President Jones Welcomes His Former Ensemble to Campus for an Evening of Story and Song 

President Robert J. Jones will welcome his former ensemble, Sounds of Blackness, to campus on Feb. 27.   

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 19, 2016) – President Robert J. Jones invites the University community and the public to a special presentation by his former ensemble, Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Page Hall.

Tickets are free, but registration is required to reserve a seat. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Sounds of Blackness, which has won three Grammys in all, is under the direction of Gary Hines. They released a new single this month, “Royalty.”

“There is a deeper purpose and a higher calling in all we do,” notes Hines in the ensemble’s mission statement. He adds Sounds of Blackness seeks to “take that message of healing, reconciliation, inspiration, and restoration through the power of music to the global community.”

Founded in 1971 at Minnesota’s Macalester College, the ensemble’s repertoire encompasses the stylings of jazz, blues, rock & roll, R&B, gospel, spirituals, hip hop, reggae and soul, and its message is one of hope, unity, love and peace for all humankind.

Sounds of Blackness has appeared and recorded with Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Sting, Santana, Eric Clapton, Usher, among others, and has performed on five continents for audiences that ranged from homeless children and prison inmates to queens and presidents. The group’s worldwide benefit concerts and recordings have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes, such as the United Nations Telefood Concert and the United Negro College Fund.

Sounds of Blackness has pioneered the worldwide presence and proliferation of inspirational soul music on radio and at dance clubs, television, theater and on film – which has, in turn, substantially changed and continues to change the very face of each of those entities.

Along with the three Grammy Awards, Sounds of Blackness has received the Soul Train Award, the International Time for Peace Award, seven Stellar Awards, and The International Dance Music Award, and has been nominated for an Emmy and five NAACP Image Awards. The group’s self-titled CD The Sounds of Blackness won a 2012 NAACP Image Award for Best World Music Recording.

The event is sponsored by the following UAlbany collaborators: Office of Student Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Association, Alumni Association, and The University at Albany Foundation. For more information, call the Office of University Events at (518) 442-5310.

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