“The continuing legacy of those historic songs helped bind us together, gave us courage and helped us march together during the Civil Rights Movement. I believe as you do that this is historical and cultural information which should be preserved. Since it is not, you are performing an essential public service and for this you should be commended. Your talents have brought exposure and life to America’s first true art form. It is our social responsibility to preserve the culture that our forefathers died for. Know that you are an important educational resource. Keep up the good work.”
— Dr Dorothy I. Height (1912 - 2010)
Chair & President Emerita
National Council of Negro Women, Inc

History Of The African American Spirituals Series:

Calvin Earl
Calvin Earl performance at NYC Public School in the Bronx, NY

This 4 part series includes the programs listed below. Each program is 1 hour with an additional 20 to 30 minutes for Q & A. These programs are best scheduled in the order listed below.  Flexible scheduling of these programs time wise and depending on your budget is available. You can schedule the programs weekly to conclude the series in one month or 2 shows per month to conclude in 2 months or even do 1 show per month concluding the series over a 4 month period.  The recommended programing would be 2 shows per month completing the series in 2 months. In addition each program can be booked separately and does not have to be a part of the series, however for educational purposes it is best to do the entire series.

HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS  Part 1 & Part 2 - As a storyteller, Calvin Earl tells the stories of our enslaved ancestors embedding their oral history into the spirituals for safekeeping. He sings their secret and sacred songs. He sheds light on the secret coding hidden within the songs to help runaway slaves find safe routes on the UGRR. 

He demonstrates  and explains the unique  rhythmic cadence within the spirituals. Besides the spirituals rhythmic sound, similar to ancient mantras these songs were used as a path away from the pain and suffering you are experiencing on your human journey. With the enslaved family structure always in imminent peril of being torn apart without warning, the spirituals provided a semblance of structure and a support system no one could take from them. The spirituals gave them hope & courage to believe  in the concept of freedom for all people.  A spiritual is more than music it is a personal experience and journey for every person listening or singing it. The fact is, the slaves created the spirituals not to be great music. The slaves created the spirituals to change your life.

Knowing the history of these songs is an essential part of understanding who we are evolving into as Americans.  Calvin also talks and sings about how in our history these humble songs were transformed into freedom songs during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. These interactive programs also includes the opportunity for communal singing and making time for discussing any questions you might have. Each show is one hour plus 20 minutes for Q & A. Calvin is very generous with his time and will accommodate all questions if it goes over the 20 minutes.


SONGS ON OUR ROAD TO FREEDOM  - Part 3: Is an interactive communal singing program.This program is a WE THE PEOPLE story in song. Experience a wide variety of America’s music  beginning with the African American Spirituals, Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s & 1960’s and much more. FREEDOM has always been a powerful thought for Americans, and music brings that thought of freedom to life. Communal singing has always been an intricate part of our multi cultural roots as Americans. Whether we arrived as willing immigrants or as immigrants by force, no matter what country we came from originally, music helped ground us and helped us feel connected to our new homeland. Our newly created music, spoke of our lives in the new world and helped calm fears, put our babies to sleep, brought enjoyment sung around a campfire and comfort in times of sorrow. Singing together brought us together, strengthened our purpose and strengthened our community spirit. It still does today. This program is about coming together and singing together from the American songbook to continue building a strong community that is inclusive of all of us. The Founding Fathers proposed in written word a purpose and direction for our nation. Music created by humble unnamed slaves, and well known songwriters in multiple genres of music helped us feel that purpose with passion and dedication to ensure our nations principles belongs to all of us. Come join Calvin Earl as he leads us in inspiring songs in our American History!


AMERICA'S SOULFUL MUSIC CONCERT - Part 4: Is quintessentially the soulful sound of America’s music from the 1800's through the 1970's that influenced and forever changed the world music scene. With his acoustic guitar & soothing vocals he brings to life the simple beauty of America’s greatest songs. Choosing from the music genres of Blues, Jazz, Standards, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Country, Folk, Spirituals, Show Tunes and even a little Rock & Roll he brings to life the songwriters vision for the song. No digital enhancement, no gimmicks, no flashing lights, just a beautiful song enhanced with the elements of peace and love. Join Calvin for an evening of relaxing & fun music of days gone by, energized with a little bit of soul.

If you would like to book a performance for your public or private event or a TV or radio show appearance, please contact my booking staff by filling out the form below. Don't forget to ask about our Artist In Residence programing. These shows are also perfect for your Black History Month programing and celebrations.

Book Calvin Earl Today!



Calvin Earl