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By Redfish

The Evolution of Black Gospel seeks to musically capture one of African-American’s richest traditions – gospel music. The musical tribute to gospel greats opens at the Booth Playhouse on Thursday.

The play features the Forever Jones, a family band, in a soul-satisfying, footstomping musical timeline of what drives the black spirit.

“It’s always good to know our history,” said performer Dewitt Jones.

The play brings to life the origins of gospel along with major contributors such as Mahalia Jackson, Rosetta Tharpe, The Dorseys and others who may not be well-known.

Kim Jones, mother said she’s particularly interested in sining Jackson’s songs.

“As a child I can remember watching and listening to Mahalia Jackson,” Kim Jones said. “There’s a love, the experience that I have everything it came from. It came from loss, it came from success, there’s so much history just in a song. “

The musical timeline is told through key characters and vignettes, said Charlotte-based producer Neal Jones.

“The Evolution of Black Gospel Music” is part of the Gantt Center’s programming to support the America I AM exhibition, which is currently on display until Jan. 1. The play runs Sept. 27-29. www.carolinatix.org or call (704) 372-1000.

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