. The result is a soulful celebration of what was, a dynamic presentation of what is, and a warm invitation for what is to come.
The leader of this talented quartet, Gregory Groover Jr., says this about the music: "The passion for this project emanated from the transformative effect negro spirituals have had on my life both personally and professionally as a musician. The lyrics and harmonies instilled a deep sense of pride for the music of my heritage, helping me to have a better understanding of the jazz music I love to play. Therefore, this project was accomplished through thorough examination of original scores, deep analyses of historical elements, and honest adaptations of arrangements. The hope is that through touring The Negro Spiritual Songbook, Volume 1 at non-conventional jazz venues, such as churches, colleges and museums, the performances will not only be enjoyable but educational - helping to bridge the gap across many divides of society."
This program is free and open to the public, and is kindly sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.