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Columbia College Chicago
New Black Music Repertory Ensemble
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New Black Music Repertory Ensemble

Top left photo (l to r): Terrance Gray, Debra Fong; top right photo (l to r): Heitor Gianizelli Garcia, Paulinho Garcia, Jean-Christophe Leroy, Dileep Gangolli; bottom right photo: Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson; bottom left photo: Ed Moore; center photo: David Young. All photos except top right by Bob Kusel.

Founded in 1999, the Center's current performance organization is the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble, a large ensemble of up to eighty professional musicians. Its mission is as ambitious as it is unique, drawing from the repertoire the Center's three earlier ensembles: the nationally acclaimed Black Music Repertory Ensemble (1987–1996), which presented black music in the written tradition from the eighteenth century to the present; Ensemble Kalinda Chicago (1994–1998), which demonstrated the common origins and shared musical traits of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American musics; and Ensemble Stop-Time (1998–2001), which demonstrated the gamut of twentieth-century black American popular music, ranging from Negro spirituals to ragtime, gospel song, R&B, soul, rap, and all styles and periods of jazz from Jelly Roll Morton to the avant-garde stylings of the AACM.