SKRUK & OIGC west coast tour
June 30-July 3, 2018
In 2015, OIGC & skruk performed Three sold out concerts at the molde International Jazz festival. The collaboration was such a success that the two choirs are teaming up once more to tour the west coast.
The partnership of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and SKRUK came to life in 2015 at the Molde International Jazz Festival. The project, under the name "Røtter" (trans: "Roots"), is based around the fact that, despite cultural differences between the American and Norwegian west-coasts, we have common spiritual roots. Difference in upbringing, culture, and behavior lead to different ways to express oneself, which colors the songs musically as well as lyrically. The concerts will alternate between the two choirs singing individually, as well as parts where they both sing together. The last is set to be a truly exciting unison, and as Prots himself says; "a new musical latte". We have every reason to believe that this "latte" is something that every audience will enjoy.
Saturday, June 30, 7:00 PM
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Sunday, July 1, 4:00 PM
Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland
Monday, July 2, 7:00 PM, Featuring Skruk
Arts Under the Spire
First PResbyterian Church of Oakland
Tuesday, July 3, 6:00 and 8:00 PM
Napa Methodist Church, Napa
FREE ENTRY- DONATIONS ACCEPTED
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
SKRUK has been a groundbreaking force in Scandinavian choral music since its founding in 1973. The choir is composed of 50 experienced singers based throughout Norway who meet five times a year for concerts, recordings, and cultural collaborations. Well-known Norwegian conductor Per Oddvar Hildre (known as Prots) has directed the choir for over 40 years.
Since its inception, SKRUK has discovered—and been discovered by—several exciting musical partners at home and abroad, and has recorded nearly 30 projects. Their first album of spirituals was released in 1981 with Ytre Suløens Jazzensemble. The choir has also issued two albums of religious songs rooted in the Norwegian Prayer House tradition, arranged for SKRUK by established composers such as Knut Nystedt, Trond Kverno, Per Inge Almås, and Harald Herresthal. SKRUK has collaborated and recorded with musicians and composers from Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Israel, Nicaragua, and Turkey, and one of SKRUK’s most recent albums explores the ancient traditional music of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
In 2010, SKRUK released an album called I Vinens Speil (In the Mirror of Wine) with the Iranian singer and songwriter Mahsa Vahdat, who has performed several times in the Bay Area in the last few years. The music is an exceptionally beautiful and powerful encounter between Persian traditional songs and Norwegian church music and jazz. It is a meditation on how humanity is the same at all times and in all cultures. SKRUK will perform this music in Istanbul, Turkey, in April 2018, and in California in June 2018.
Under the direction of the Emmy-winning Terrance Kelly, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir brings together over fifty-five singers and four instrumentalists who embody a community of diverse races, cultures, and faiths. They also share an uncontainable passion for music. Their mission is to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music. Judging by their audiences’ reactions--clapping, cheering, and singing along--it is apparent that they succeed in that mission.
Founded in 1986, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir was born out of a gospel music workshop led by the exuberant Terrance Kelly at Living Jazz’s Jazz Camp West. It became an independent nonprofit organization in 1991. Since then, the award-winning Choir’s exquisite harmonies and stirring gospel repertoire have led to performances with a wide variety of esteemed groups, such as Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel; the Five Blind Boys of Alabama; and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The Choir also appears on Grammy-winning albums by Linda Rondstadt, MC Hammer, Tramaine Hawkins, and others.
OIGC, a “treasured Bay Area institution," was named “Best Gospel Choir” in 2006 and was the winner in the “Best Church Music” category in 2009 in the East Bay Express Reader’s Polls. Terrance Kelly was awarded the Dr. Edwin Hawkins Excellence Award in 2013.
There’s no reason to be quiet about joy especially when it is sung by the angels…the way the choir members moved body and soul with welcoming hands opened wide, real inner smiles and bright, gloriously gifted voices gliding through texture and dynamics like sonorous lilies in a pond. That, ladies and gentlemen, spread the good time like butter to a biscuit. -Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune