Musicians Randye Jones of Grinnell College and Damani Phillips of the University of Iowa will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by sharing the rich history of the music of the African-American tradition.
The 13th Amendment, which officially abolished slavery in America, was ratified by the states on Dec. 6, 1865, eight months after the Civil War ended.
To mark this milestone, Jones and Phillips will present a free public lecture, "Up From the Roots," and a musical performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Herrick Chapel.
They will explore the development of music from the end of the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, including spirituals, gospel, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues.
The Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are sponsoring the event.
Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.
Jones, a soprano and researcher, is a doctoral student in vocal literature at the University of Iowa. She also serves as media room supervisor in Burling Library at Grinnell College.
Jones has gained recognition for her writings on African-American vocalists and composers, and as a performer and lecturer through her projects, "The Art of the Negro Spiritual, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music," and the recently published "The Spirituals Database."
She regularly presents lecture-recitals and concerts, and serves as a panelist at events such as the Research, Education, Activism, and Performance (REAP) National Conference on Spirituals, African American Art Song Alliance Conference, and the National Association of Negro Musicians conference.
Phillips, formerly on the music faculty at Grinnell College, is an assistant professor of jazz studies and African-American studies at the University of Iowa.
An active saxophone player, pedagogue, and composer, Phillips has taught and performed throughout the United States, England, and Japan, and is actively sought as a guest artist, clinician and adjudicator. Phillips has performed with artists/groups such as Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, the touring Dave Matthews cover band "Crush," and many others. He has released five albums of his own, including his most recent recording project, "Duality," a double album featuring a unique synergy between straight-ahead jazz and hip hop music.