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SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: Moving Forward While Looking Back

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Monday October 31, 2011

From Carnegie Hall Blog

Sweet Honey In The Rock: Moving Forward While Looking Back
By: Jeff Tamarkin

When asked what their fans might expect when Sweet Honey In The Rock returns to Carnegie Hall on November 4, Aisha Kahlil, a mainstay of the all-female a cappella ensemble for some three decades, sums it up in a single word: Sankofa. A word of African origin, it means “moving forward while looking back.”

Sweet Honey In The Rock has always been about both: respecting that which has come before, while pointing toward the future. With nearly four decades behind them, the group’s significant body of work continually reveals new riches that delight fans both old and new, while at the same time Sweet Honey seeks fresh avenues of expression.

Their most recent undertaking is a live in-concert tribute to three iconic women—each now gone—whose music inspired the group: Nina Simone, Odetta, and Miriam Makeba, as well as a special tribute to Abbey Lincoln, who passed away prior to their performance. “They were all conscious women and activists in their own right who tied their music to the work they did in their lives,” says Kahlil. “We look up to them as heroines and mentors. We were all touched in a great way by everything they left behind for us.”

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