Berklee’s Signature Series Presents Gumbo Stories: A Black History Celebration Concert

The event honors the music of New Orleans, with styles ranging from second line and congregational to jazz and bounce.

February 1, 2023
Gregory Groover

Gregory Groover Jr.

Berklee's Signature Series returns in the spring semester with a musical tribute to the city of New Orleans, Gumbo Stories: A Black History Celebration Concert, on Thursday, February 23, at 8:00 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center.

Hosted by Emmett G. Price III, dean of the Africana Studies Division, and Abria Smith, director of city and community engagement, the concert will feature a cast of students and faculty performing the songs “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “We Made It” by Bishop Paul S. Morton, “Brother Jake” by the Neville Brothers, and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” by PJ Morton, to name a few. The event will also feature jazz ensembles, a brass band, and a gospel choir, along with dancers led by Raul Cruz, choreographer and associate professor of dance for Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

“The genesis of this event came from a conversation around the importance of New Orleans and its enormous influence it has had on our music and culture,” says Gregory Groover Jr., assistant chair of the Ensemble Department and one of the concert’s producers. “In addition to being a beautiful melting pot of culture and music, New Orleans has also produced some of the greatest musicians all over the world, many of whom are currently enrolled here at Berklee. We wanted to create a show that acknowledges and celebrates the great heritage of New Orleans, while also creating a space for students from New Orleans to tell their stories, through song and dance.”

Gumbo Stories: A Black History Celebration Concert is cosponsored by Berklee’s Black History Celebration Committee, Ensemble Department, Africana Studies Center, Brass Department, External Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Community and Government Relations.

Admission is $15–20 in advance and $20–25 day of show. Tickets are available online and at the Berklee box office. This is a seated event.

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