Fisk Jubilee Singers

African-American A Cappella Ensemble
Founded in 1871 • Spirituals and Choral Music

Fast Facts

  • A cappella group
  • Located in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Originally formed in 1871by formerly enslaved people to save their school (Fisk University) from bankruptcy
  • George L. White was the first director of the group and took the choir on tour along the Underground Railroad path
  • First singers to sing these songs in front of white audiences
  • Performed at the World Peace Festival in Boston in 1872
  • By the end of 1872, they raised $20,000 for their school
  • These singers worked and still work to preserve African-American spirituals or “cabin songs”
  • Collected and arranged African-American spirituals
  • One of the most courageous advocates of civil rights
  • Selected as a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of the Arts