Pictured in session are (L-R) artistic director Theo Williams and mastering engineer Paul Grundman. Photo by David Goggin.
Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area musicians and dancers collective SambaFunk! has mastered a new version of the classic “Lift Every Voice & Sing” to coincide with Black History Month in February.
Joining mastering engineer Paul Grundman in session was artistic director Theo Aytchan Williams, who states, “2019 is the perfect time for the message of this historic work to be heard around the world to help raise our collective consciousness and present a living example of how music can play a significant role in unification. After finishing our lengthy recording sessions for ‘Lift Every Voice & Sing,’ it was fantastic to have the talented Paul Grundman bring his expertise to the mastering of this historic work.”
Performing “Lift Every Voice & Sing,” SambaFunk! will be seen in the EPIX network documentary series “Elvis Goes There” with host film critic Elvis Mitchell, featuring interviews with Ryan Coogler, Boots Riley and coverage on Oakland’s cultural scene, scheduled to air February 11th. The NBA has adopted the song and will be playing it as part of their Black History Month acknowledgement. Also, the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have shown interest in having SambaFunk! perform the song as part of their Black History Month presentations and a number of radio stations nationwide have begun to play the song in celebration of MLK Day.
“Lift Every Voice & Sing” was originally written as a poem in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson to be recited by 500 students at the Stranton School in Jacksonville, Florida as a welcoming poem to educator Booker T. Washington in commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It was later put to music in 1904 by James’ brother John Rosamond Johnson and later adopted as the Black National Anthem by the NAACP. Today, it is still sung at churches and special events throughout the African American community.
“Lift Every Voice & Sing” will be digitally released through United Masters on February 1st, 2019, where it can be heard streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Tidal. It will also be available on ITunes and Amazon Music.
Learn more about SambaFunk! and listen to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”:
ABOUT BERNIE GRUNDMAN MASTERING
The name Bernie Grundman is synonymous with Mastering. His world-renowned facilities, responsible for a consistently large percentage of chart recordings, were launched in 1984. In 1997, Grundman opened his Tokyo mastering studios and in 1998 relocated to expanded facilities in Hollywood. Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood operates six studios, including a 5.1 mastering room. All processing devices can be completely bypassed, resulting in sonic quality that is unsurpassed in the mastering industry. Virtually all digital and analog formats are accepted for mastering, with the facility providing high quality disk masters, and sub-masters for CD. Grundman’s custom consoles are built in-house with all discrete electronics.