As part of the 9th annual Bishop Hill Chautauqua at 3:00 pm, on Saturday August 27 in the park, Michael Hurt will sing the songs made popular by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. This program covers the history of African-American vocal music; including field hollers sung by field slaves; call and response work songs of the south and of the West Indies. These historical musical forms ultimately birthed the Negro spiritual, gospel, the blues, and jazz. Michael sings all of the musical styles mentioned above and provides a colorful synopsis of each. The audience is invited to participate in the dialect, syncopations and meanings found in this, America’s music. Hurt has sung with the Heritage Ensemble and Opera Illinois and he has appeared in many regional theater productions.

All programs will be held at the newly restored gazebo in Bishop Hill’s town square, on the corners of Main Street and Bishop Hill Road, in Bishop Hill, IL. Folks are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, bring a friend; and plan to come early to eat lunch in one of several restaurants, to visit shops and museums. This free public event is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, American-Scandinavian Foundation, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, Bill and Susan Sherrard Foundation, SWEA-Chicago, and the Twinflower Inn Bed and Breakfast. For more information, call 309-927-3899, visit or email .