From the field hollers and work songs of the American South through the era of civil disobedience and into the 21st century, African American music has expressed myriad forms of cultural resistance. I will highlight the sacred and secular oral traditions that paved the way for contemporary music in the United States. Join Bay Area vocalist and cultural historian Linda Tillery for a look at the music behind the movements—from emancipation to civil rights, and from song to spoken word.
Linda Tillery’s shimmering voice has powered many of the Bay Area’s most popular bands over the past four decades. A central figure in the women’s music movement in the 1970s and 80s, she was also a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s vocal ensemble Voicestra. “If I was the heart of Voicestra,” says Bobby McFerrin, “Linda was the soul.” She currently leads the Cultural Heritage Choir, performing African American roots music.