Make a Joyful Noise
The choirs are rejoicing! Gospel music has deep roots in Ohio. The music itself can be traced back to slavery when African-American slaves would sing spirituals. The River Jordan spiritual was code for the Ohio River and the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is thought to be coded with references to Ripley, Ohio’s Underground Railroad stations where runaway slaves could find refuge in their escape to freedom. Early gospel influences also began in Ohio. The famous ’60s group, the Gospelaires of Dayton, were among the first to pioneer the gospel recording industry.
These upcoming Ohio events are great destinations to get you in the spirit:
As Cleveland gears up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 14, the city is singing its praises with weeklong events including, “Rock My Soul: A Gospel Music Celebration” honoring gospel music sensation, Kirk Franklin at the State Theatre on April 10. Franklin will perform, as will various artists, including Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond and local gospel choirs.
Jazz up your gospel with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as they present The Gospel According To Duke: Ellington’s Sacred Concert on April 29. The jazz ensemble and Chamber choir present his moving works that combine jazz with gospel, classical and blues.
In Akron, you can look forward to another gospel powerhouse singer, Marvin Sapp, who will perform a concert at The House of the Lord on May 4. Sapp’s song, “Never Would Have Made It” was at the top of the charts in 2007.
On Sundays, I get spiritual inspiration from Cleveland’s House of Blues World Famous Gospel Brunch. It’s doubly satisfying with its soul-stirring music by stellar choirs, and delicious down-home southern cooking at the all-you-can-eat buffet.
In July, the world’s best choirs will arrive in Cincinnati for the 2012 World Choir Games. Hundreds of choirs of all ages and from all over the globe, will compete for top honors. This is seventh year for the event and the first time it is being held in the United States.
Gospel music moves and inspires with its uplifting beats and joyous voices. With so much rich history, and fabulous performances here in Ohio, you can get out and soothe your soul.