Gospel Legends Blind Boys of Alabama to Perform at Jefferson Performing Arts Center in December

This uplifting concert will be filled with familiar holiday classics and hand-clapping gospel favorites that the entire family will enjoy.

By: Nov. 22, 2023
Gospel Legends Blind Boys of Alabama to Perform at Jefferson Performing Arts Center in December

On Friday, December 1, 2023, Jefferson Performing Arts Society will present the iconic Blind Boys of Alabama gospel group, bringing their Christmas concert to the New Orleans area for the first time. This uplifting concert will be filled with familiar holiday classics and hand-clapping gospel favorites that the entire family will enjoy.

The Blind Boys of Alabama have been touring for 75 years and are considered a pillar of American music and icons of gospel. According to The New York Times they "epitomize what is known as jubilee singing, a livelier breed of gospel music," adding that "they made it zestier still by adding jazz and blues idioms and turning up the volume, creating a sound…like the rock 'n' roll that grew out of it." The New Yorker simply called them "legendary."

Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, the band has persevered through seven decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world. Hailed as "gospel titans" by Rolling Stone Magazine, the band sang at benefits for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and were a part of the soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement.

The group saw a revival in the 1980s with their starring role alongside Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, in the Obie Award-winning Broadway musical “The Gospel at Colonus”. Since then, they have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and have performed at the White House for three different presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama). 

In 2001, they released Spirit of the Century on Peter Gabriel’s Real-World label, mixing traditional church tunes with songs by Tom Waits and the Rolling Stones, and won the first of their Grammy Awards. The next year they backed Gabriel on his album “Up” and joined him on a world tour. Shortly thereafter, David Simon chose their cover of Waits’ “Way Down in the Hole” as the theme song for the first season of HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire. Subsequent albums included collaborations with the likes of Willie Nelson, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples, Robert Randolph, Aaron Neville, Patty Griffin, Béla Fleck, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the late Allen Toussaint.

The Blind Boys' live shows are roof-raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all ages and cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to nearly every continent.  They play roughly 200 dates per year and say they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Take advantage of their rare visit to the New Orleans area and purchase your ticket soon. Visit www.jpas.org or call 504-885-2000 for tickets. Parking is free at Jefferson Performing Arts Center. For additional information or to arrange for an interview, contact amy@jpas.org.

 




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