Vocalist Ysaye Barnwell to lead Singing Workshops Feb. 6-7


Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D.
Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D.

Did you know awesome power resides in the human voice? International vocal artist Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D., believes this to be a truism, especially when uncommon voices join together for the common good.

Barnwell will be in Savannah Feb. 6-7 to lead singers and nonsingers alike in the oral tradition of performing rhythms, chants, and traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora as well as a variety of songs from African-American culture, including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement. A willingness to sing is all that is required to attend.

Barnwell will host singing workshops, “Building a Vocal Community,” Feb. 6, starting at 10 a.m. at the Telfair Academy for Arts and Sciences Rotunda located at 121 Barnard Street, and Feb. 7, from 2-5 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center as part of Grand Festival Day, the highlight of the 20th Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival: “Our Journey Through the Arts.” Additionally, on Feb. 7, Barnwell will read to youth, between 10 a.m. and noon, Telfair Square, from two of her children’s books: No Mirrors in my Nana’s House and We Are One; she will also provide singing demonstrations. Both events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited; to register, call (912) 351-6320.

A native of New York, Barnwell is a member of the internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning a cappella quintet, Sweet Honey in the Rock. A vocalist with a range of over three octaves, she is one of five African-American females in the ensemble with deep roots in the sacred music of the Black church as well as jazz and blues. Their music speaks out against oppression and exploitation of every kind.

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