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Fisk Jubilee Singers

  • Fisk University's student a cappella ensemble created in 1871
  • Introduced Negro spirituals to the world via landmark tours in the US and abroad
  • Broke racial barriers in the late 19th century, entertaining American presidents and European royalty
  • Recipient of the National Medal of Arts

Since their founding in 1871, the young men and women of the Fisk Jubilee Singers have served as cultural ambassadors, transcending time and race through their stirring performances. Nashville's Fisk University originally created this student a cappella ensemble in 1871 to raise money for the historically black university. These intrepid singers, mostly comprised of people who were formerly enslaved, raised enough money to help construct the school's first permanent building. The nine original Jubilee Singers introduced "slave songs" to the world via landmark tours in the US and abroad, and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals, songs that became cornerstones of the next century's music. Presenting a new public image for African-American music, they broke racial barriers in the late 19th century as they entertained American presidents and European royalty. In 2008, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were selected as a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts.


Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on November 5, 2006.