THE BLACK PIONEER HERITAGE SINGERS
Coming together to preserve the powerful Gospel Sound that Alberta’s original Black settlers brought from the Deep South 100 years ago are the Black Pioneer Heritage Singers. Led by Junetta Jamerson, most members of this collective of professional singers and musicians are actual descendents of these early settlers. They deliver a spirit filled sound that is universal in its appeal yet seldom heard outside of the Southern United States.
Incorporating a wide variety of styles from field chants, rich spirituals, rollicking call and responses and gospel standards, the “Heritage Singers” give an authentic representation of this centuries-old style of singing. They also bring to life the little known history of the slave descendents who settled Alberta starting in1905. The pain of bondage and the celebration of freedom are skillfully presented through tight harmonies, soaring vocals, hand rhythms and lush vocal dynamics.
The Black Pioneer Heritage Singers have rapidly become a local favorite. 2004 saw them delighting the audience as part of saxophone great PJ Perry’s ‘Soul Revival” featuring Jackie Richardson and on May 23, 2005, they were featured in the Command Performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2006, Junetta brought her chops to Washington, DC and was a ‘festival favorite’ as an ambassador for Alberta at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
In 2007 the Heritage Singers fired up the stage opening for both Mavis Staples and Leon Bibb. They have also brought down the house in benefit concerts, documentary appearances and revival services. Their long awaited CD, “Ain’t That Good News” was recorded live on Feb 29, 2008 and is now available.
When it comes to authentic, home-grown soul, the Heritage Singers deliver like no other!