Humboldt SINGS, a DreamMaker Project of the Ink People that holds group singing events, has invited its 2019 visiting song leader Benjamin Mertz — jazz pianist, composer and song leader with a specialty in the black spiritual tradition — to host two special events.
First, join neighbors, friends and new friends at the Community Sing with Benjamin Herz: Songs from the African Diaspora on Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at D Street Neighborhood Center ($10-20 suggested donation, free for students/youth under 25, but no one turned away for lack of funds). Mertz will lead the group in multi-part songs from Africa and the African Diaspora. Whether you're a pro on stage or just in the shower, your voice is welcome (and encouraged) here.
Next, Mertz presents the workshop: A Long Way from Home: The Birth Story of Black Spiritual Music on Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship ($30, $15 students/seniors).
According to Mertz's website: "Participants will begin with the music of West Africa and follow its development through work songs, field hollers and the early Negro Spiritual. This workshop is designed to help all of us (not only black folks) connect with our own ancestral stories and learn to tell our stories through the power of music."