40 Years of IU Soul

Soul Revue now an institution celebrating classic and contemporary African-American music

IU Soul Revue

The IU Soul Revue celebrates its 30th anniversary with its annual spring concert in 2002. Photo: Courtesy of IU African American Arts Institute

When Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Booker T. Jones, BME’67, performed in Bloomington last September in a show opened by the Indiana University Soul Revue, the rhythm and blues icon might have been as pleased with the occasion as anyone in the house.

Already a national star in the early 1960s with hit songs such as “Green Onions,” Jones stunned fans and colleagues in his native Memphis music scene by heading north to IU to get a proper music school education. He immersed himself in the classics such as Debussy and Wagner and even played in the Marching Hundred. Fast forward several decades, and the celebrated alumnus was truly taken aback when he watched the richly talented and stylishly professional Soul Revue rehearse and perform to launch its 40th anniversary season at IU. He also got a good look at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and all it has to offer.

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