January 9: Shades of Yale w/ the Mellow Tones

8 pm (Doors at 7:30 pm)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Free Admission!
RSVP here (strongly recommended)

Shades is one of Yale University's youngest undergraduate a cappella groups. Founded in 1988 to sing music of the African Diaspora and the African-American Tradition, Shades has an incredibly diverse repertoire, ranging from R&B, pop and hip-hop to gospel, soul, jazz, funk and everything in between.  Shades has risen to become one of Yale's premiere a cappella groups since the group's inception. Its name stands as a testament to their appreciation of diversity within the group as they celebrate the depth and complexity of  the black experience. 

Shades' Mission: "We acknowledge and accept that we are endowed with both the responisbility and the privilege of giving a voice to the voiceless, and we aim to do so through the richness of our repertoire with its power to inspire and unite us and our audiences."

As a non-profit co-educational a cappella group with humble roots, Shades has toured both domestically and internationally over the years, going as far as Costa Rica, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, and China. In addition, Shades has sung alongside black music icons such as Lenny Kravitz, Angelique Kidjo, and Sweet Honey in the Rock, and performed for  the late Nelson Mandela, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. 

The Mellow Tones are a vibrantly spirited ensemble from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Made up of vocal majors, the Mellow Tones bridge the gap between the old and the new. Their youthful essence and vitality voice their lush harmonies, all the while staying true to the everlasting jazz genre.  The Mellow Tones learn complex arrangements and individually assigned jazz standards. When learning their standards, each student explores several quintessential artists in order to influence their own interpretations of the tune. These artists are suggested by the teacher and are also newly discovered by the students. From Ella Fitzgerald to Beyonce, from Louis Armstrong to Neo, the Mellow Tones use their many influences, both deep-rooted and fresh, in order to sing a song that speaks to all generations.  In October 2015, The Mellow Tones opened for Kendrick Lamar and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. (photo above with Lamar.)