Hollywood, CA (February 5, 2019)—At Bernie Grundman Mastering recently, Bay Area musician and dancer collective SambaFunk! mastered its new version of the classic “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” adopted in 1919 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as its official song, to coincide with Black History Month in February.
Joining mastering engineer Paul Grundman in session at Bernie Grundman Mastering was Theo Aytchan Williams, the collective’s artistic director, who states, “2019 is the perfect time for the message of this historic work to be heard around the world to help raise our collective consciousness and present a living example of how music can play a significant role in unification. After finishing our lengthy recording sessions for ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ it was fantastic to have the talented Paul Grundman bring his expertise to the mastering of this historic work.”
Performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” SambaFunk! will be seen in the EPIX network documentary series Elvis Goes There with host film critic Elvis Mitchell, featuring interviews with Ryan Coogler, Boots Riley and coverage on Oakland’s cultural scene, scheduled to air February 11. The NBA (National Basketball Association) has adopted the song and will be playing it as part of its Black History Month acknowledgement. Also, the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have shown interest in having SambaFunk! perform the song as part of their Black History Month presentations, and several radio stations nationwide played the song in celebration of MLK Day on January 21.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was digitally released through United Masters on February 1, 2019, and can be heard streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Tidal. It will also be available on ITunes and Amazon Music.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was originally written as a poem in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson to be recited by 500 students at the Stranton School in Jacksonville, FL as a welcoming poem to educator Booker T. Washington in commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It was later put to music in 1904 by James’ brother, John Rosamond Johnson, and subsequently adopted as the Black National Anthem by the NAACP. Today, it is still sung at churches and special events throughout the African American community.
Bernie Grundman Mastering • www.bgmastering.com