ABOUT BLACK VOICES
Quietly and gently, informally and gradually, Black Voices was nurtured under the directorship of Carol Pemberton and Bob Ramdhanie. Since 1987, these two friends have steered Black Voices into one of the most solid performance and teaching companies, sharing a cappella, primarily from Africa but also throughout the Diaspora. The company is inspired by Sweet Honey in the Rock, Mahalia Jackson and Take Six, to name but a few, but since inception, has forged its own dynamic way of distilling and re-presenting black music from a Caribbean, black British perspective. Grounded in the black church, the group began presenting a cappella, both sacred and secular, which was always challenging and entertaining. From gospel to spirituals, Caribbean to African, jazz and blues, Black Voices is firmly rooted in music that energises and uplifts, challenges and educates. The company hosted and presented its own a cappella series with BBC Radio 2, has performed for radio and television in numerous countries around the world, has produced ten CDs, and has researched, produced, directed and performed in several international collaborations.
Carol Pemberton and Bob Ramdhanie have maintained an unbroken presence in the company, forging a global path with many colleagues and presenting rich, powerful harmonies across cultures, genders, ages and beliefs. Currently, the group operates as a professional collective, researching and rehearsing with five to nine members, but maintaining its tradition of performing as a quintet. The vision of the company has strengthened over the past few years and Black Voices uses its talents in music to: Present quality performances Offer stimulating education & singing workshops Address critical issues through developmental programmes nationally & internationally Encourage the development of a cappella groups worldwide Nurture and mentor young singers Promote and sustain singing in the oral tradition Establish an annual vocal festival - Vocally BRUM
Confident in the strength of its powerful performances and accompanying programmes, the manager has established The Centre for Music & Arts Technology (CMAT Ltd), a parent company, to take the vision of Black Voices into the future. Supported by Arts Council England (ACE), Adventure Capital Fund (ACF), Black Voices and other local music organisations, schools, colleges and volunteers, CMAT will provide a range of creative opportunities in music and music technology, including two recording studios, in Birmingham, England. CMAT will be a 'one stop' resource facility for musicians and will offer challenging and stimulating paths to support and encourage more young people to become engaged in music from around the world, including a cappella. As a performance company, Black Voices will continue delivering quality programmes nationally and internationally and will also offer educational packages both at home and abroad.