FOLLOWING THE successful Windrush Day celebrations in June, a special first-of-a-kind event is due to take place on Saturday, November 24 at the heart of the Windrush Generation’s best established institution: the black churches.
Singing Our Story: Windrush Generations from the Front Room to the Palace will feature leading luminaries of singing and music, and other creative artisans telling the story of the music, faith and power of the church community which has impacted the very heart of British society.
The public is invited to participate and experience “the birthplace of the sound of British Gospel” in three churches in London, Birmingham and Manchester simultaneously. The event will also be streamed live on the internet.
Noted “queen of black British comedy” Angie Le Mar, the winners of Sky One’s Sing: Ultimate A Capella Vadé, MOBO award winners Lurine Cato and Volney Morgan & New Ye, and Carla Jane, Fiona York, Paul Lee and Ken Burton and the London Adventist Chorale are all taking part.
And a number of gospel groups who were popular in the 1980s and 90s, including the Doyleys, The Majestics and Merrybells Choir, are reuniting to perform at this unique event.
Angie Le Mar said: “The church is one of the most influential organisations within the black community. I’m glad to be part of an event which celebrates and highlights the impact it’s had on the lives of the Windrush Generation and wider society.”
Bazil Meade, dubbed “the godfather of British Gospel”, is the founder of the UK’s most celebrated gospel collective – the London Community Gospel Choir – and earlier this year received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to the music industry.
He said: “We’re all ecstatic about this great music that helped our parents and pioneers to strive, overcome and articulate through music hope and inspiration.
“Many people are unaware of the back stories that have given us opportunities.
“It’s shaped our lives and given us this incredible ability to share and engage with people regardless of who and where they come from.
“Technology is allowing us an unprecedented opportunity across the cities and, through live streaming, out to the world. We will sing our story: it’s an untold story for the generations and the public to experience, learn and understand. It really is going to be an amazing time.”
This initiative also has the support of the Windrush Foundation.