Amazing Grace. A Gospel Celebration To Aretha Franklin commemorates, on its fiftieth anniversary, one of the recordings that has most influenced, and continues to influence, the standards of performance of African-American music. This production, which presents all the songs from the original LP and some of Aretha Franklin’s hits, would not have been possible without the fervent participation of the protagonists of this story: The Black Heritage Choir, a selection of singers from the Mississippi Mass Choir, who under the musical direction of Jerry Calvin Smith, organist of the Grater Fairview Missionary Baptist Church, professor at Jackson State University and pianist of the great Mississippi State Choir, bring the sound of Gospel back to Europe, arriving at the Arriaga in the run-up to Christmas.
Aretha Franklin recorded Amazing Grace in the heart the black community of Los Angeles fifty years ago. On 13 and 14 January 1972, in a small church in the Watts neighbourhood, the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, she became once again the preacher’s daughter and, with the collaboration of James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir, handed down her best-selling record for the history of Gospel music. Among the expectant audience of the neighbourhood admirers and a handful of Californian hipsters, there were some celebrities of black America and an international rock legend who did not yet know he was immortal. Clara Ward, one of Aretha’s greatest influences and founder of the Famous Ward Singers; Reverend CL Franklin, the man with the million dollar voice, father of the Queen of Soul and main supporter of Martin Luther King; and a very young Mick Jagger, who has always acknowledged his debt to generations of blues artists and anonymous musicians.
The Amazing Grace show echoes the magic that only live concerts can emanate, forged from warmth, humanity and joy. It is also a song of nostalgia for the good old days and an emotional vindication of the men and women who, from the black churches of the United States, made gospel culture possible.
Day 19 - 19:30h.
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