The Fisk Jubilee Singers, associated with Fisk University, is a historic ensemble, which popularized “slave songs.” The group has received several awards including the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on them by The National Arts Club in New York on March 6, 1996. The Jubilee Singers have recently made appearances at the bicentennial celebration of the State of Tennessee and the opening of the Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville. Being such a unique ensemble, the group continues to perform all around the world. Since December 1997, the Fisk Jubilee Singers have traveled twice to Italy under the sponsorship of the Umbria Jazz Association. The Singers recently appeared in a performance during the Race Against Poverty Awards at the United Nations in New York. There are plans for the ensemble to increase international trips to several places including Ghana, one of the countries from where able-bodied men and women with their music and religion were taken to become slaves on the plantations. The Negro Spirituals have their roots in Ghana and other African countries. The ensemble is made up of students on various disciplines at Fisk University and these students come from all over the U.S.
Music Professor, George L. White
The name “Jubilee Singers” is a biblical reference to the year of Jubilee in Chapter 25 of the book of Leviticus.
A video segment about the history and music of the Fisk Jubilee Singers