Daily Distraction: Listen to a distinctly Columbus spin on the Black National Anthem

Andy Downing
Tracking "Lift Every Voice and Sing"

To mark Black History Month, the Maroon Arts Collective recently gathered a handful of Columbus singers to record a fresh take on "Lift Every Voice and Sing," sometimes known as the Black National Anthem. Contributors include: Renee Dion, Quan Howell, Najoura, T. Wong, Adria Shahid and Schuyler Johnson.

“When re-imagining this great work by the Johnson brothers, it was (and is) my intention to surround this beautiful melody with a synergetic gumbo that explores various expressions articulated by us, Black people,” Cedric Easton, musician and arranger of the project, said in an accompanying press release. “The cornerstone of this arrangement is heavily steeped in our Black American rhythm and blues tradition. However, the arrangement includes various spices such as Afro Cuban percussion, Brazilian guitar and South African styled choral singing.” 

Check out the collective's musical gumbo in the video below.