Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul: An Evening of Spirituals and Spiritual-Inspired Song

8 Mar 2018
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia 2125 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103


The Campbell Brothers. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In conjunction with its Center-supported year-long project, Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul, WXPN presents the first in a series of local community concerts featuring an evening of gospel music, spirituals, and spiritual-inspired secular songs. The First Unitarian Church Choir will be joined by the Mother Bethel AME Mass Choir, accompanied by a full band in an effort to illustrate the roots of gospel and gospel’s influence on contemporary music. 

Admission is free; RSVP required.

Through live performances, a radio documentary series, and a media-rich website, Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul explores the roots of gospel and its influence on secular popular music. Gospel’s stylistic elements have long been fused into secular popular musical genres, such as rock and roll, R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Featured artists include the iconic gospel quartet Dixie Hummingbirds, the contemporary R&B and soul-influenced McCrary Sisters, the 18-voice a cappella ensemble the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the St. Thomas Gospel Choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas.