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Misc. VDS Events

I Sing the Beloved Community














Courtesy: Larry Martin

Friday, April 22

6:45 p.m.                              
Opening Reception
Reading Room, Vanderbilt Divinity School           

7:30 p.m.                             
Sing the Beloved Community Concert
Reading Room, Vanderbilt Divinity School 

In association with Spirit/Place: Imagining a Creative Community of Art, Advocacy, and Action and in celebration of the role of the arts in establishing the "beloved community" (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr)...

song and spoken work by special guests

Kyshona ArmstrongKyshona Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, hails from the small town of Irmo, SC (home of Vanna White and the Okra Strut). She grew up listening to her grandfathers singing in the gospel choir, aunts and uncles singing old Sam Cooke tunes around the electric guitar amps, and her father practicing the guitar solo from "Hello" by Lionel Richie on repeat.

Kyshona has mixed her love of story telling with the sound of her musical roots. Soulful, spiritual, at times guttural, Kyshona delivers an open honesty through her voice and lyrics. Her desire when she is performing is to connect with and take the audience on an emotional, soul stirring, musical journey. Her goal is to move a crowd.

Learn more Kyshona Armstrong

Ashley Cleveland


Ashley Cleveland is a three-time Grammy and two-time Dove Award winner who has released eight critically acclaimed albums.

God Don’t Never Change, her most recent effort (2009), features songs rooted firmly in a “…host of traditions — black spirituals, folks songs, 18th century hymns, gospel blues, and jubilee.” The disc was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Cleveland resides in Nashville with her husband, Kenny Greenberg, and their three children, Rebecca, Henry, and Lily.

Learn more:  Ashley Cleveland

Jimmy HallJimmy Hall, vocalist for Jeff Beck's 2014 US Tour co-headling with ZZ Top, is, according to Jeff Beck's Website, a Southern Boy With Lots of Soul. Jimmy is heading on tour with Jeff Beck again Spring of 2015 and will be touring with Hank Jr. in the Fall.

Jimmy Hall first gained notoriety as the front man for the band Wet Willie from Mobile, Alabama. His unique brand of R&B-infused rock and roll swagger propelled the group’s “Keep On Smilin’” into the Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart in 1974. After five albums with Marcon, Georgia's Capricorn Records, Wet Willie moved to the Epic label in 1977, carrying the singles “Street Corner Serenade” and “Weekend” to the Top 40. As a solo artist, Jimmy appeared in the Top 40 yet again with “I’m Happy That Love Has Found You” in 1980. He was nominated for a Best Male Vocalist Grammy for his work on Jeff Beck’s 1986 album, Flash. His songs have been recorded by Gregg Allman, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Johnny Russell, and others. Since the 1980s, Hall has been a vocalist, saxophonist, harmonica player and band leader with Hank Williams, Jr.

Learn More: Jimmy Hall

Phil MederiaPhil Madeira is a Nashville-based musician, artist, songwriter and producer.


Phil has been a behind-the-scenes shaker and mover as a band member (Emmylou Harris; Her Red Dirt Boys, Buddy Miller, The Phil Keaggy Band) and session musician/songwriter (Alison Krauss, Mat Kearney, Old Crow Medicine Show, Buddy Miller, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Daniel Amos, Amy Grant, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,
The Civil Wars, Julie Miller, The Band Perry, and many more).

Learn more: Phil Madeira


Odessa Settles

Odessa Settles , born and raised in Nashville TN, the only sister of eight, has been on stage most of her life thanks to her singing father, Walter Settles, former member of the Fairfield Four. Odessa has served as a multi-genre artist referral entity in Nashville for many years in the areas of vocal and instrumental music, acting, modeling, spoken word, recording projects, and short films. 

 Odessa is a founding member of The Princely Players, a well-known music and drama group that presents African American history – covering the period of slavery through the Civil Rights Movement and current social issues - through a cappella singing and dramatic presentations. The group was formed during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and has been a feature on the NPR Wade in the Water Series, Time Life’s Music of the Civil War, BBC and TNN. 

Learn more: The Princely Players

and members of the Divinity School family

Kyle Brooks - Lee Catoe - Erik Dail

Kim Goins - Erin Johnson - Jen Newman

Dave Perkins - Tyisha Randle - Luis Vargas

Lis Valle-Ruiz - Niger Woodruff - Luther Young

Spirit/Place: Imagining a Creative Community of Art, Advocacy and Action is co-sponsored by: Vanderbilt Divinity School, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture, Scarritt Bennett Center, Metro Arts, The Curb Center and The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions.