The Fisk Jubilee Singers made history today (November 4, 1877), when they performed for Emperor Wilhelm I and the German royal family.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers had launched a tour of Europe in May 1875, in order to raise funds for Fisk University.
The tour included stops in various European countries, including Holland, where the group was received by the Queen.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers wowed German critics in Berlin, who endorsed the Singers ‘performances, a nod that helped accelerate the acceptance of African-American music in Europe in the coming decades.
The original The Fisk Jubilee Singers traveled the world and introduced slave songs, or negro spirituals, to fans around the world.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers were originally created as a nine-member ensemble of students, who went out to work in order to earn money for Fisk University.
Fisk University opened in Nashville, Tennessee in 1866 and was open to African-Americans.
In the early 1870’s, the school was in financial ruin, so George L. Fisk, who was treasurer and music professor, created The Fisk Jubilee Singers to help raise funds.