The magic of Harlem Gospel Singers
Caroline Rijckaert, Brussels
14 January, 2012
Exciting, fascinating, spiritual, explosive…these adjectives describe Gospel in its most authentic way. An extraordinary group made of extremely talented singers and musicians makes the real tradition of gospel in all its stylistic ways relive. Their unique sound already seduced millions of people around the world. The Harlem Gospel Singers performed in Antwerp on 11 January 2012 and in Ghent on 12 January 2012.If the name Queen Esther Marrow doesn't ring a bell, it's a pity. Esther Marrow, First Lady of Gospel, is not only a singer and her group, the Harlem Gospel Singers, is far more than a simple musical formation. Marrow has been discovered when she was 22 by the jazz legend Duke Ellington, when she was simply singing in a church before travelling around the globe and collaborate with emblematic figures like Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Martin Luther King and Mahalia Jackson. 20 years later, guided by her struggle for the Rights of black people and by her fate, she founded the Harlem Gospel Singers in the beginning of the year 2000. Together, they sing Gospel in its most pure way, a warm Gospel, spiritual and explosive, with a repertoire composed of traditional gospel songs, with the influence of pop music, rock, jazz and soul. Their songs talk about fate and love and are addressed to everybody, black or white, believers or not. Of course, those who love the Harlem Gospel Singers do also love the world famous Harlem Gospel Choir, one of the United States' most prominent gospel choirs founded in 1986 by Allen Bailey. The theme of every performance is "bringing people & nations together & giving something back". Every concert is infectiously enthusiastic; a roller coaster ride of singing and dancing; a gospel celebration! Their harmonious songs of love, hope and inspiration touch the depths of soul.
Photo: © Veranstaller
Esther Marrow and her Harlem Gospel Singers.