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THE ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS OF
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PRESENTS
A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE BY
GRAMMY AWARD WINNING A CAPPELLA GROUP
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK®
“National Treasures” -- First Lady Michelle Obama
December 11, 2009 at 8pm
Tickets $30 - $60
John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall
MIAMI, FL November 19, 2009 – For one night only, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County presents HOLIDAYS WITH SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK, a joyful holiday concert with the Grammy Award winning a cappella group, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK, at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Tickets range from $30 to $60, and can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office at (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.
The internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK will perform an array of holiday songs celebrating various cultures, and original jubilant melodies with a universally celebrated voice of hope, love, justice, peace and resistance. Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African-American legacy and traditions, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sound of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies and jazz improvisation. SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK’s collective voice, sometimes accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces uniquely distinct soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms.
“As we approach that wonderful time of the year when we gather with loved ones to celebrate the holiday season, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK brings inspirational messages and touching melodies for our South Florida community to relish in,” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “It will be an unforgettable night as the rich and vibrant voices of this Grammy award-winning African-American female a cappella ensemble take center stage.”
As part of their education and outreach activities while in Miami, the Arsht Center will present a free school performance of SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK for Miami-Dade County Public School students in the Knight Concert Hall on December 11, 2009 at 12 noon. In addition, each SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK show includes a sign language onstage interpreter, who performs as an integrated part of the group – making the experience inclusive and welcoming for deaf audiences in a way rarely experienced.
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK’s unique name derives from Psalm 81:16, which delivers the promise of being fed by “honey out of the rock.” The metaphor of sweet honey in the rock reflects how the repertoire of this African American ensemble of women is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, and insightful of the struggle for justice everywhere.
Earlier this year, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK participated in a concert at the nation’s White House to honor “Black History Month” with 180 school children in attendance. First Lady Michelle Obama gushed that SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK is one of her “favorite groups in the whole wide world.”
The notable SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK group has enjoyed a longstanding career spanning almost four decades. The six ladies who currently make up this powerful ensemble include two of the founding members, Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson. SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK also showcases Ysaye Maria Barnwell, the creator of the widely-acclaimed workshop “Singing in the African American Tradition: Building a Vocal Community,” and Nitanju Bolade Casel, a finalist in the 2006 and 2007 International Songwriter’s Competition. In addition, Aisha Kahlil, who won the International Songwriting Competition with her song “The Jewel Light,” and Shirley Childress Saxton, considered among the best in the field of interpreting music into sign language, are part of the SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK cast. Singers Barnwell, Casel, Kahlil, and Maillard also appeared in the film “Beloved.”
In 2008-2009, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK collaborated with noted choreographer Hope Boykin and provided original spiritual sounds and driving rhythms for the stirring and powerful, "GO IN GRACE," theatrical piece that was featured as part of the national tour and 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The tour included performances in over 20 major cities, and included the release of the SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK musical soundtrack, GO IN GRACE, that also marked their 35th Anniversary as a performing ensemble. In 1989, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK appeared on the Grammy Award winning album A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. Since then, the ladies have been nominated for multiple Grammy nominations for albums such as Experience…101 and Sweet Honey In The Rock Live At Carnegie Hall.