African rhythm meets western harmony, worlds of hymns and hip-hop collide, whilst a fourteen-piece vocal ensemble show the intricacy of the human voice, backed by accomplished instrumentalists.
Birthed out of a love for people, passion for education, and a belief that music can transcend us to a level of deeper understanding of ourselves and others, Gospo, Adelaide’s leading gospel choir was created.
Director, conductor, arranger/composer, Charmaine Jones uses influences of her musical journey through life to create a ‘gospel experience’. After completing her education in Jazz at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, where Charmaine now lectures, her desire to musically excite & educate not only include those in such institutions, but the general public. So in true roots style, she takes it to the 'streets' for all to enjoy.
The group is inspired by genius artists in the likes of Kirk Franklin, Andrae Crouch, Earth Wind and Fire, Take 6 and Stevie Wonder to name but a few and the repertoire is tailored to the show, it’s audience and purpose.
GospoCentric, March 2009, highlighted the eccentricity of gospel music from the early slave songs and other contributors to the more modern gospel R&B music heard today, while GospoTivity, December 2009, was a new musical interpretation of the old nativity story combining well loved carols and modern gospel anthems bringing a fresh offering to the festive season.
Their latest sell-out show, GospoAzz featured in the South Australian Jazz Series for 2010, displayed the essential place of gospel music in the jazz idiom. Utilizing negro spirituals, jazz standards and contemporary jazz-gospel with tunes made famous by greats such as Billie Holiday, Chick Corea and The Yellow Jackets to name a few. This show also featured in the Adelaide Fringe Festival in March 2011 in the biggest Gospo adventure yet, combining more than 200 students from Adelaide’s secondary schools at the historic Adelaide Town Hall.
‘There is no discrimination between Sacred and Secular tunes. Music is the food of life and we aim to give that full tasting plate to our listeners. We choose tunes with real meaning and real feelings to connect with our audience on an equal level. Gospel music has all those elements - it's got a lot of history. That is what makes it moving and spectacular. It's the struggle and Lord knows we all share that common bond’ - Charmaine Jones
The latest performance by Gospo was no exception. Support act to Leo Sayer in the Leukemia Foundation Fundraiser, Light the Night, the gospel arrangements were woven with excerpts from stand apart tunes such as Way of the World (Earth Wind & Fire) and even a tribute to Sayers hit, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. This will be the flavour of the ensembles next venture at the in 2013 – Gospolicious.
Charmaine Jones has a dream to travel with this talented and committed group of musicians, throughout Australian schools, suburban and rural, changing their perspectives on art and life, bringing the wider community together to celebrate Australian talent through music and the capability of the youth of today to achieve goals wherever the road leads through the Gospo experience.