Stories » The Blind Boys of Alabama make 'The Edinburgh Reporter's' top 5 sessions at J&BFest

Top 10 for Jul

The Blind Boys of Alabama make 'The Edinburgh Reporter's' top 5 sessions at J&BFest

Bookmark and Share

This year Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is celebrating the Centenary of Jazz – and the history of the Blues. Jazz 100 offers historic concerts, New Orleans comes to Edinburgh in the shape of a host of musicians from the birthplace of jazz, Cross the Tracks blurs the boundaries between jazz and contemporary music, and Scottish Jazz Expo celebrates Scottish jazz musicians. There's something for everyone here, but we all have our favourites and one of The Edinburgh Reporter's top five sessions is The Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognised around the world as both living legends and modern-day innovators. Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, the band has persevered through seven decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world, almost single-handedly creating a new gospel sound for the 21st century. In the early 1960s the band sang at benefits for Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, and were part of the soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement. They've worked with Peter Gabriel, Ben Harper, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Willie Nelson.

The Blind Boys play the Festivel on Fri. July 21